Monday, December 14, 2009

Back to Basics - FRESH Smelling Towels

For a while now, we've had problems with our towels - they smell SOUR! I put them in the dryer immediately when the wash cycle finishes, use nicely scented fabric softener (sheets, or liquid in the rinse cycle), fold them, and put them on the shelves in our bathroom. When we take showers and reach for a clean towel, putting it up to our faces - it smells SOUR!

Thinking it was the humidity from hot water and steam, I stored the towels elsewhere. Still, the problem remained. Rather embarrassing when company comes to visit. Mr. Wonderful and I thought this over, and he came to the conclusion that it was fabric softener build-up that caused the issue. But, how to get the towels fresh again, without throwing them out and buying new?
SOLUTION: White Vinegar!

Fill the washing machine as usual, adding 2 cups of White Vinegar. Let it agitate for a few seconds, then stop the machine and arrange your towels inside. Let your machine complete the wash cycle - do not add any laundry soap. (White Vinegar is safe, and won't remove any color from your laundry like Bleach can.) When the machine stops, re-fill with water and add your regular detergent, and run through the wash cycle again.

Your towels are ready to dry. Do not add any fabric softener!!! Ever AGAIN! I put the towels in the dryer, and put in a couple of tennis balls. The balls bounce around on the terry cloth, helping it to dry quickly - and when you pull the towels out, they will be fluffy and fresh smelling!

It worked for us, and it might work for you too! If you have had similar problems, I'd love to hear about it, and if you have successful solutions, please share with us!

Have a great Monday!

9 comments:

^..^Corgidogmama said...

White vinegar is amazing stuff...so many uses!
Who knew that fabric softner would be the culprit.
Team work!
Jim's had 4 days home, lots of rest, and leaves tomorrow until Christmas Eve. At least we hope he'll be home then!

Keetha Broyles said...

I was so happy to read this post because I have the SAME issue. I ALREADY use white vinegar (actually the brown stuff works well too) but I have just been adding it to the wash with the soap like an additive. I think I'll try THIS method.

I don't know about NOT using fabric softener though - - - I do SO love how it makes the towels smell. Other clothes don't get that sour smell, so I just thought it was bacteria build-up in the towels from using them to dry your skin.

Carmen C. said...

That's a great tip, I have noticed too if I don't get the wet load into to dryer right away they tend to sour, yuk!

Angela said...

Mine has done the same thing. Not just the towels but also my clothes that I wear! Imagine putting on clean clothes that have a smell to them. I don't use fabric softener so I don't think that is the problem at least not with mine. I do have well water which is what I thought my problem was. I do use white vinegar in my laundry from time to time. I had heard from a friend that you can use it to get the pee smell out of your potty training kids clothes. I bought a big bottle of it and I keep it in the laundry room just for the laundry. I don't think I've used that much. Maybe I should from time to time anyway.

Great tip!
Angela

Angela said...

Mine has done the same thing. Not just the towels but also my clothes that I wear! Imagine putting on clean clothes that have a smell to them. I don't use fabric softener so I don't think that is the problem at least not with mine. I do have well water which is what I thought my problem was. I do use white vinegar in my laundry from time to time. I had heard from a friend that you can use it to get the pee smell out of your potty training kids clothes. I bought a big bottle of it and I keep it in the laundry room just for the laundry. I don't think I've used that much. Maybe I should from time to time anyway.

Great tip!
Angela

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

I don't recall having this problem. But your solution is wonderful. Amazing, all that white vinegar can do. My vet says to dilute this about halfway with water and dip my dog Abi's feet in it twice per day to alleviate itching, thus chewing her feet. Then to just dab her feet on a paper towel and let air dry. She hates it and it makes her sort of crazy for a bit. Today the vet put her on an anti-depressant for her severe separation anxiety with me! Well, if mom can take one, I suppose she can too!
Brenda

farmlady said...

Thank you for this bit of information. I don't use fabric softener but sometimes the towels just don't smell that great. I will try this next time. Good old white vinegar.
My Mom use to use wine vinegar as a last rinse on her auburn hair after she washed it. Her hair would just shine when it was dry..., and it smelled really good, but not like vinegar.

Chatty Crone said...

I didn't know that - I have one towel that smells like that no matter how much I wash it and use fabric softener - I am going to throw it in a load tomorrow.

Sandie

ocmist said...

This sounds like an interesting idea to try. I wonder if it WOULD work on cloths that I forgot to get into the dryer fast enough? It would be worth a try!