Thursday, August 20, 2015

Have Musty Smelling Towels? Here's how to Freshen them up...



Wet towels = mildew, and mildew = smelly!  That's yucky enough by itself.  But even worse, what if I told you that unpleasant odor is actually the smell of bacteria breeding!  Yep.

You may have also noticed that sometimes towels aren’t as absorbent as they used to be.  Well, guess what?  Both these problems actually stem from the same source: Commercial Detergent and Fabric Softener Build-up.  One thing you can do is to avoid both.  Read my post on making your own Natural Laundry Soap here.

You see, over time, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue. This not only attracts smelly mildew, it essentially “waterproofs” your towels.  If water can’t get into the fabric to clean it, the towel won’t be or smell clean.

What you’ll need:

• 1 cup of white vinegar
• 1/2 cup of baking soda
• HOT water

Directions:

  1. Put the towels in washing machine and fill with HOT water! You may even want to boil some water on the stove and add it to the load.
  2. Add one cup of vinegar to the load and run through an entire wash cycle.
  3. Leave towels in the washer and refill again with HOT water, this time adding 1/2 cup of baking soda. Run through another entire cycle.
  4. Now dry towels thoroughly!  This is key!


 Vinegar, which contains acetic acid, breaks up water mineral deposits and dissolves buildup, and baking soda, which contains an alkali— sodium bicarbonate— neutralizes odors and dissolves dirt and grease. 

This combination should take care of the problem.  However, if you are still experiencing “smelliness”, try repeating the same process above until it is gone.

You don't need to do this every time you wash your towels.  Just when you start to notice that “funky” smell or the towels don’t seem to be absorbing the way they should.  


So now that your towels are better smelling and more absorbent, here are some tips on how you can keep them that way:

• Be sure to check that your towels are 100 percent dry before putting them away. Even a small amount of moisture can make towels smell sour.
• Mold and mildew love it when towels are left in a puddle on the floor! They should be hung up to air-dry after each use. Bathmats, too, should be hung to dry.
• Make sure you’re not using too much detergent. Too much detergent leaves a residue, especially with high-efficiency washers which use less water.
• Don’t use commercial fabric softener on towels; it coats towels with a thin layer of chemicals which makes them less absorbent. White vinegar is a fabulous natural fabric softener. It prevents further build-up, eliminates static, and makes towels softer. 
• Make sure towels are drying quickly enough after using them. Hang them on towel bars or spread across two hooks until they’re completely dry.


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