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 Fresh Smelling Towels

A few weeks ago I noticed that some of my towels were beginning to smell funky, even right after being washed and dried.  I regularly clean my washing machine, so knew it wasn’t that. I did some research and figured out that towels can start to have an odor over time due to the build-up of detergent and fabric softeners.  This build-up will start holding in odors and the residue makes the towels less absorbent as well.

Here is the simple solution I found to get my towels really cleaned up and smelling fresh again:


-Run the towels through a wash cycle without detergent using HOT water and 1 cup of white vinegar.

-When the wash cycle is done, keep the towels in the machine and run the cycle once more using hot water and 1/2 cup baking soda, again using no detergent.

(You can add about 10 drops of a citrus essential oil, or any other fresh smelling essential oil that you like.)

-Dry the towels as normal – now they smell fresh and have regained their absorbency!

The science behind this method:  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. 

Tips:
-You can help prevent the funky towel smell by decreasing the amount of laundry detergent by half in each load and avoid using fabric softeners (which cause build-up).

-Always make sure the towels are completely dry before they are folded and put away.  Folding even a damp towel can cause mildew to form, so allow it to dry completely before folding.