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Towels smell musty

(19 Posts)
Whathaveilost Thu 25-Jun-15 12:30:26

All our towels are smelling. I put them on a 60degree wash and peg them out as soon as the wash finishes but even so, the smell won't go.

60 degree is e hottest my (2year old) machine will go to.

The towels aren't left lying around damp before washing. After they have been used they are hung up to air so I don't know what the problem is.

My clothes, going through the same machine, at lower temperatures are fine.

Any ideas?

SpendSpendSpend Thu 25-Jun-15 12:32:46

How old are the towels?

cozietoesie Thu 25-Jun-15 12:33:57

It sounds as if you aren't really fully drying them maybe. How are they stored after washing?

AccordingToOurRecords Thu 25-Jun-15 12:36:27

I'd give your machine a service treatment first. Do you use powder or liquid detergent? Some soda crystals in the wash won't hurt either.

CMOTDibbler Thu 25-Jun-15 12:53:32

You aren't using fabric conditioner are you?

PigletJohn Thu 25-Jun-15 15:17:50

when you do the maintenance wash (no soap, no fabsoft, hottest setting, a cup of washing soda crystals if you have it) observe the water in the drum. Does it go grey and foam up? If so, that's the sludge of soap sludge and fabsoft dissolving out of the drum. It builds up during low temperature washes. If you use skin lotions and bath oil there will also be grease. Your hot towel wash will tend to loosen any existing sludge, and the bacterial that live on it, and this may be contaminating your towels.

As well as a service wash, try cutting down the amount of soap and fabsoft. Add washing soda crystals with the powder or liquid as they help it dissolve, cut through grease, and by removing soap traces, leave cotton washes softer.

You can use your hot cotton washes as maintenance washes if you use crystals instead of soap, as long as there is soap residue in the towels and/or drum you will see it foaming.

PigletJohn Thu 25-Jun-15 15:20:13


There is also a product called Caustic Soda. DO NOT USE IT IN YOUR WASHER! it is quite different from washing soda crystals and will eat holes in your skin, clothes and eyeballs.

Whathaveilost Thu 25-Jun-15 23:22:07

The towels are a mixture of new and old.
I'm using the same detergent that I have always have, Bold 2 in 1.
Towels are dried thoughly either on the line or in the drier.

They are stored in the same place as they have for the last 20 years, in a cupboard in my bedroom.
DH gives the machine a maintence wash each month.

Thank you for your tips. I'm going to get some washing crystals tomorrow.

I just thought it was weird that my clothes were going through on the same temp wash and they smell fine.

iggymama Thu 25-Jun-15 23:51:21

Could there be a build up of detergent in the towels?

Try running them through a wash cycle with no powder. If you see suds then they have come from detergent build up. Running several wash cycles with no powder should sort the problem.

funchum8am Thu 25-Jun-15 23:53:10

We had this in our old house. I think now it was mould in the washing machine drum or the soap drawer. I don't know the solution but it was something I read about on here but we moved before I could try to fix it!

Hikari01 Fri 26-Jun-15 15:52:48

Quick tip : Pour vinegar on them before washing. Should fix the smell part.

For fabrics to smell it's enough to not dry them properly once only. Has to do with bacteria iirc. But vinegar should fix it (and the towels won't smell of vinegar afterwards, no worries).

Have used that treatment on multiple kinds of fabrics in the past few years, works like a charm.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 26-Jun-15 15:58:36

If you use linen towels they dry really quickly so you don't get the musty smell.

They're like big tea towels in texture.

Mamab33 Fri 26-Jun-15 16:05:06

Are they dark colours? We had this with our dark ones but not light ones for some reason.

Mamab33 Fri 26-Jun-15 16:06:00

Same washing machine and routine. It was a mystery.

hiddenhome Sun 28-Jun-15 22:59:17

Dettol Laundry Cleanser.

lunalovegood84 Mon 29-Jun-15 22:33:27

I second the white vinegar. Use it in place of fabric conditioner. I also pour in a small amount of napisan sometimes which also helps kill the whiff.

PurpleFrog Tue 30-Jun-15 15:37:54

Bold 2 in 1 contains a fabric conditioner, doesn't it? Use another powder for towels.

Whathaveilost Tue 30-Jun-15 18:33:29

Thanks for all. Your advise.

We have loads of towels and get through them like no ones business!

I have tried some of your different advice and all of the work.

Thank you.!

LovelyBranches Wed 01-Jul-15 00:28:38

My bath mat has been smelling and I've done a lot of the things recommended on here but after this mornings shower I've hung it on the line all day. It now smells beautiful.

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