How To Get Musty & Mildew Smell Out Of Towels

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you purchase using these links we will get a small commission.

After several days of use, bath towels often give off an unpleasant damp, musty odour, or mildew smell which is somewhat tricky to eliminate with regular washing.

In addition, due to their permanent contact with water residues, dead cells, and mould, bath towels quickly acquire a very unpleasant dirty appearance.

The downside is that many people don’t know how to properly wash bath towels to keep them soft and odor-free for longer. For this reason, we share these tips on how to remove bad smells from bath towels.

While using conventional softeners and soaps can also help, you can also go for green cleaning tips that serve the same purpose.

Find out below, which natural ingredients to use to effectively stops bath towels from smelly and stinking. Some naturally occurring ingredients contain deodorant properties that help neutralize damp odors from bath towels.

How To Get rid of Mildew Smell from Towels

4 Natural Ways to Get Rid Of Musty & Mildew Smell Out Of Towels

The good news is that there are completely natural solutions that have properties that effectively remove dirt and bad odors from damp towels.

In addition, these products are available to most of us. Moreover, they are very economical and available in all supermarkets.

To this end, with a few simple natural cleaning tips, you will easily be able to restore your bath towels to a spotless appearance and a wonderful smell. Follow these tips:

1. Use White Vinegar and Sodium Bicarbonate To Eliminate Bad Odors

White vinegar and sodium bicarbonate eliminate bad odors from bath towels

The combination of white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate effectively eliminates bad odors from bath towels.

White vinegar

It has multiple applications in household cleaning and is a great alternative for washing clothes. Its acidic compounds help deodorize bad odors and facilitate the removal of dirty stains and food.

In fact, some consider that white vinegar is a good alternative to fabric softeners because they give fabrics a very pleasant texture.

Sodium bicarbonate

This is one of the natural ingredients that is used the most as an environmentally friendly cleaning method.

Its absorbent power facilitates the elimination of substances that cause unpleasant odors and stains on clothes. In addition, it removes perspiration residues and exerts a whitening effect to leave clothes impeccable.

On the other hand, sodium bicarbonate enhances the colors of clothes and takes care of delicate fabrics.

White vinegar and sodium bicarbonate cleaning solution

This is one of the best solutions for removing bad odors from bath towels. In fact, this mixture easily penetrates fabrics and helps release dirt as well as stubborn odors.

Additionally, its anti-fungal and anti-mycotic properties eliminate bacteria, mold, and microorganisms that can cause infections and strong unpleasant odors.

In addition to these powerful disinfectant powers, this mixture also contains an effect that replaces conventional fabric softeners.


  • Hot water (the amount needed)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar (250 ml)
  • ½ cup of sodium bicarbonate (100 g)

Preparation and use

  1. Place the towels in your washing machine and program the wash with the water temperature indicated according to the fabric.
  2. Then add the cup of white vinegar and start the wash cycle.
  3. Leave the towels inside the washing machine and fill the drum with hot water again.
  4. Finally, add the sodium bicarbonate and restart the wash. Your bath towels will be like new!

2. Use Lemon Juice to Eliminate Bad Odors

Use lemon to eliminate the musty and mildew smell out of bath towels

Due to its concentration of citric acid, lemon juice is a great option for bleaching and disinfecting all types of clothing.

Fresh lemon juice is a natural ingredient that can be used to eliminate the smell of perspiration and, in the process, the stains caused by it.

Its citric acid easily penetrates into the tissues and removes the substances that generate these annoying problems.

Likewise, the properties of lemon juice and its acidity help eliminate bad odors from towels. To use this cleaning technique, follow the instructions below:


  • ½ cup of lemon juice (125 ml)
  • 4 cups of hot water (1 litre)

Preparation and use

  1. Pour the lemon juice into a bucket and mix it with hot water.
  2. Then, place the bath towels in this mixture and let them soak for 40 minutes.
  3. Then you can put the towels in the washing machine and clean them with a neutral natural detergent. Your towels will recover all their whiteness and will be perfectly disinfected.

3. Use Salt and Lemon Essential Oil To Eliminate Bad Odors

This preparation is a great option for getting rid of the musty and mildew smell out of towels. It is based on salt and lemon oil and has two functions.

First, the salt helps remove stains from the towels, making them whiter. For its part, lemon essential oil neutralizes bad odors and helps to leave fabrics supple.


  • 1 tablespoon of salt (10 g)
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 4 cups of hot water (1 liter)

Preparation and use

  1. Remember that for every liter of water you should use a tablespoon of salt. On the other hand, if you want to wash several towels at the same time, you will have to increase the quantities indicated.
  2. Start by incorporating all the ingredients in a bucket and make sure you mix them well.
  3. Soak dirty towels and leave them for at least an hour.
  4. After this time is up, rub them and insist on the stains to facilitate the removal of the dirt.
  5. Finally, wash the bath towels in the usual way in the washing machine, using a neutral soap and without additives.

4. Use Milk and Peppermint Essential Oil To Eliminate Bad Odors

Milk is an ingredient that helps take care of the tissues. The mixture of milk and peppermint essential oil will help you eliminate bad odors from bath towels. In addition, this preparation is effective in combating stains on white fabrics.

On the other hand, milk is an ingredient that helps take care of the tissues and thus prolong their absorption capacity.

In addition, milk is ideal for removing encrusted and stubborn dirt while leaving a very pleasant aroma. To prepare this cleaning solution, you must provide the following ingredients:


  • 1 cup of milk (250 ml)
  • 1 cup of hot water (250 ml)
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Preparation and use

  1. To start, mix the milk with hot water and peppermint oil in the proportions indicated.
  2. Then add the bath towels and let them soak for between one and two hours.
  3. Then you can rinse your towels and wash them normally in the machine.
  4. The result? You will get whiter bath towels with a very pleasant mint aroma.

3 Best Odor Eliminators

At times, to get the mildew smell out of towels from bath towels, it is necessary to purchase scented products.

OxiClean Odor Blasters

  • America’s #1 Versatile Stainfighter Brand based on units sold
  • Great for Sweaty Gym Clothes, Musty Towels, and Smelly Household Stains

Febreze Fabric Refresher

  • Contains two 27 ounce Febreze Extra Strength Fabric Refresher
  • Get the best of both worlds with this Febreze and Unstopables Fabric Refresher combo pack.

FunkAway Aerospray Extreme Odor Eliminator

  • Eliminate Odors: Use on Clothes, Shoes, Sports Gear, and Anything Else That Stinks
  • Powerful Formula: the Exclusive Om Complex Eliminates the Toughest Odors to Keep Things Smelling Fresh

As you can see, getting the musty odor or mildew smell out of towels with natural products is not complicated.

These natural cleaning techniques and products will also help you maintain fabrics and prevent them from deteriorating too quickly. Feel free to try them all and tell us about your experience.

At times there is no need to spend on chemicals to eliminate bad odors from bath towels. Prepare one of these solutions and say goodbye to a bad bath towel smells in an effective and natural way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *