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Old 09-08-2006, 04:45 AM   #1
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Stinky Towels - Help!

I am hoping one of you can help me. I have stinky towels that I can't get the stink out of! They smell the second they get wet - you know, that musty, gross smell that makes you want to gag?!?!?! Well, I've got it!
The towels are not old - less then a year (which I don't think is old, but maybe I'm wrong) and they are high-quality (we registered for them when we got married, so they're extra nice!).
I've tried TIDE, bleach, and Arm & Hammer and they still stink! Do any of you have any great suggestions for how to get stinky towels clean??
Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:53 AM   #2
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Gosh, I don't know....did you try a cup or two of vinegar in the water? I don't know if that will help, but you could try it.

Sorry I'm not more help.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:58 AM   #3
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I agree, try vinegar. If I forget and leave towels in the washer and they get rank, I'll wash them again with a generous ammount of vinegar and very hot water. Then put them in the dryer on HIGH for a good dry. I hate how towels get yucky smelling if you let them sit wet in the washer...more incentive to put them in the dryer asap!!!

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Old 09-08-2006, 05:05 AM   #4
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Ok, thanks! I will try vinegar. This may be a dumb question, but do you put detergent in too?
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonGirlStamps
Ok, thanks! I will try vinegar. This may be a dumb question, but do you put detergent in too?
That is a good question that I don't know the answer to! lol Allison, is she supposed to put detergent in? (Just so I know for future reference!)
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:12 AM   #6
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I always add detergent.

I use vinegar all the time.

And btw, if you have a dark color and are washing for the first time, add vinegar and it will "set" the color so it won't bleed (at least not as bad)

You can also sit a dish of vinegar out when cooking something stinky like fish and it will absorb the odor. Heat up a dish in the microwave and it will help that too!!

Vinegar is an awesome cleaning tool and believe me i've tried everything, toxic or not. I come back to vinegar time and time again.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:19 AM   #7
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Been there too!

Vinegar works, so does baking soda in the wash w/detergent. I've found that Oxy Clean works well at getting out the stink too. You can use this for colors & whites - it has a nice scent & is like a 'boost' to your regular detergent.

Good luck!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:23 AM   #8
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UGHHH I'm having the SAME problem but I am giving up and buying new ones!!!

I've tried the vinegar, with and without detergent, with and without softener and it seems to work for one use...but use that towel more than once and it is so gross!!!

I've also heard that soaking them in a bucket overnight with dissolved powdered Cascade helps, but I'm tired of dealing with the whole issue myself...

Hopefully for you your towels are not as bad off as mine...I'm headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond today to buy new ones!!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:49 AM   #9
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I'm trying the vinegar tonight... so we'll see.

I always have shyed away from vinegar because I have a cat with a peeing problem and I know vinegar reminds cats of their pee smell, BUT hopefully since my towels aren't lying on the ground, we'll be good to go!

Thanks, ladies!

One quick thing - can I buy Oxy clean at a store like Walmart? I remember that you used to have to order it - is that still the case?
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:51 AM   #10
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Default Another great use!

[QUOTE=jmscoping]

And btw, if you have a dark color and are washing for the first time, add vinegar and it will "set" the color so it won't bleed (at least not as bad)

QUOTE]

That is SO great to know!!!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:40 AM   #11
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I saw some OxyClean at Target the other day. I'm sure you could find some at Wal-Mart. I have this problem with some blankets.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:43 AM   #12
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I use ODOBAN you can get in spray form at Wal-Mart or gallon jug at Sam's. The stuff is awesome. I put a capful in every load I was but if it is stinky towels I dump in about 1/2 cup
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:54 AM   #13
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Default Oxy Clean

You can find Oxy Clean at Wal-Mart & your local grocery stores too (either the cleaning aisle or laundry aisle).
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:56 AM   #14
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I am having the same problem. But it isn't just the towels. It's almost like it's in the machine and it's making the laundry stink. B/c even when I change the load right away they still stink. I just re-wash and it seems to go away. But what a waste of time and money to re-wash!!

Is there a way to "clean" the washer??
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:17 AM   #15
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I always runthe washer a cycles with HOT HOT water and vinegar or baking soda.

"I have a cat with a peeing problem and I know vinegar reminds cats of their pee smell" See, and we were told by our vet to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and a little water and spray anywhere we wanted to deter the cat from being (like scratching the furniture, peeing in my daughter's room etc.) and it seemed to work.
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:24 AM   #16
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Thanks for the vinegar idea. I have the same stinky towel problem but I thought I was the only one!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:29 AM   #17
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I also use vinegar in the dishwasher instead of the Jet Dry stuff... it works great to keep the water spots off of the dishes.. we have real hard water here and that other stuff just does not work.
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:39 AM   #18
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Make sure you don't put the towels in the laundry basket if they are still wet. that will help stem the problem, too.

Always wash your towels on the hottest temperature, and dry on the hottest, too. Make sure they are thoroughly dry. Don't put them away damp.

I've never tried vinegar, but I find that usually if just rewash them in HOT water, they don't smell.

I'm super sensitive to that smell.... I hate it. And every single towel at my in-laws stinks that way. I don't know how to tactfully tell them their towels are moldy.
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:56 AM   #19
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My two cents---
I use liquid detergent for my towels and sheets and powdered for my clothes. I find that the liquid does a better job at leaving a fresh scent. You may also want to be sure that your dryer is working at 100%. It may be overheating if there is lint in the vent, and then it wont dry as well.

FYI- I have also used vinigar to deter my cat and it works. It is ammonia that attracts a cat or dog to an area. That is why they used to use newspapers to train.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:01 AM   #20
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I have this problem too. My washer reeks of mold!! We've been through 3 washers here and after the first wash with everyone they have had that horrible smell. I'm at a complete loss. But then the whole apartmetn reeks and I can't get the landlord to do anything because we havent' been able to find much vissible evidence of it

Quote:
Originally Posted by thwacker
I am having the same problem. But it isn't just the towels. It's almost like it's in the machine and it's making the laundry stink. B/c even when I change the load right away they still stink. I just re-wash and it seems to go away. But what a waste of time and money to re-wash!!

Is there a way to "clean" the washer??
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonGirlStamps
I always have shyed away from vinegar because I have a cat with a peeing problem and I know vinegar reminds cats of their pee smell, BUT hopefully since my towels aren't lying on the ground, we'll be good to go!
Just wanted to let you know that it's actually amonia that reminds cats of pee not vinegar. I used vinegar to pour on their "accidents" to neutralize the smell.
I have this problem--the stinky towels-- as well. I've tried everything except vinegar. Which is weird 'cause I clean my entire house with it!! Anyone who uses it in their wash have a front loader? I'm just wondering what cup in the dispenser I'd put it in.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:30 AM   #22
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I had this problem when I lived in Florida. The water there is bad! I have recently moved to Wisconsin (same washer) & have not had stinky towels at all. Not sure if the water was the actual problem, but I am so glad it is gone now!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:36 AM   #23
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Have you tried microwaving them when they're wet? Works for sponges, so it should work for towels too. It kills most of the microorganisms that live in them, so that should eliminate the smell. Microwave them for only small amounts of time (1 min or so depending on the wetness of the towel and the size) and watch them so they don't burn. Also, if you have anything stuck/splattered inside your microwave, the moisture will help to loosen that up so you can just wipe it off!
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:02 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelenaPrincess
FYI- I have also used vinigar to deter my cat and it works. It is ammonia that attracts a cat or dog to an area. That is why they used to use newspapers to train.
Oh my goodness!!!! I was thinking ammonia! I knew it was ammonia, not vinegar but for some reason I had it in my head that that's what we were talking about. Oops! That'll teach me to slow down and read!
Thanks for correcting that because I probably would have run home and put ammonia in with my towels and wondered what was wrong with you all!!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikikaren
Have you tried microwaving them when they're wet? Works for sponges, so it should work for towels too.
You can microwave sponges?????? I'm learning all sorts of things from you girls!
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:28 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonGirlStamps
You can microwave sponges?????? I'm learning all sorts of things from you girls!
You sure can! Just make sure they're wet (a little soapy too) and zap them in the microwave for a minute on the highest power level. You can also toss them on the top rack of your dishwasher when you run a cycle.

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Old 09-08-2006, 09:31 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annek
You sure can! Just make sure they're wet (a little soapy too) and zap them in the microwave for a minute on the highest power level. You can also toss them on the top rack of your dishwasher when you run a cycle.

FANTASTIC! My house and towels are going to be squeeky clean!!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:13 AM   #28
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I second the vinegar but I put it in the rinse cycle.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:57 AM   #29
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can you put it in with regular clothes? All my wash stink! I bought the new tide with frebrezze and that helps some.

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Old 09-08-2006, 11:48 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcymcwhorter
can you put it in with regular clothes? All my wash stink! I bought the new tide with frebrezze and that helps some.

Marcy
I suppose you sure could, you just might smell like an easter egg - hahaha.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:50 AM   #31
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Default I thought I was the only one!

I just threw a bunch of hand towels away and bought new cause I thought it was because they were old.

I will definitely keep the vinegar in mind in case these start stinking too!

Thanks, everyone, for all the great tips!
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #32
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My washer repairman said to run the wash cycle with a package of Tang in it. ( no clothes of course). He said it is great for cleaning washer skank...........wonder what it does to our insides?
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisydew
My washer repairman said to run the wash cycle with a package of Tang in it. ( no clothes of course). He said it is great for cleaning washer skank...........wonder what it does to our insides?
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Oh my goodness! That's hysterical!!!
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:33 PM   #34
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I've used Tang to clean the dishwasher, it gets all the yuck out. We don't drink it, though. I've never tried it in the washer, but will now.
I buy light color towels, and use bleach. Never a problem with smells after Clorox. Eileen
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:23 PM   #35
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I was just thinking about this too. I love beautiful dark towels and pretty printed sheets, but if you wash them in hot every time, they'll just fade and get ugly! It's an enigma. You have a choice of pretty yet stinky towels and dust mite infested sheets or white towels and boring sheets that are bleach scented.

Dish towels are this way to me too. I don't both buying pretty ones here because I bleach the heck out of 'em.

Of course, just today I picked up the new special bleach you can supposedly pour right on the clothes. Not sure if it disinfects like bleach or just bleaches stuff white? Gotta see how it works.

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Old 09-09-2006, 07:43 AM   #36
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When I get stinky towels - which is often because I forget things in the washer - I dry them with high heat and then put them through another wash cycle with detergent. If I wash them again without drying in between it doesn't work. I sometimes use baking soda or washing soda to help with the smell, too.

We've decided to just buy white towels and sheets from now on because they can be bleached.
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Old 09-09-2006, 04:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thwacker
I am having the same problem. But it isn't just the towels. It's almost like it's in the machine and it's making the laundry stink. B/c even when I change the load right away they still stink. I just re-wash and it seems to go away. But what a waste of time and money to re-wash!!

Is there a way to "clean" the washer??
I have the same problem!! I'm going to run some vinegar through my washer right now! (And I thought I was just goofing off tonight)
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:47 AM   #38
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Um, do you wash your towels with underwear?? Seriously, I have kids and the way the hot water smells when it hits their underwear, it can be quite nauseating.

I quit washing dish towels and kitchen towels with underwear due to the smell when I dried my dishes! Disgusting!! When I quit, the smell went away. I only wash underwear by themselves now in super hot water. Towels also in super hot water, but seperately.

I don't know, but that's what I discovered that was happening to me...
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:00 AM   #39
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I use the Lysol concentrate in the little brown bottle for my towels and sheets. I have been doing that with my towels and sheets since I was in college. This was recommended to me after contracting a staff infection at college (doc thought it was from the public w/d). I can only find it at walmart and Kmart, not at the grocery store. I add in about 1/4 cup after adding my detergent - the bottle says 1 cup but I would be broke if I used that much!
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:10 AM   #40
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I always add about 1/2 cup vinegar to my rinse cycle when washing my clothes. Since I have been doing this I have never had any problems with my clothes/towles stinking.
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