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why do towels smell sour after washing

Dear Home Ec 101,
Why do towels and washcloths smell sour and how do I get rid of that funky odor? Signed, Sour in Soux Falls High on my list of most favorite thing ever is stepping out of the shower and drying my face with a sour smelling. Yeah. Absolute favorite thing ever. How do towels get that sour smelling funk? Mildew is the common name for a variety of fungi that enjoy growing on damp fabric, among other things. This happens when towels are thrown into the -or onto the floor- damp. Sometimes it happens after they are left in the washer for too long. While some fungi are fab as a side dish, this variety is anything but appetizing. Sometimes a quick rewash and thorough dry is all that is needed, but if the home has a front load washer, there s a chance part of the cause of the funk is the machine itself.


Follow the steps in this post on before addressing the towels themselves. If the smell lingers after a rewash and you re certain the the washer isn t re-fouling the towels -oh a rhyme, that costs extra- it s time to address the underlying cause, detergent buildup. This is pretty common, but it should be noted that the solutions can sometimes fade the color of bright towels. Of course when given the choice between a sour but bright or faded but fresh, the choice is obvious, right? I mean, seriously, who wants to use a faded towel? How gauche. Run the load of smelly towels on the hottest setting available with 1/4 1 cup, depending on the size of the load. Give the towels an extra rinse and add a cup of to the rinse water. If the humidity is low, hang the towels to dry in the sunlight, if not dry thoroughly in the dryer.


Sunlight is the sworn enemy of mildew and it s not because the sparkling would give it away. Reduce the amount of used and consider adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle of all towel loads, this is especially helpful in areas with hard water. Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101. com. The woolwash and the fabric softener will be leaving a film on the towels that traps body oils. That s what s causing the stink, it happens with cloth nappies too and to get rid of it you do something called a strip wash. Give them a wash on the hottest setting you can set the machine to with napisan. Then run them through another hot cycle without detergent to get rid of any residue in them. They ll come out stiff as a board but at least they won t stink.


Dry them in full sun if you can because that will get rid of any residual stink. To get rid of the stiffness either pop them in the tumble dryer or fold them up and put them in the freezer. I m not quite sure how it works but freezing the towels is a trick my Grandmother taught me and it makes them come out lovely and soft. If you can adjust the RPM of your washing machine, set it to the lowest RPM when washing towels. In my machine I set it to 600RPM for towels, if you can t adjust the RPM try washing your towels on the delicates cycle. The lower the RPM of the wash the softer the towels come out. Also try using the Earths Choice detergent on towels, I find it leaves the towels softer than the other brands and it takes longer for smell and stiffness to build up.

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