Even though the towel is freshly washed, it still smells musty. There is nothing more frustrating than expecting an odor-free towel after taking a good shower and being provided with one that is not.

Towels are the perfect breeding ground for mildew and other bacteria since they are soft and moist. Because there is mildew growing on the towels, they smell musty. Here’s a simple way to fix this problem.

It is essential to understand why the problem is occurring and how to prevent it from happening again before you can solve it.

What Causes Mildew and Bacteria on Towels?

It’s a common misconception that bacteria are unhealthy, but many are beneficial, such as yogurt bacteria. It would be best if you always dealt with harmful bacteria immediately. Generally, mildew occurs when bad bacteria evolve, but it can be easily removed. The fungus that causes mildew primarily settles on damp surfaces without proper ventilation. Disinfectants can kill it if they are appropriately applied. Towels should be kept away from dark, moist areas to prevent mildew, they should be thoroughly dried before storing to avoid a musty smell.

It is crucial to know how to clean towels to remove mildew and bacteria to function properly. It is possible to leave traces of detergent or fabric softener on your towels after multiple washings, which will attract mildew and bacteria. Towels should also be regularly cleaned to prevent other unsavory things from accumulating. Washing your towels thoroughly can help remove the buildup from them, so they look and feel brand new. The moment you learn how to clean towels, you will also be able to keep them clean in the future.


The right way to clean mildew and bacteria out of your towels may seem simpler than throwing away your towels and buying new ones, but it isn’t that complicated. Many of the items are readily available in your pantry or fridge, so that you can do this right away! The two main ingredients in reclaiming your towels are vinegar and baking soda. The musty smell on your towels may still be eliminated by thoroughly washing them with your regular detergent.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Mildew Smell and Bacteria From Towels

Because of the thickness of towels, they have the ideal capacity to accumulate moisture, which is excellent since they are intended to absorb excess moisture. But too much moisture may deter people from purchasing towels.

As a result, it’s extremely important that you allow your towels to dry completely after they have been used or after they have been washed. It’s best to remove your laundry from the washer right after it’s done, but sometimes we get caught up in life, and the newly washed load gets left in longer than intended.


However, if you know how to clean towels properly, you can avoid having musty, smelling towels in your home. If you are looking for an efficient, comfortable way to wash your towels, several ways to do it. You can even target the potential source of the problem by washing them in a washing machine and drying them.

Here are a few things you can do to get your towels looking like new again.

1.    Detergent Deep Cleaning

If your towels are contaminated with mildew and bacteria, then two simple loads with your regular detergent may be able to resolve the issue. You have to run two cycles, one after the other, using moderate detergent.

Fabric softeners prevent properly cleaned and thoroughly dried towels, leading to bacterial growth. During the washing process, towels can leave behind coats of fabric softener that can’t be removed entirely by the machine. However, it is recommended that you do not add any fabric softener to your towels as this will leave residue, which further enhances bacteria to thrive.


The other crucial factor that needs to be considered when washing your towels is the amount of detergent you use. Use only the amount specified on the detergents bottle, as detergents are designed to use a small amount. Due to their absorbency, towels sometimes cannot be washed thoroughly, which can cause them to build up and not be as absorbent as they should be.

2.    Deep Cleaning with Vinegar

One of the benefits of white vinegar is that it ensures your towels come out fresh and free of mildew.

When used with your washing machine, white vinegar facilitates removing that stubborn fabric softener and detergent stains on towels. The acidity of the vinegar kills any bacteria that may grow on the towel in the future. Use vinegar to remove bacteria from towels. To do so, put three to four towels in your washer and add one cup of vinegar. Run the washer on its hottest setting.

When washing the load with vinegar, rerun it with some detergent and a normal cycle. As soon as the towels are washed, immediately place them in the dryer on the hottest cycle and ensure they are completely dry before removing them from the dryer.


Keep the towels out of the washer after the wash has been completed – otherwise, all that hard work will be wasted as damp towels will quickly grow bacteria.

3.    Deep Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda, when combined with vinegar, makes it a powerhouse. The only thing you have to do for this deep clean is to run two loads of towels only. However, you have to soak the towels with a quarter cup of baking soda first when you use this method. After that, make sure the washing machine is set at the hottest temperature. Hot-water washing with baking soda kills bacteria, so it’s almost like a deep clean just by itself.

You can rerun the washing machine after the baking soda wash by using a full cup of white vinegar and the hottest cycle. Immediately after they’ve been washed, move the towels to the dryer, and let them air dry completely before putting them away.


Vinegar’s acidic properties enable it to break down any mineral deposits left on your towels, so this method works well for removing bacteria from towels. Similarly, it facilitates the breakdown of grime, which your machine will wash away. Since baking soda is an alkaline substance, it is known to neutralize odors. Foul odors are absorbed, and dirt and grease are broken down, so it’s great to keep your fridge odor-free.

4.    Deep Clean the Washer and Dryer

You may need to replace your washer and dryer if you’ve tried the detergent, vinegar, and baking soda but still find that your towels smell musty. If you deep clean your washing machine and dryer, you will eliminate any bacteria that remain, preventing them from contaminating your clean clothes.

Use two cups of white vinegar or half a cup of bleach on the most extended cycle to give your washer a deep clean. After the process has finished, wipe it down with a clean cloth dipped in vinegar and water.

Cleaning your dryer by wiping it down with a clean cloth soaked in vinegar and water will offer deep cleaning. The lint trap should also be cleaned and washed, but be sure it is completely dry before re-inserting it.


The Best Way to Keep Towels Mildew-Free

Cleaning towels are essential for preventing bacteria and mildew growth, but prevention is better than cure. On top of that, mildew prevention is more accessible than eradicating it!

It is best to keep your towels completely dry to prevent mildew and bacteria from growing. Keeping your towels dry will prevent the growth of bacteria.

●     Hang Towels Properly After Use

After using them, it is recommended to hang towels to dry off after a bath or shower. When you hang the towels after a shower, do not fold them so they can dry completely. When towels are spread out on a drying rack, they dry more quickly and thoroughly.

When drying a towel in your bathroom after a shower, ensure sufficient ventilation. If you are taking a shower, make sure your exhaust fan is on to remove excess humidity.

It is vital to wash bath towels as soon as possible after each use to kill any bacteria that may have grown on them. The longer you wait to wash your towels, the dirtier and more unsanitary they will become, and all that dirt and bacteria will keep getting transferred to you.


●     Before Washing

Even though washing machines cannot be avoided when it comes to water, there is a way to reduce the amount of moisture between washes and, therefore, decrease the chance that bacteria will be able to grow. Vinegar can be used regularly to clean your washer and dryer. You’ll prevent the spread of bacteria and mildew by using this method whenever you wash your clothes and towels.

It would be best to wash your towels separately, without any other clothes. The towel shouldn’t be washed with your other clothing as you don’t want any bacteria to transfer from it. It’s best to give towels their load and wash them in warm or hot water. Towels should be limited to three or four large bath towels to avoid absorbing too much water and taking longer to dry.

The white vinegar alternative is good if you’re a fan of fabric softener. In addition to killing bacteria and preventing static electricity from building up in your clothes, vinegar adds additional benefits to a fabric softener. The more often you wash your towels with fabric softener, the more residue your towels accumulate.


●     After Washing

Before folding and storing your towels for later use, make sure they are fully dry. While it might seem harmless to have just a tiny bit of dampness, even a little moisture can cause bacterial growth and result in mildew and an offensive odor. You might try drying your towels on the highest heat, and if they still aren’t dry, hang them outside until every drop of moisture is gone.

Due to the moist nature of folds and the fact they are dark and moist, folds are perfect for the growth of fungi and bacteria. Ensure that the towel you use to dry off after a shower is hung in an area that is well ventilated and without any folds.

Premium-Quality Towels From Beyond Bridges USA

With an extensive online towel selection, Beyond Bridges USA is the leading supplier & distributor of hospitality & housekeeping products. Beyond Bridges offers towels for hotels, hand towels, and washcloths for barbershops and car detailing businesses.

Heavy-duty commercial towels, which we supply, are dependable, resistant to tearing, and will meet the needs of your business for years to come. We sell towels designed for businesses, so the quality will not decline with multiple washings since household towels are less absorbent with various washes. Still, our towels will remain soft, absorbent, and fluffy no matter how many times they are washed.

These terry cloth towels, made from 100% cotton, are available in a series of sizes and colors in several businesses, including spas, health clubs, hotels, and restaurants. For many companies, towels are necessary and are purchased often and in large quantities. So, we offer wholesale supplies to our customers to have the opportunity to save money while still receiving high-quality towels.