When was the last time you felt like your towels were really clean? Our large families go through a lot of towels a day and it’s really important to us that they are fresh and clean. Keep reading to find out how to clean towels and get them really, really clean!
How to Clean Towels using Baking Soda and Vinegar!
We’ve all been there, right? We grab a clean washcloth out of the drawer to do a little chore around the house. We take it to the sink and as soon as it gets wet we smell a musty gross smell. I could not figure out why this was happening over and over again. I was very diligent making sure nothing sat in the washer for any length of time, I was sure that was what was causing the smell. No matter how on top of things I was the smell kept coming back. Finally I threw out all of my washcloths and bought new ones just to get rid of the smell.
Unfortunately in time the smell was back. Talk about depressing!
Turns out there is a step I was missing when it came to how to clean towels and get them really clean.
I finally learned how to clean towels and get them really clean.
In the middle of my smelly towel frustration an interesting thing happened. Our newer washer kept throwing a weird code and shutting off. We called the repairman and he gave me some life-changing information. All of the work I was doing to try to get my towels clean, really clean, was doing the exact opposite!
The code was being thrown on our washer because a tube was filled with gunk, fabric softener residue. When we bought our new washer and dryer they recommended we not use dryer sheets in the dryer. They said residue from the dryer sheets can build up on the sensors causing items to not dry correctly. Because of that recommendation we had switched to a liquid fabric softener – not good! Also, using the recommended amount of laundry soap…WAY more than needed! He told me, especially with towels the excess soap and softener weigh down the fibers and prevent the towel from absorbing as it should. This is likely the reason it feels like towels take forever to dry in the dryer. Liquid fabric softener and too much laundry soap actually prevented the towels from being able to dry all the way. These were the reasons why even though I thought I knew how to clean towels really well I was still getting the gross musty smell.
Our repairman recommended I use baking soda and vinegar to get my washer really clean and then recommended I regularly use them on my towels to get rid of all the build up. He also recommended NOT using liquid fabric softener but I’ll save that post for another day.
Ready to learn how to clean towels using baking soda and vinegar? I mean really get your towels clean?
(please note – this is not a stain remover, this is a fabric rejuvenator, a refresher, it will literally make old towels feel and smell new again.)
You’re going to want to start with a clean washer. If you’re noticing a smell coming from your washer add 1 cup of baking soda to your washer and run it through on the hottest wash cycle your machine has. Then do the same thing with 1 cup of vinegar. I like to do this in the evening so before I go to bed I can leave the door open to the washer so it has time to get nice and dry (if you have a front load washer you should always leave the door open between loads to prevent the growth of mold and gross smells).
How to Clean Towels and Get Them Really Clean and Free of Smells
Now, lets get those towels clean! Follow the steps below and you’ll be drying off with towels fresher than the day you bought them, and I really mean that. Did you know when you buy towels they usually have chemicals on them that make them feel so incredibly soft? When you’re done with these steps you have soft towels without chemicals making them feel that way.
1. Put your towels in the washer.
(I have a front loader, if you have a top loader I would suggest starting the water and adding the baking soda before adding your towels.)
2. Use 1 cup of baking soda in place of laundry soap.
3. Start your washer on the hottest cycle and let it run through.
(I don’t mix white/colored towels, my colored towels are old and I haven’t noticed any bleeding/fading but I still wouldn’t risk it)
4. When the full cycle is complete add 1 cup of white vinegar in place of laundry soap.
5. Start your washer on the hottest cycle and let it run through.
6. Move towels from washer to dryer and dry thoroughly. It’s really important to make sure your towels are completely dry before folding them and putting them away. In the hot summer months I love using a clothesline for drying laundry!
Vinegar is a safe and natural fabric softener. I use it in place of liquid fabric softener all the time (just add to the fabric softener spot on your washer) and once the items are dry you don’t smell the vinegar at all.
After I got this great tip on how to clean towels from my repairman I noticed other people recommending the same thing except they all recommend washing with vinegar first and baking soda second. I did try this, I thought maybe I misunderstood his steps but I didn’t like the end result. Vinegar first and Baking Soda second left a strong baking soda smell on my towels that became really strong when they would get wet. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to worry that I smell like baking soda after taking a shower. I switched back to baking soda first and vinegar second and haven’t looked back. My towels are fresh and clean with no lasting baking soda or vinegar smell.
Please understand, I don’t do this every time I wash towels. There are 9 of us in our family. If I did this every time I washed towels, I would be washing only towels for the rest of my life. I aim for doing this once a month. If wet towels have been left sitting in a hamper or heaven forbid in the washer and have started to smell I will do it sooner. Since starting this process I haven’t had smelly towels without there being a reason behind it.
Here is another thing to note, smelly towels isn’t the only sign that the fibers are being weighed down by laundry products. If it seems your towels are taking longer to dry, or never seem to feel all the way dry it’s likely this will help with that problem too.
Because I don’t think I’m alone in not knowing how to clean towels I hope these tips on how to use baking soda and vinegar to clean towels will help you out like they helped me!
If you’re interested in more laundry room tips check out my Top 5 laundry room tips here!
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