There’s nothing quite like stepping out of a long, luxurious shower and wrapping yourself in a plush, freshly-laundered towel that smells like… mold? But wait! Before you kick your towels to the curb, consider the underlying cause. It’s not your towels’ fault that they stink… it’s actually your washer that’s to blame.
If you have good habits when it comes to dealing with damp, dirty towels (hanging them up to dry after a shower, laundering right away, and not letting damp towels sit at the bottom of the laundry basket), then it may be your washing machine that’s making your towels smell.
If your washing machine succumbs to mildew, then your towels and clothes will inevitably follow.
There are several things that may cause mildew to grow in your washer including residual water, misuse of detergent and fabric softener, and bad laundry habits.
If you start to notice that your towels smell, and not in a “spring meadow” or “clean mountain” kind of way, it’s a pretty good indication you have mold in your washing machine. The first plan of attack is to clean your washing machine.
There are several washing machine cleaner products on the market, that when used properly can eliminate and prevent washer mold and mildew. Smelly Washer washing machine cleaner uses natural ingredients to effectively remove odor, fungus and mildew. It is recommended that you use Smelly Washer twice a month to clean your washing machine.
Washing machine cleaners should be used with your washer’s hottest cycle or preset cleaning cycle, with no laundry in the tub. For more extreme cases of mildew, allow the cleaner to soak in the tub and repeat the process until the mildew is gone.
Smelly Washer can also be mixed in a spray bottle with hot water to clean inconspicuous areas like under the rim of a top loader and in the rubber door gasket and detergent drawer of a front loader; all of which are damp places where mildew likes to hide.
Once you have a clean washing machine, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent future mildew growth. First, always leave the lid or door ajar to allow any residual water to evaporate.
Next, use the right detergent and measure carefully; this is especially true of front loader washers. Because they are high efficiency, they use less water and require a smaller amount of a specially formulated high efficiency (HE) detergent. Liquid fabric softener also leaves behind a residue that is conducive to mildew growth; switch to dryer sheets instead.
Finally, follow your washing machine manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance which includes temperature settings, the cleaning cycle, and cleaning the drain filter.
Following these simple steps to clean your washing machine will help eliminate and prevent the mildew that’s making your towels smell.