Among the various fabrics we have at home,  towels  are the ones that we undoubtedly always want to  be soft and fragrant .

Let’s think about when we dry our face and smell the fabric softener after washing:  the scent increases your good mood!

Sometimes, however, it happens that after washing it  doesn’t give off any odor  or, even worse,  it stinks . So let’s see  why towels stink after washing in the washing machine .

Too much time in the basket

One of the main reasons for the  smell on towels  is leaving them  in the drum for too long .

After washing, you should never leave your clothes in the washing machine because the  bad smell of stagnant water could form .


Furthermore, if the items stay close together for too long, they can also  get stained , so be very careful!

I advise you to  open the door immediately  and  remove them from the basket into the fresh air before hanging them out.

Very large load

Even a  very large load  of laundry could leave you with smelly towels .

Sometimes, for practical reasons and to be faster, we load many items into the drum, but this trick  does not always bring good results .

In fact, we should  prefer a wash dedicated only to towels . In fact, since they are already damp when we put them in the washing machine, it would be advisable not to put them together with other cloths.

Furthermore, if the towels are white , we can also wash them at 60 degrees . In the case of dark towels, if they are not delicate (or included), wash them at 50 degrees. You can discover this and other tips in this video:

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Too much or too little detergent

When washing, we mistakenly put an  excessive amount of detergent  or fabric softener: would you have ever thought that this is one of the main causes of the smell?


The same thing, of course, also happens with a minimal amount of cleaning product. Therefore,  putting too much or too little detergent is decisive for bad odors.

Adjust according to the laundry you wash, since we said that you shouldn’t overload the washing machine, only put in the amount of detergent necessary.

I’ll tell you more, you can definitively cancel the use of fabric softener by replacing it with  vinegar and essential oils or other remedies suggested here:


Dirty washing machine

Sometimes, however, the reason for the moldy smell on towels is not attributable to the laundry, but to a  dirty washing machine.

You will know well that this appliance  collects a lot of limescale  during each wash, which then deposits in the drum .

Therefore it is a good idea to remove encrustations by carrying out an  empty wash  cycle with  1 liter of water  and  150 grams of citric acid , as I show you in this video:


How not to make towels stink

After understanding why towels washed in the washing machine stink , let’s see together  how to fix it and no longer have bad odors.

Use vinegar

It won’t be the first time you’ve seen vinegar as a remedy for various problems in the washing machine . This natural element has an excellent softening property.

vinegar-washing machine

Using vinegar for towels will make them soft and eliminate all bad odors even before washing.

Place  a cup of vinegar in the washing machine compartment  and run a wash just for the towels.

You will see that you will solve the problem in no time! Furthermore, if you also add 3 or 4 drops of essential oil to the cup of vinegar  , you can say goodbye to fabric softener!

Let dry well

Another trick for towels and in general for always fragrant laundry is  to let them dry well!


If you place damp towels in the cabinet, the water has not yet evaporated and they will remain indoors in the cabinet, creating bad odors .

Even if you are sometimes tempted to fold them straight away to arrange them, always make sure they are dry!

Reduce humidity

Lastly, you should know that  humidity is often the enemy of perfume on laundry  and in the home!

This advice is aimed in particular at those who dry their clothes inside the home or at times of the year when you are forced to do so, given the climate.

To reduce humidity,  run the dehumidifier  in your home the entire time you are drying. Obviously not everyone has one, but you can make DIY dehumidifiers .

do-it-yourself dehumidifier

In fact, you can place  glasses with coarse salt  or  rice  in the corners of the room where you dry the towels.

Check every two days that they have not gotten wet, if so change the rice and salt otherwise they will no longer have the desired effect.

Why do towels stink after being washed?

Very often towels stink after being washed because mistakes are made during washing, especially on the most suitable temperature.

At what temperature are towels washed?

White terry towels can be washed at temperatures around 60 degrees, while dark ones even at 50 degrees, but always read the washing labels.

How to prevent laundry from smelling?

To avoid smelly laundry, follow these few rules: don’t load the washing machine too much, use the right amount of detergent, don’t wash at too low temperatures, hang them out straight away and let them dry completely.

How to whiten yellowed terry towels?

You can whiten yellowed terry towels with sodium percarbonate, as an eco-friendly additive. Place one or two measuring spoons directly into the drum and start a wash at high temperatures (60°).