The Craft Patch: Cleaning Stinky Towels The Better Way

The Craft Patch

Crafts, Home Decor, DIY's and Recipes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cleaning Stinky Towels The Better Way



A while back I tested a way to keep  your towels from getting stinky. You can read about it HERE. It has been working okay, but I don't like having to wash the towels twice. I was talking to my mom about it and she said, "Well, haven't you just been washing them with Lysol?" Hello! That is the secret to my mom's always-fresh laundry. Seriously. I have visited her many times and never had a sour towel...including kitchen washcloths. The secret to good-smelling laundry has been right under my nose all this time!

And it's so easy. You just load the washer with all your towels, add your normal soap, then put in about 1/4 cup of Lysol. Not Lysol with bleach obviously, or you will end up with off-colored towels. I use the lavender scent...it smells great! Run the cycle on the hottest setting and then dry without a dryer sheet. I am so much happier using this method! I like knowing that 99% of the stinky germs have been killed when I wash my towels this way. I think it prevents the gross stuff from ever growing and eliminates ever having stinky towels again. Hurray!

33 comments:

  1. Hooray for non stinky kitchen towels...they are the WORST! Thanks for sharing your secret!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've used this method for years. The bonus is that if you forget to add the lysol every once-in-a-while, the towels will still smell good. The effect lasts for more than one washing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does the Lysol make suds? I am wondering about a front loader. Thanks for the idea! I can't wait to try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh, I swear we knew each other in the premortal life because you always post the things that are on my mind! Thank you for always sharing just what I need to know! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am wondering too about using the lysol in a front loader. Has anyone tried it?

    ReplyDelete
  6. What about HE washers? Can it be used in those?

    ReplyDelete
  7. My towels have not smelled since my husband taught me to hang up all towels until they dry, even if they are destined for the wash. Every towel gets hung up over the shower bar, on a towel rack or hanging over the rim of a hamper until its dry. Once its dry, they go in the dirty laundry. No more stinky towels, no more double washing or adding Lysol or bleach.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Question for the front load: Jennifer's mother, Janette, has a front load and uses it all the time. I also add a cup of vinegar along with the lysol.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't understand why a towel should "stink" after being washed. Mine have never had an odor after being washed, I agree with Beth F I always hang my towels to dry completely before putting in the laundry basket for laundry day. Interesting post but no sure why it is needed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I need to try this! Now, we usually use our towels over again for a few more days, (clean body, clean towel) so I would assume those that wash theirs every time it's used may not get as smelly. Hanging them up prior to washing is probably a good idea too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have some concerns about this method! Though it sounds great, the reality of wiping my body with toxic chemicals is frightening! Not to mention what it's doing to the water supply! I find it irresponsible and dangerous!

    ReplyDelete
  12. eh, it's probably not any more dangerous than the soap most of us are washing with. Speaking of.... I had a load of towels today that stank...because I had washed them, then forgot about them and they sat in the washing machine and got gross. SO... I rewashed them using a tide pod, some cheap fabric softner in the downy ball, and some of those SCENT enhancers (like downy's unstoppables.... or gain makes some too...) and guess what? NO stink. The product works really well on my hubby's work clothes too... he works in roofing so his clothes get really stinky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way as the previous commenter. I don't mind using Lysol at all. There are way worse things for your health than a minuscule trace of Lysol on a towel...the mildew hiding in the towel might just be one of them.

      Grey-san, if you are concerned about using Lysol, what would you suggest using instead?

      Delete
  13. Lysol's active ingredient is very caustic. Using even a very diluted capful for cleaning is harmful to people and animals, the large amount your using is very dangerous. Don't get me wrong I hate funky towels too and used too clean my home with Lysol but it's a slow death and dangerous to have that chemical residue being spread on you're body when your pores are the most open for absorption of anything. You should research the ingredient and it's dangers before making a choice to use toxic ingredients for personal safety. I have found that using vinegar abt. quartercup in addition to journal detergent in any load cleans and deodorizes but most importantly to dry towels after using them and not letting them sit in the washing machine after cycle has ended. If they are really funky smelling baking soda plus the regular vinegar detergent mixture kicks stinks butt plus actually removes chemical residues that might be building up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still not worried. I am using less than 1/4 cup (probably more like 1/6 ot 1/8 cup) and I bet 99% of that gets washed away in the washing machine. I looked up what's in Lysol and I'm just not worried.

      Delete
  14. To use the Lysol in HD wash machine where would you put the Lysol at

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, this has been so awesome! I was starting to wonder if I just had to buy new towels every couple of years, and I was not happy thinking about the expense! I actually just found Lysol concentrate on sale, so it will take up less room in my soap cupboard and I'll only need to dribble a little into each towel load. I agree that you don't have to wash with the Lysol every time. This trick has made me sooo happy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Jennifer from The Craft Patch
    I think the reason why towels stink in the first place, is that their so full of soap & softner that gets built up in them. Unstead of using a softner, I always use vinegar. It brings the fluffy back in the towels & seems to remove excessive soap & softners.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sometimes it is the washing machine that needs the clean. Run a hot wash with a couple of cups of bleach added that usually purges the machine.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My 14 y.o. son left his already stinky soccer clothes,socks and jeans in our front load washing machine for 3 days. Ugh. I ran a cleaning cycle in the washer, used a front-load drum cleaner, then re-washed the load using Downy Unstoppables booster: still stinky. Didn't dry the load; instead, re-washed with vinegar and baking doda method. Still stinky. Dried them anyway. MY QUESTION: could I use the Lysol on his clothes? Has anyone else tried Lysol on a load of clothes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I have had really stinky clothes, the best thing I've found is to soak them in hot water with Lysol or vinegar/baking soda. I think the soaking gives the cleaners time to be more effective.

      Delete
  19. Question. You state to use the Hottest setting. Will this not make the colored towels run?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never had my towels run... and I wash navy blue towels with striped towels, etc. Maybe the first time you wash them they might. If you are worried, try lifting up the lid once they have been in the water for a while and see if the water has any dye in it. Then you'll know if the color runs.

      Delete
  20. I was on the swim team when I was in high school, and I had a bad habit of leaving wet towels and suits on the floor of my room (and lots of other places I'm sure). I found that spraying the carpet with lysol spray--the aerosol, deodorizing kind--removed the mildewy odor from carpet. That stuff is amazing. I even sprayed my brother with it once.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Replies
    1. I have no idea. Sorry! Any fellow U.K. readers know the answer to this question?

      Delete
    2. I buy Tesco antiseptic disinfectant on the Fresh smell. Dettol is Lysol.

      Delete
  22. I tried the vinegar, baking soda way & had no luck, but then I tried washing with ammonia and it works great. Just fill the washer, add 1 cup of ammonia (for a full load), and let it sit for an hour (closed) before adding soap and washing like normal. The stink is gone!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I know quite a few people who use Pine-Sol because their husbands are professional painters and it get the paint out plus no stink if they forget them in the wash.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I will be trying this! I try to avoid chemicals when I can, but I've tried the vinegar/baking soda trick many times, and it hasn't worked. Plus I hate having to wash twice and waste all the water and electricity.

    ReplyDelete

Hey readers! Leave me a note... I read each and every comment and I love to hear from you!