You grab a towel to wipe your face and it hits you. Ugh! That horrible, terrible, bad musty smell! Out of breath, you quickly drop the stinky towel on the floor trying to figure out what just happened. This towel came from the closet. It’s clean! So what’s up with the smell? And more importantly, what can you do to get rid of that stench forever?
Your RV towels can sometimes smell musty. Here’s why. Over time, detergent and fabric softener residue builds up in the towel fabric. This buildup can prevent your towels from drying out completely. Then bacteria grow on the towel, causing mold to form. (It’s worse for cotton towels. Cotton is an organic material, so it’s even better for bacteria growth.) If you store the towel in a dark, airless space (like an RV cabinet ), mold will continue to grow. The result? A horrible, terrible, not good, musty smell!
Remove musty smell
- You can easily eliminate the “funky smell” from your RV towels. Simply take the white vinegar from the kitchen cupboard of your motorhome. Measure out a cup of vinegar and pour it directly into the drum of your washer. Do not add any detergent. Loosely place stinky towels in the washer and wash on the hottest setting.
- When the complete wash cycle is complete, remove the towels. Place a cup of baking soda in the washer drum and add the damp towels. Do not add detergent. Wash on hot cycle a second time.
- When the cycle ends, hang the towels outside in the sun, if possible. Or dry the towels in the dryer, but do not not add a dryer sheet.
- Repeat the procedure, if necessary.
Keep the stench
- First, wash your towels in a separate load, on their own. Use less detergent to help prevent residue buildup.
- Second, never use liquid fabric softener on your towels. It leaves a thin layer on top of the fibers. This makes the towel softer, but it may prevent the towel from drying out completely. Instead of fabric softener, try placing clean tennis balls or wool felt dryer balls in the dryer when drying towels. The balls will help fluff up the fibers of the towel, making them softer and more absorbent.
- Finally, always transfer clean, damp towels from the washing machine immediately to the dryer. Hang up damp or wet used towels immediately after use.
Tip: Assign each family member a different colored napkin. That way, you’ll know who’s throwing their towel on the floor instead of hanging it up!
I know there are fabric fresheners like this on the market. Have you used them? Did they work?