Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tip 22: Fresh towels

Brace yourself: the next two posts will deal with exciting topics -- laundry and taxes! Thrilling, I know, but practical, and two items that were on my agenda yesterday. First, let's talk laundry.

A few months ago I started noticing that our bath towels were smelling musty. Anyone who knows Matt knows that one of his favorite past times is showering. At first I assumed that his multiple-times-a-day shower routine was the source of the funky towel smell. Then my towels started smelling funky. I shower no more than once a day, so I knew we had a greater problem on our hands.

I started keeping our towels in the dryer a little longer, figuring that I had to be doing something wrong at the drying stage.

Still, the problem persisted. Then I learned this little trick...

Tip 22: For the freshest towels possible, wash your towels in warm water and add one cup of white distilled vinegar to your laundry cycle.

After I started adding vinegar to our washer whenever we wash towels, the funky smell went away. Our towels stay fresh from when they emerge from the dryer until they're dirty again.

Now I keep a 5-liter container of Heinz White Distilled Vinegar in our laundry room. I bought it at Costco for $3.29 and it lasts a long time. This is a cheap, easy solution that has improved of quality of our showering life (and in this house, that's a big deal).

I realize washing anything on the warm or hot setting is frowned upon as being not particularly environmentally friendly. I wash my clothes in cold or cool water unless they have lots of stains, which is rare, and I've found that my clothes get clean when I wash them in cold water. But using musty towels was making me smell like musty towels for the rest of the day, and this was an area where I had to make a change.


  1. Vinegar is the best thing ever! I use it to clean just about everything around the house, even the hard wood floors! Here's another good tip: If you are cooking something with a strong odor that lingers, try microwaving a cup of vinegar for about 30 seconds or a minute. It usually gets rid of the smell. :)

  2. I've heard this is also good for your sheets, but didn't know about towels! Good info :)