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How to Get Mildew & Odors Out of Towels

Tired of toweling off with a stinky or musty towel? Body odor and mildew smells are anything but pleasant. Learn how you can get rid of them with Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer, even with colored towels.

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It’s easy for towels to develop musty body odor smells. Stuffed into a gym bag and forgotten, left damp on the floor in the bathroom, and used too many times before washing are some of the reasons towels smell bad. There’s also a chance the off odors are coming from soil build ups inside the washer that you can’t see, so make sure you frequently run a washer cleanout cycle with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.

White towels don’t usually have problems with odor when they are washed regularly with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach. Colored towels that are not colorfast to bleach haven’t always been so lucky. Fortunately, adding Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer to your wash load kills 99% of odor-causing bacteria. Just add it to the fabric softener compartment and the clothes washer will add it at the correct time, ridding your towels and laundry from musty mildew and body odor smells.

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What you need

Steps to remove mildew smell and body odor from colored towels and laundry

  1. 1

    Add laundry to the washer

    When possible, wash several towels together to help the load balance properly when spinning at a high rpm.

    Check towels for stains and pretreat with liquid Clorox 2® for Colors before washing.
  2. 2

    Add the laundry sanitizer to the softener dispenser

    Use the softener dispenser for Clorox® Laundry Sanitizer. This ensures that it is added at the correct time in the wash cycle: during the rinse cycle, not during the wash cycle.

  3. 3

    Add laundry detergent and Clorox 2® for Colors

    Add laundry detergent and Clorox 2® for Colors 3 in 1 together in the detergent dispenser compartment. If using laundry pods, toss them in the washer before adding the laundry.

    When using color safe bleach along with detergent, always match product forms: liquid and liquid or powder and powder.
  4. 4

    Start the washer

    Select the heavy duty cycle, hot water and an extra rinse, then start the washer.

  5. 5

    Tumble dry

    Tumble dry following the instructions on the care label for dryer temperature.

Frequently asked questions

How many times should you use a bath towel before washing it?

Bath towels should be washed after 3–4 uses.