How Do You Get a Sour Smell Out of Towels?

Remove the sour smell from towels by washing them in hot water, using bleach, trying vinegar, and drying them using high heat. Hang the towels to dry them between uses, and remove them promptly from the washing machine and place them directly into the dryer after washing to prevent souring.

  1. Wash the towels in hot water

    Wash your towels in the hottest water possible. This helps to kill the bacteria causing the sour smell. Don't overload the washer with towels. Use regular detergent, but add a detergent booster to help get rid of the smell.

  2. Use bleach

    Use regular bleach on white towels and color-safe bleach on colored towels. Bleach can be added to the wash cycle, or it can be used as a pre-washing soak. Additionally, use bleach to keep the washing machine clean to prevent the transfer of bacteria and smells to towels when they're washed.

  3. Try vinegar

    Bacteria that causes the sour smell can also be killed and the towels refreshed with vinegar. Let the towels soak in vinegar before washing, or add 1 cup of vinegar to the regular wash cycle. The vinegar smell dissipates during the washing and drying process, leaving towels smelling clean.

  4. Dry properly

    As soon as the wash cycle is done, put towels in the dryer. Use high heat, and ensure the towels are completely dry. When using towels, hang them up to make sure they dry, as this prevents bacteria from proliferating and causing the sour smell.