Do It Yourself » How to Strip and Fix Sour Smelling Towels

How to Strip and Fix Sour Smelling Towels

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It really doesn’t matter whether you use store bought laundry detergent or homemade laundry soap, your towels and washcloths can become sour and smelly after a while due to the build-up of detergents and things in them, especially if you have a Front loading washing machine. In addition, many people aren’t aware that use of dryer-sheets can create a build-up on your towels, making them less absorbent over time.

Towel Stripping and laundry stripping is a minimal effort process of removing excess residue from detergents, softeners, hard water minerals, as well as oil, dirt and bacteria that occur with normal everyday washing.


How to Strip Towels

Here’s a really simple, inexpensive way to fix your smelly towel issue, stripping them of excess detergents and making them light, fluffy and very absorbent again using 2 basic household ingredients: vinegar and baking soda.

First, Wash your towels in hot water with one cup of plain white vinegar *do not use any detergent at all* and let it run through the entire wash cycle. As soon as the first cycle completes, run them through again with hot water and add a half-cup of regular baking soda.


Once they have been washed properly, dry them in the machine or hang them out to dry immediately, do not let them set in the machine as this allows mildew to grow, creating a new cycle of issues.

This method will strip your towels of all of that nasty leftover residues and remove any mildew smells, actually leaving them feeling fluffy and smelling fresh and help return their natural absorbency.

Towel Stripping with Borax

Stripping towels with Borax is just as effective as stripping towels with baking soda.

  1. If you have a front loading machine, fill your (clean) bathtub with hot water.
  2. Dissolve one cup of Borax laundry booster in the water and then add your “clean” towels.
  3. Let them soak for up to 4 hours in the solution.
  4. Rinse them out and run them through the washing machine on a normal cycle.

If you have a regular top-loading machine, simply fill the machine with “clean” towels, add the borax and fill with hot water. Let the towels soak for a couple of hours, then run the machine on a normal cycle.

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