How To Get Rid Of Mildew Smell On Towels and Clothes


I've been noticing a weird mildew smell coming from our laundry room, so I went on a hunt to find out what was causing it. I found a crumpled up towel that wreaked of mildew behind our washer that must have gotten left there when our hot water tank leaked. I washed it as I normally do my laundry, but the mildew smell persisted. So, I decided to try a trick that I read about in a magazine years ago...it worked like a charm, and is super inexpensive!
Mildewed towel.
The magic product...vinegar!
Pour in washer with NO DETERGENT, and wash on hot...
Towels come out fresh and fluffy...mildew smell gone! If the smell still persists, I have one more trick up my sleeve! To view more details and tons of cleaning tips, visit my blog, below!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Cynthia Jordan
    on Jul 30, 2018

    With no detergent, how clean will the towels be?

    • Judy
      on Dec 18, 2019

      The took had already been washed so she washing an already clean but stinky towel, vinegar is a cleaner in itself so it would not need to be re washed with soap and any smell disipates once dry, another bonus the vinegar locks the colour in so the towel would not fade any more than it already has

  • Sharon Codner
    on Aug 26, 2019

    How much vinegar do you use? I would like to just wash all of my towels to get rid of any foreign smells.

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4 of 70 comments
  • Nina jordan-smith
    on Sep 21, 2015

    Another way to get rid of any smells (mildew, pet...anything) is to put OdoBan in during the rinse cycle. There are so many fragrances now to use. OdoBan is the best. I clean my carpets both in the house and car with it...I use it to clean everything.

    • Linda
      on Oct 1, 2016

      OdoBan has a wonderfully clean odor if used properly. I had a dog kennel for years and diluting the OdoBan left all my pens and floors smelling like the fresh air. Many compliments over the years from my buyers on how clean everything smelled :-)

  • Holly Kay
    on Jul 12, 2017

    Thank you! I think that's a very helpful post for all of us. It is true that sometimes even if we wash the towels they still smell bad.
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