On a weekly basis, I get a large amount of email about towels. There are lots of questions surrounding towels and they mostly go like this:
- My towels smell horrible – like mold. How can I get rid of that?
- We have towels everywhere I look, all over the floor. What are some good solutions to hanging towels?
- I wash 3-4 loads of towels a week for my family. How can I wash fewer towels each week?
Each of these inquiries deserves its own post, so today I’m going to tackle the question of mildewy, moldy towels.
I’ve written an in-depth guide on how to revive smelly towels. So if you’ve got a stack of bad smelling linens, follow the directions in the post on how to get them back to smelling fresh again.
In my experience, the key to fresh-smelling towels is prevention of the mold and mildew. There are a few simple things you can do to avoid having to go through the hassle of getting rid of the stink.
- Always hang towels to dry. Period.
Letting them sit around on the floor or allowing them to sit in a ball on the edge of the sink is only going to breed gross things. Hanging them up allows air to circulate, which causes them to dry faster.
These towels? This is not how you should hang them.
The goal is to have wet towels hanging only one layer thick if at all possible. If they are layered any thicker than that or if they are bunched up (like in the picture), they dry very poorly. The longer they stay wet, the easier it is for them to grow mold.
- Don’t let wet towels sit in a laundry basket until wash day.
If you have used a towel for the last time, hang it to dry and then put it in your laundry basket. Towels that sit in dark wetness for a long time are just asking for mildew. Not only will the wet towel mildew, it will cause other towels around it to do the same. And then you’ve got a gross, moldy problem to deal with. It can be easily prevented by putting only dry towels in the laundry basket.
- Set one day of the week as Towel Day.
Make sure you’ve got a Towel Day set aside in your laundry routine. Just in case you’ve let a wet towel slide into the basket, you will have possibly caught it in time if you have a specific day to wash towels. If you only wash towels once every three weeks or so, it will likely do mold damage before you find it on Wash Day.
- Circulate the air in your bathroom.
Most people hang towels on a towel rack in the bathroom. But bathrooms can be humid places where the air is doesn’t circulate well. Open a window or turn on the fan to get the air moving in your bathroom. A towel is not going to dry well in a steamy bathroom in which the air is still.
Do you have trouble with towels? List all of your towel woes in the comments and I’ll address them in a few posts next week.