Prevent and Remove Musty Mildew Smell From Towels

No more stinky towels!!

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has left laundry – clean laundry – in the washing machine a bit too long (as in overnight…. ahem). Then you have laundry with that stinky mildew smell. YUCK!

No more stinky towels! Learn how to remove mildew smell from towels and other clothing at

Do you ever go to grab a towel after a shower and notice it’s smelling musty like mildew even after being freshly washed? Mildew smell in your clean laundry could be happening for a few reasons: 

  • LEFT IN WASHER: You left wet towels (or other clothing) in the washing machine for too long before moving the load to the dryer.
  • NOT DRY ENOUGH:  You put items away before they were fully dry. This is especially common if you do laundry at a laundromat . You unload your laundry from the dryer, toss or fold them in a basket or bag and then don’t unpack right away (leaving them in the laundry basket or bags).  If the garments were not 100% dry, the moisture is trapped and mildew and musty odors appear.
  • MUSTY WASHER:  Sometimes the problem is with the washing machine, especially front loading washers. Clean your washer monthly to prevent mildew: Run an empty washer with hot water and 2 cups of bleach, wipe down inside of tub and door including the rubber seal, looking for build up that may need a little extra elbow grease. With my front loader, I always leave the door open after doing a load allowing air flow to dry throughly. *note I don’t leave the door wide open, I just don’t latch it shut.
  • LEFT WET IN HAMPER: Wet items, like bath and kitchen towels are being tossed in the hamper and left to sit too long before being washed. If you are not going to run a load right away, find a place where you can hang items to air dry before they go in the hamper.  Towels  are thicker and hold more moisture than other items do, but this also applies to sweaty workout and athletic wear, if it’s damp, either wash right away or hang to dry.

Find out what I do to remove mildew smell from towels and other clothing.

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How To Remove Mildew Smell From Towels and other garments


If you are in the market for a new washer, I LOVE a feature on my Whirlpool Washer that helps with this issue!! It has a fan fresh feature!  I push that button on every load, and once the wash cycle is complete, it periodically tumbles the load after the end of the cycle for up to 16 hours while the interior fan circulates air through the washer to reduce humidity. If I can’t move the load to the dryer right away, my washer will keep the load clean and fresh for up to 16 hours. No more stinky/musty clothes because someone forgot to move them to the dryer!  – I’ve had my washer for 3.5 years and it’s still my favorite feature on my machine!

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