You’re washing towels wrong – and it’s causing ‘musty smell’

Musty towel smells are usually caused by lingering moisture allowing mildew growth, thriving in damp, poorly ventilated conditions.

Regular washing, thorough drying, and sunlight exposure can prevent and remove odours. But if you take your towels out of the wash and they still have an odd smell – you are probably washing them wrong.

Mary Futher, who goes by Madame Sweat, is known for sharing her tips and tricks for cleaning and personal hygiene on social media. She has previously offered fans her advice on how long they can leave clothes in the washing machine after a wash before they start to smell and need washing again.

But now, she has claimed that people don’t know how to clean their towels properly and has taken to social media to set things right. In a video, which has gained more than 42,000 likes, she explained: “If your towels smell like mildew, you’re washing them wrong. Even the gold standard of detergent will not help this problem.

“There is a kitchen ingredient you can use, but most people use it wrong. The key to getting rid of that mildew is to change the alkalinity of your water combined with the detergent.”

She went on to explain that people need to add baking soda to their washing machines to banish the smell. The powder, which is used in everything from cooking to cleaning, can be bought on Amazon for as little as £3.69.

However, she claims you have to add it into the washing machine before putting the clothes in as it is needed change the pH of the water. She continued: “So the first key is put one cup of baking soda Yes. Then add in the clothes.

“Don’t pour the baking soda on top of the clothes. That’s the key. It would help if you made sure that water is very alkaline.

“Then you put the detergent in so you boost the efficacy of the detergent. Then you take those towels out, dry them, smell them. No more mildew.”

TikTok users were left stunned by the trick and took to the comments praising her for sharing it. One user said: “I love you Madame! Love your tips!!! You go girl!!”

A second added: “Bro baking soda fixes everything lol.” A third commented: “I thought this was happening to me, and no one else…”

Meanwhile, others suggested vinegar as an alternative opinion. A viewer wrote: “I wash my towels with white vinegar and they stopped smelling this way. Occasionally I clean my machine too with vinegar and bicarb soda.”

Another added: “I find vinegar works as well,” while someone else penned: “Take steps to avoid mildew and store your towels properly. Prevention is better than the cure.”

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