How to Get the Mold Smell Out of Towels After They Sat Out Wet

Leaving wet towels out without hanging them to dry gives them an unpleasant odor. Wet towels left bunched up on the floor or in clothes hampers are especially subject to mold, which thrives and breeds in damp, dark conditions. The longer wet towels remain in these conditions, the moldier the towels become. Aside from giving towels a musty odor, mold spores cause towels to eventually disintegrate. Promptly launder wet towels to kill mold and eliminate moldy odors.

Properly maintain towels to increase their lifespan.

Step 1

Hang the towels outdoors to air-dry if they remain wet. Sunlight alone kills the majority of mold spores in towels.

Step 2

Launder just three moldy towels at once with 2 tbsp. of baking soda and 1/4-cup of laundry detergent. Use hot water to fully kill the mold. Washing three towels per load ensures they each receive thorough cleaning.

Step 3

Let the towels complete the washing cycle. Once the rinse cycle approaches, add 2 tbsp. of baking soda to the towels. Baking soda destroys musty odors.

Step 4

Run the laundry through another rinse cycle once all cycles are complete. Rinsing the towels twice removes all baking soda and detergent buildup.

Step 5

Dry the laundered towels immediately to prevent mold from breeding in them. Use your dryer's hottest heat setting throughout the drying cycle.

Things You Will Need

  • Washing machine
  • 4 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1/4-cup laundry detergent
  • Clothes dryer


  • Using fabric softeners in the wash traps moldy odors in towels.

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

Photo Credits

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