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How to Remove Mold from Towels

Remove Mold from Towels

Moldy towels are not just an unpleasant surprise; they’re a health hazard waiting to happen. The sight and smell can be off-putting, but more importantly, mold spores can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues.

Luckily, getting rid of mold from towels isn’t as daunting as it may seem. With the right techniques and a little elbow grease, you can have your towels looking and smelling fresh again in no time.

What Causes ?

Mold thrives in damp, warm environments, making towels a perfect breeding ground. When towels are left damp for too long, especially in a poorly ventilated area, mold spores settle in and multiply.

Preventing Mold on Towels

Proper Drying Techniques

  • Air Drying: Hang towels in a well-ventilated area. Spread them out to ensure they dry completely.
  • Using a Dryer: If using a dryer, make sure to set it on high heat to kill any mold spores.

Frequent Washing

Wash towels frequently, especially if they get heavy use. Don’t let them sit in a laundry basket for too long.

Storing Towels Correctly

Store towels in a dry, cool place. Avoid stuffing them in tightly packed spaces where air can’t circulate.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Mold from Towels

1. Pre-Treatment Inspection

Before diving into the cleaning process, inspect your towels for the extent of mold damage. Separate heavily molded towels from those with minor spots.

2. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

You’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Laundry detergent
  • A washing machine
  • A scrub brush (for tough spots)

3. Vinegar Soak Method

  • Step 1: Fill your washing machine with hot water.
  • Step 2: Add 1-2 cups of white vinegar to the water.
  • Step 3: Place the moldy towels in the machine and let them soak for at least an hour.
  • Step 4: After soaking, run a regular wash cycle.

4. Baking Soda Boost

After the vinegar soak, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your regular laundry detergent and wash the towels again. Baking soda helps neutralize odors and lift mold stains.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment for Stubborn Mold

For towels with stubborn mold spots, apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the affected areas. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing.

6. Final Rinse with Essential Oils (Optional)

For an added touch of freshness, add a few drops of essential oil (like tea tree or lavender) to the final rinse cycle. Essential oils have natural antifungal properties and leave a pleasant scent.

Drying and Post-Cleaning Care

Proper Drying Post-Cleaning

After washing, dry your towels thoroughly. Either tumble dry on high heat or hang them in a sunny, airy spot.

Storage Tips to Prevent Future Mold Growth

Store clean, dry towels in a well-ventilated, dry space. Consider using moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packs in your linen closet.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

Using Borax

Borax is a natural mold killer. Add 1/2 cup of borax to your washing machine along with your detergent to help kill mold.

Bleach Solution

For white towels, a diluted bleach solution (1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water) can be effective. Soak the towels for 30 minutes before washing. Be cautious with colored towels as bleach can cause fading.

Commercial Mold Removers

There are various commercial mold removers available. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Natural Remedies for Mold Removal

Tea Tree Oil Spray

Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on moldy areas, let it sit for an hour, and then wash as usual.

Lemon and Salt Scrub

Make a paste using lemon juice and salt. Apply it to moldy spots, scrub gently, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then wash the towels.

When to Replace Moldy Towels

Signs Your Towels Are Beyond Saving

  • Persistent mold smell even after multiple washes
  • Visible mold spots that don’t come off
  • Fabric damage or thinning

Eco-Friendly Disposal of Moldy Towels

If you need to dispose of heavily molded towels, consider recycling options or repurposing them for cleaning rags.


Dealing with moldy towels can be a hassle, but with these methods, you can effectively remove mold and prevent it from coming back. Regular maintenance and proper storage are key to keeping your towels fresh and mold-free.


1. Can I use any vinegar to remove mold from towels?

White vinegar is the best choice for removing mold from towels due to its high acidity.

2. How often should I wash my towels to prevent mold?

It’s best to wash towels every three to four uses to prevent mold growth.

3. Can I use fabric softener on towels?

Avoid using fabric softener as it can leave a residue that traps moisture and encourages mold growth.

4. What temperature should I wash moldy towels at?

Wash moldy towels in the hottest water setting safe for the fabric to kill mold spores effectively.

5. Are there any natural alternatives to bleach for mold removal?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and baking soda are effective natural alternatives to bleach for removing mold.

Written by Zain

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