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Cleaning expert shares effortless tip for ridding clothes of moldy smells: ‘It’s a well-known natural way to clean’

“Go ahead and throw in your towels, turn it on, and do your normal cycle.”

"Go ahead and throw in your towels, turn it on, and do your normal cycle."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Nothing ruins that post-shower bliss quite like a musty towel.

The scoop

So, it’s a good thing TikToker MerryMaidsTulsaMetro (@merrymaidstulsa) shared a laundry hack that does the trick.

@merrymaidstulsa Have you noticed your towels smell musty or are not as absorbent? Try this #laundryhack. Add 1 cup of vinegar to your load and detergent, wash on your normal setting. #laundrytok #cleantok #cleantowels #laundryhacks ♬ original sound – MerryMaidsTulsaMetro

The Oklahoma cleaning experts — who’ve been around since 1983 — advised adding a cup of vinegar to your next load of laundry to get rid of that smell and, if your drying buddies have been the victims of fabric softener, help improve their absorbency.

“You can add it to the water or whatever suits you, along with your normal soap,” the creator said. “Go ahead and throw in your towels, turn it on, and do your normal cycle. … You’ll get rid of that towel funk.”

How it’s helping

Not only does the popular product harm human health and the environment, but it also can destroy your appliances.

Fabric softeners have been linked to reproductive harm via their chemical ingredients, including quaternary ammonium compounds and distearyldimonium chloride, which are toxic and can trigger asthma. Fragrances, preservatives, and other mystery components can also cause cancer.

There are more affordable alternatives to fabric softener and other cleaning products that can help reduce your plastic consumption as well as save money. As Plastic Free July pointed out, “Every step of the plastic-based fabric cycle creates plastic pollution from production to disposal.”

These natural inventions are just as effective and safer. Powdered laundry detergent, baking soda, and wool dryer balls are a few of the options growing in popularity.

What everyone’s saying

Some commenters were concerned that their laundry would smell vinegary after they employed the hack.

MerryMaids said it would not be a problem as long as you don’t use too much of the liquid for the load size and remember to still include detergent. They also noted it won’t mess up your washing machine — “it’s a well-known natural way to clean” — and that the acidity of the vinegar wouldn’t counteract the detergent, as one user worried. 

“I tried it with our dog blankets and it actually works really well,” one TikToker said. “No vinegar smell. Towels are next!”

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