Stinky Towels

Posted by Ben Thompson on 08.16.09

I am a man of many particularities.  I hate stinky towels!  If I were to finish my shower and grab a towel, I would immediately hold it up to my nose and give it a sniff.  If it does not smell fresh and wonderful my body reacts with an uncontrollable shudder and on my worst days a girlish scream.

Stinky towels are typically caused by two things: 1) Not fully drying, 2) Really old towels not really drying.  If you too notice stinky towels there is a solution beyond just buying new towels.

Cleaning your dryer vent is you number one defense against stinky, damp towels afronting your morning shower routine.

To clean your dryer vent:

  1. Pull out the dryer. (Put down a sheet of masonite to protect the floor from scratching.)
  2. Remove the dryer vent.  If it's an accordian style flexible vent, consider throwing it out and replacing with solid (hard) pipe.
  3. Take apart the pipe at appropriate intervals for the available cleaning tools or at 90 degree bends.
  4. Put a tool through the vent.  (Typical options would be a broom handle and a rag.  A progressive option would be a Shower Loofa (a.k.a. - Shower Puff).  In August 2009 we had a caller to the Home Improvement Show share that he used a vacuum cleaner to blow a fishing line (with a mini parachute) through his 20+ dryer vent all the way to the outside.  Then he tied two lines to the shower loofa and pulled it back and forth through the vent pipe to clean it out.  When finished he unhooked the loofa and left it in the pipe for the next time he wanted to clean it.  Now that's brilliant!)  You can use a shop vacuum suck out most of the junk you've loosened with the above manual methods.
  5. Whatever cleaning method you use, make sure you take the cleaning all the way to the exterior of the house.

May you never experience a stinky towel again, My Friend.

Topics: Love Where You Live, Home Improvement Show, stinky towel