HELOISE: Wanted: Towels that smell better

Dear Heloise: My question is about bath towels. After a few washings, they begin to take on an almost musty, moldy odor. How do I get rid of this smell?

Erin P., via email

This is a common problem, which has several possible causes. Overloading the washing machine usually is the main culprit, so try washing fewer towels using a high water-level setting and even a second rinse. Use the normal amount of laundry detergent plus 1/2 cup of baking soda OR washing soda (found in the laundry aisle).

Towels often lose absorbency from the overuse of fabric softener or sheets. These products can cause buildup on the towels when not used correctly, and then the towels will not absorb water as well. When water cannot thoroughly penetrate and clean the towels, it causes odor. Always check the manufacturer’s label before washing your towels. Some recommend not to use fabric softener (or bleach) at all.

Finally, be sure to always put the towels in the dryer ASAP.


Dear Heloise: I had a problem with my bedsheets and mattress cover. Every morning, I would wake up, and the sheets and mattress cover would be off the corner of the bed because of the plastic protective cover that was under them.

I solved this problem with a pair of my husband’s suspenders. I attached one side (two clips) to one end of the mattress cover, and put the other under the mattress and attached the other two clips to the other side. Worked great!

Pat C. in Danville, Ky.

Hello, Heloise: I used to check pockets and make sure there were no tissues, but still there would be lint on black clothes. I finally figured it out. If I wash black clothes after towels or fuzzy things, the lint gets attached to the washer. So, never wash black items after doing towels. Either rinse out the machine on a rinse cycle or take a microfiber cloth and wipe the inside of the washer.

Judy in Canfield, Ohio

And, here’s another laundry-day hint, from Loree Long of Weatherford, Texas. She says: “Love your column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I always have a tablecloth for spring. Before removing it to launder, I attach a safety pin on each stain that needs pretreating. Works every time, and you end up with a clean tablecloth for the next family/friend lunch or dinner.”


Dear Heloise: To keep from cutting yourself on a sharp knife in a kitchen drawer, I take a round tube from a used paper-towel roll and staple one end two or three times. I use it to hold a long, sharp knife. The same idea works with a toilet-paper tube and shorter paring knives. The knives fit nicely and safely in any kitchen drawer.

Betty Blaser-Perkins in Ventura, Calif.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate

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