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Why Your Towels Smell Worse In The Summer

It's not just you.

We hate to state the obvious, but have you noticed your towels smelling a bit gross during the hot summer months?

Besides the fact that you’re not washing your towels enough any time of year, summertime can create some additional issues.

Between the humidity in the air and the fact that you’re likely taking more showers than usual (here’s lookin’ at you, perpetual sweat), your towel may not be drying completely after each use ― especially if you don’t hang it up properly by spreading the material out as wide as possible.

When your towel can’t dry fully, moisture gets trapped in the material, and inevitably, that awful mildew smell ensues. The thicker and fluffier your bath towel, the longer it takes to dry and the more likely the material will trap moisture along the way.

The best way to avoid this is by hanging your towel in a place where it can completely air out. If you live somewhere with lots of sun, consider hanging it outside. But both these options might render themselves useless if it’s hot and humid outside and inside your home.

So this leaves you with two choices:

1. Wash your towels way more than you would in other seasons. But skip the fabric softener, which may do more harm than good. The product reduces your towel’s ability to absorb water or dry you off after a shower. It also locks in odors, meaning that mildewy smell could stick around even longer.

2. Purchase towels that are ideal for the hot summer weather. You can find quick-drying towel options at camping stores like REI, but even major retailers from Pottery Barn to Target offer cotton towels woven from a specific process that makes them dry faster than traditional cotton terry. Another option available to you are Turkish bath towels, which are flat-woven towels that dry fast and absorb moisture quickly.

So save those fluffy, cozy towels for the winter. Your nose will thank you.

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