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Recharge your towels using a couple of pantry staples

I’m starting a new section on the blog…I’m calling it Pantry DIY. I’m a compulsive DIY’er. I ask myself if I can make something myself instead of buying it. A lot of times I can! This applies to cleaning products, beauty products, bubbles for my kids and even pillows. I’m super committed to being as crafty as possible. So here is my first post on Pantry DIY: Recharge your towels! I originally saw this on Pinterest and I tried it and it worked! It was incredible. I posted it to my personal blog and it was a huge hit. I don’t really have time to post over there anymore so I thought I’d post it here and spread the word to even more.

Okay, I should point out that I do wash my towels regularly but after a while they seem to develop a rather funky smell. I switched detergents with more powerful scents but that didnโ€™t work. I read somewhere that after a while soap and fabric softener build up and your towels need to be stripped to get rid of it all. So I tried this and it worked perfectly! No more funk. Recharge your towels


– I have a front load washer. I’ve tossed the vinegar straight onto the towels and I’ve also poured it into the detergent tray. The tray only holds about half a cup so I toss the rest onto the towels.  Seems to work both ways. I ALWAYS toss the baking soda onto the wet towels, never load into detergent tray.

– It works for all colors, not just white towels. I’ve used this process for white towels, green towels and dark blue towels.

– I’ve also done this with some eternally stinky work clothes and it worked like magic.

I had a lot of questions about this process so I tried to outline the process in detail. If you have any questions, leave it in the comments.

Recharge your towels
Keep your towels fresh with this DIY using two items you have in your pantry.
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  1. 1 cup vinegar
  2. 1/2 cup baking soda
  1. Run a load of towels through your washer on a normal cycle using hot water. DO NOT USE DETERGENT. Instead, pour vinegar onto the towels. If you have a top load washer, you can pour the vinegar in as the water is running. If you have a front load washer, you can pour the vinegar onto the towels and then close the door for the cycle to start.
  2. When the first cycle is done, open the washer and sprinkle the baking soda over the now wet towels. Start a normal cycle again with hot water and NO DETERGENT.
  3. When the second cycle is done, your towels are now clean and can be put in the dryer!
  1. DO NOT USE DETERGENT. This process only uses vinegar and baking soda. If you want your towels to have the scent of your detergent, you can run a third normal cycle with detergent....but your towels are already clean so, why waste water?
Delectable http://delectablebakehouse.com/
I searched this pin and could only find a picture with no link to a website source. So, whoever made this, big thanks to you! (If you know who originated this, please let me know so I can give them credit.)

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  • Joy
    December 16, 2016 at 4:33 am

    hi. I have been doing this for 39 years! By baby was allergic to all soaps … my grandmother had me do this… ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for bringing back sweet memories.

    • Darlene
      March 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      I did this but learned to run a cycle though using this to remove crud from washer first because baking soda removed soap scum from the wash machine you don’t want to leave it on your towels or clothing.

  • Glaiza
    July 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    This is a good guide which household keepers should know. Thanks for sharing a good one.

  • Jackie
    July 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Does this work only on white towels?

    • Nichelle
      July 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      No, it works on all colors. Even clothes!

  • Amanda
    June 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    i washed mine in the vinegar solution in the sink,then with the bicarbonate of soda solution then rinsed in the washing machine.My towels smell great,not fluffy but definitely fresh.thanks

    • Nichelle
      July 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm


  • Sidney Colbert
    June 16, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Curious as to why it has to be two different cycles. Couldn’t I just mix the vinegar and baking soda into the towels together? Just hate the thought of running two washes since I have to use a laundry mat.

    • Nichelle
      June 19, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      You want each one to do their job independently so two separate cycles are needed. Did you ever make a volcano in school and mix vinegar and baking soda to make it erupt with “lava”? Yeah, not ideal for laundry.

  • Dianna
    May 9, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    OMG this worked GREAT! Yes I will have to admit I did have some doubt, but I will be supplying my House with a Large bottle of Vinegar and I wl be keeping plenty of baking soda on hand…amazing how many things can be cleaned with just these two products…Thank you very much to whomever figured this out…my towels smell awesome now.

  • Stephanie Gail
    April 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    What about bleach? Will the vinegar and baking soda get them white without it?

    • Nichelle
      April 27, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      I don’t think adding bleach would hurt. If you try it, please let me know how it turned out.

  • Tunny
    April 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    How hot should the water be? 60 degrees?

    • Nichelle
      April 27, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Temp doesn’t matter

  • Rachel
    February 25, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Have you ever added scent boosters with the baking soda? I know it’s not necessary but I love the smell of the boosters.

    • Nichelle
      March 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      I have not but that’s a great idea! Thank you!

  • Carrie Soden
    January 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    How often do you do this? Every wash? Or just once they get funky?

    • Nichelle
      January 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      I do it only when they get funky. Maybe once a month or so.

  • ellie
    January 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Great idea, I hope it works!

    • Nichelle
      January 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Let me know if it worked for you!

  • Amanda
    September 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Do you just use white vinegar?

    • Nichelle
      September 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Yup! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tish
    September 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    How big of a load is this “recipe” good for?

    • Nichelle
      September 12, 2014 at 4:49 am

      A FULL load! It’s awesome. I have a front load that holds a pretty decent sized load (like 16 bath towels) and it works.

      • Tish
        September 12, 2014 at 5:10 am

        Thanks for the reply!!! Gonna give this a try soon!

  • Baking Soda: The Ultimate Cleaning Tool | Bonomo House Rules
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    […] also used baking soda and vinegar toย recharge my towels. It was as simple as running the laundry once with vinegar in the fabric softener cup and then […]

  • Recharge your towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda
    April 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    […] ***I posted this process again and with a little more detail on my other blog here. […]