How to Rid Towels of a Dead Mouse Smell


A dead mouse is a disgusting find. You're not the first person who has had to deal with its ramifications, particularly the putrid smell it leaves behind. If a mouse finds its way into your linen closet and dies, your towels will probably reek. Fortunately, washing and drying the towels with a little bit of extra TLC should take care of that dead mouse smell for good.

Things You'll Need

  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach, white vinegar or baking soda
  • Fill your washing machine with hot water. Thoroughly mix in your regular amount of laundry detergent plus 1 cup of bleach, white vinegar or baking soda. Caution: Do not use bleach with colored towels.

  • Stop the washer after it fills and add the stinky towels. Let the towels soak for at least 30 minutes.

  • Turn the washer back on and let it complete the wash, rinse and spin cycles.

  • Dry the towels in the dryer.

  • Launder the towels again if the odor persists. Use your laundry detergent plus a different additive -- bleach, vinegar or baking soda -- than the first time.

  • Dry the towels outdoors in full sunlight. Sunshine helps remove odors.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the dead mouse smell lingers in the washing machine, run an empty load using hot water and 1 cup of bleach or vinegar.
  • If the smell lingers in the dryer, wipe the inside down with a rag moistened with vinegar or a solutions of water and bleach. Leave the dryer door open while the solution dries.
  • Do not mix vinegar and bleach The mixture can produce harmful vapors, according to Michigan State University Extension.
  • Do not used bleach with colored towels, as it might cause them to fade.

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