Why Do My Towels Smell Like Pee?

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Why Do My Towels Smell Like Pee? If your towels smell like pee, then there’s a high chance it may be actual pee smelling in the towels.

If you own pets, then it is likely it somehow got a hold of your towel and used it to relieve itself. With pets, you have to ensure you do not leave loose clothing around the house within the reach of the pet, that is the most guaranteed way to a mishap. However, there are other reasons your towels may be smelling like pee, and we will get to them in a second.

Pee-like smell on towels


Other reasons why your towels are smelling like pee/weird

Faulty plumbing

If you have bad or faulty plumbing and it has caused your pipes to become dirty, thereby contaminating your reservoir.

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Contaminated water will begin to smell after a couple of weeks when you use this water to shower and then wipe your body with your towels.

Or you use the contaminated water to wash your towels, it would make them smell. This foul smell may also possibly smell like pee.

If you notice your water smells weird, then you should get a professional to check it out immediately. You have to drain the pipes and clean out the reservoir, to get fresh water in them. Contaminated water can lead to adverse health conditions and should not be taken lightly.


This is caused when a fungal growth begins to form on damp surfaces when you do not dry your towels properly after use in a well-ventilated area.

Mildew can cause your towels to smell like pee, and if not properly washed when it begins to form, it will keep spreading and begin to affect the fabric of your towel making them more pliable.

When dealing with mildew, it’s important to act quickly and take measures to eliminate it before it begins to spread.

Dirty washing machine

Always remember to clean out your washing machine after several uses, by cleaning it out regularly you get rid of whatever lingering smell there may be.

When you wash your towels with a dirty washing machine, all the residue from the clothes it has cleaned may still be in the machine, and just because your clothes are now clean does not mean the dirt is gone from the world, where do you think the dirt ends up?

This dirt and particles will get into your towels, and even after you dry them completely, you may still find that it smells weird. By cleaning out your washing machine, you make it more sanitary and reduce the risk of contaminating your clothes.

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Actual pee

Do you have a dog or a cat? Or pets you keep indoors? We all know how sneaky cats can get and they are super cautious when peeing, they always look for a hidden spot to ease themselves.

If this hidden spot ends up being the dresser where you store your towels, you may not even notice until you want to use the towels and find out the very hard way.

Also, if you hang your towels within the reach of your dogs, they will make it their new plaything and pee all over it to lay claim.

You will be lucky if it’s just pee, they may also end up ripping all your towels to shreds. When you own pets and keep them indoors, you have to be careful not to keep your clothes laying around for them to convert into their personal toilet.

Toilet water

Since we are exploring possibilities, here is one that isn’t far fetched. If you tie your towel on your waist and use the toilet, you end up having to lose the towel and hanging it on your neck.

During this process, if any part of your towel accidentally touches the toilet water, it would lead to it smelling like pee. The thought of this happening makes me cringe, in any case, if your towels smell like pee— wash them immediately.

Dirty towels

How often do you wash your towels? When last did you wash your towel? If you’ve gone more than a month without washing the towel, then you are long overdue to do so. Towels are supposed to be washed regularly, depending on how often you use them, at least once or twice a week.

You can’t keep your towels for months without washing and expect it not to develop a smell after a while, no matter how much you air dry it.

Does not matter if it’s under direct sunlight or not, the fact remains that the dirt and dead skin are still in the fabric and the only way to get rid of them is by washing with soap and water.

What to do if your towels smell like pee?

There are steps you should take when you discover your towels smell like pee, by taking these vital steps you ensure it does not spread to your other towels or cause you any type of harm.


If it’s just one of your towels having this foul smell, then the first step would be to isolate the towels away from your other clothes.

By doing so, you protect the rest of the clothes, the smell may be transferable and mixing them up with your other clothes means you have more laundry to do. So, save your time and energy, isolate immediately when you discover the source of the smell.

Identify the cause

The next step would be to identify the cause of the pee smell on your towels. If any of the reasons listed above applies to your situation, then you need to take the appropriate measure to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Without identifying the cause of the problem, and dealing with it. You will have to deal with the problem again after a couple of days.

Deep clean

Now for the problem-solving part, you need to deep clean that towel, especially if it’s actual pee. I mean antibacterial laundry detergents, disinfectants, odour eliminators, all washed in very hot water to ensure you get all the stains and smell out completely.

If you need to purchase these here are links you should try HEX performance laundry packs and Clorox HE performance bleach.

Store properly

This part is the most underrated, but by not properly storing your towels after washing them. You run the risk of your pets getting all up in them and doing their business, also, when you store in a humid area that does not get enough ventilation, bacteria may start to grow on the surface. Always store your clothes in a cool and well-ventilated area to help them stay fresh.


Why do my towels smell after I wash them?

Similar to a point made earlier, washing your towels does not guarantee it will smell fresh, if not washed properly. Your towels can still have a smell about them after washing if you use contaminated water to wash, always ensure you use clean water.

Also, clean your washing machine regularly to get rid of the smell that may be brewing in there. Finally, store your towels properly. Don’t just pick a drawer and throw them in there.

What neutralizes urine smell?

There are several hacks you can find on the internet that get rid of urine smell, however, I would suggest you purchase urine neutralizing sprays that are safe for the human skin.

There are several cheap and super convenient odour-eliminating sprays on the market, and an example is Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator.

Will Febreze remove urine smell?

Febreze alone will not completely get rid of urine smell, you have to first wash it properly with fragrant soap, then when it dries completely you can use Febreze spray and hope for the best. But overall, the urine smell should be gone after a while under direct sunlight.

How do I fix smelly towels?

Always wash your towels regularly, store them ideally after washing. Shower regularly if you have an intense body odour, make sure you dry your towel properly after using it.

Some of these details are easy to ignore because you may think it isn’t really relevant, but the fact remains, if you adhere to these instructions, your towels won’t smell in the first place.

It’s better to prevent a bad thing from happening than trying hard later to fix it when it was easily avoidable in the first place.

No judgments, however, if your towels smell, identify the origin of the smell then work your way up from there and prevent it from occurring again.

Why Do My Towels Smell Like Pee – Conclusion

There are several reasons your towel may be smelling like pee, and the most common being the fact that it is actually pee smelling in them.

For pet owners, this is the most common cause of the pee smell because their cats or dogs have decided that the best toilet in the house is fluffy towels.

If you don’t own pets, however, you should explore your options and get to the bottom of the smell, that way you know the best cause of action to get rid of the smell completely. Cheers!

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