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Odor in white paper towels

Posted Sun May 24, 2009 6:17 pm, by Nicholas S. written to Bounty

Write a Letter to this Company

The plain white paper towels, both standard rolls AND the Select-a-Size now have a distinct, unappealing ODOR. Quite noticible when you get them near your face. Is this a manufacturing problem?

I would like Bounty to return to an ODORLESS white paper towel.


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by Mother of 2 Posted Sat November 28, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

I'm just going to be blunt...they smell like fish! I agree, the odor
is worse when they are wet. What irritates me most is the way that
awful 'fishy' scent lingers on my hands (as well as the surfaces I've
used them on.) I'm new to this site but noticed folks have been
complaining about this issue since 2009 & yet it remains unresolved.

Hello Bounty, What's the deal here?!


by a nonny mouse Posted Fri April 10, 2015 @ 11:06 AM

Found an article that is somewhat interesting about what they actually
use to manufacture the paper towels... could the adhesive or polymers
be the source of the smell?


by Grammylu Posted Wed November 6, 2013 @ 11:02 PM

So glad I found this thread. Thought I was me but, for sure, these
Bounty Select-A-Size purchased from Sam's in Concord, CA in late
October STINK!! Had my son pick some up when I was down to a couple
rolls and just opened them up. Have used Bounty for years and have
NEVER encountered this woody scent that wafts up when I dry my hands
or pick up a spill. Will be calling 1-800-9 BOUNTY in the am to let
them know. Wondering what, if anything, Bounty has done for other
complaining customers.


by jessica w. Posted Sun October 21, 2012 @ 1:19 AM

just bought some paper towels in california as well. noticed a smell.
have been using bounty for years and never noticed this. i went back
to home depot and sniffed thru all of bounty's bags trying to find one
w/o the smell with no luck. picked up a generic brand and they didn't
have the smell.

i threw out the pack but saved a few with the label and stuffed it
into a ziplock bag to send to the company. of course this was after i
had lined all of my pantries with them. even though i pulled them out
and re-lined them with actual pantry liner, the smell is still getting
to the dishes on top of them.

my husband could only smell it when they were wet. to me it smelled
like an old ashtray. was disgusting. hopefully the company will know
what is going on.

by john g. Posted Mon October 24, 2011 @ 1:03 AM

Hi I got some bounty towels from target and they do smell when wet. A
while back when it was hotter here in california the whole paper towel
aisle stank like these paper towels. The smell is also similar to that
bad toe nail smell that akes people immediately rub their nose. You
know the smell. Well in my research I believe that the fungus
asgergillus or scorparta becaulis (spelling) is involved here. I know
for a fact these two very bad mold/funguses cause severe toe nail
infections and love to live off of paper and keratin. They love to get
transported through hot air and settle on moist places. Id say that
bountys packaging place has a problem with these two funguses and its
getting in the paper. It could be because of one persons toe infection
working there or the molds are living in the pacaking wharehouse.
These two funguses can be deadly, especially the scorpata becaulis
which turns adhesives and paint into arsenic. Both molds stink like a
wet watermellon and garlic gas.

by Bob S. Posted Tue February 22, 2011 @ 5:06 PM

I also have been noticing this unappealing odor for a few months with
many different 8 pack purchases for my office and home. That's why I
found this post! I'm so disappointed because I love Bounty but the
smell is not acceptable! I live in Missouri.


by LisaLisa Posted Sun July 19, 2009 @ 11:05 PM

They totally stink. I bought a 12 pack (12 mega = 18 regular) and
they're fine when they're dry. But dry your hands on them or get them
wet and they reek like I don't know what. It's a horrible smell. I
guess I'll have to buy some other brand because the smell is terrible.

by dottiejean28 Posted Wed May 27, 2009 @ 11:04 AM

I only ask because, when I buy an emergency roll of paper or napkins
from 7-11, they reek terribly, and I was told because they are stored
next to the coffee beans ground coffee in the stock room.


you are wrong by S H. Tue December 21, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

by MA Cunningham Posted Tue May 26, 2009 @ 9:09 AM

recycled towels? Not that it should be any excuse for them to stink,
but I just wonder if that could be the source of the odor you're


That's what I thought, too by ♫Venice♫ Wed May 27, 2009 @ 2:48 AM

by Nate! Posted Tue May 26, 2009 @ 8:36 AM

If this persists, I would try a different brand. Hopefully they
receive more feedback such as yours so that they realize the customer
is not satisfied and change whatever causes the odor.

Question though- I do not use paper towels in my house. Are they
normally put to the face? In the commercials, the moms are always
wiping up spills, etc. Maybe you sniffing them recently led you to
discover an odor that has always been present. Just a thought.


well in a pinch... by PepperElf Tue May 26, 2009 @ 9:10 PM

by Nate! Posted Tue May 26, 2009 @ 8:36 AM

If this persists, I would try a different brand. Hopefully they
receive more feedback such as yours so that they realize the customer
is not satisfied and change whatever causes the odor.

Question though- I do not use paper towels in my house. Are they
normally put to the face? In the commercials, the moms are always
wiping up spills, etc. Maybe you sniffing them recently led you to
discover an odor that has always been present. Just a thought.

by Jo23 Posted Mon May 25, 2009 @ 3:15 AM

Several months ago I noticed this too in the Bounty towels. It was
awful! I stopped buying them for a while because of this. I just
recently bought some more at Target because they were on sale and they
did not have the odor. I wonder what it could be from?


I noticed it too by Dulcie H. Wed May 27, 2009 @ 11:48 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Mon May 25, 2009 @ 1:17 AM

This letter reminded me: I visited Old Chicago on Friday with
friends, for lunch, and we all smelled a "sewer" type smell, but we
couldn't figure out from where it would be coming.

Finally, I put the (new) menu to my nose and it reeked of ASS! My
friends smelled their menus and agreed completely. Cat butt. I have
three cats. I know what cat butt smells like and it ain't pretty.

We picked our orders are quickly as possible then had the waiter take
the menus away, because they made our entire dining area REEK.

Thanks for the reminder. I just emailed Old Chicago via their
website. I would have sent a letter via this site but there was no
email address at their website -- only a contact form to fill out.


Let me see if I have this straight..... by LadyMac Mon May 25, 2009 @ 3:16 PM

We didn't know the source of the smell by RedheadwGlasses Mon May 25, 2009 @ 3:27 PM

I know the smell you're talking about by ♫Venice♫ Mon May 25, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

Or by Just Brenda Tue May 26, 2009 @ 12:37 PM

I've had brand new plastic with that smell by ♫Venice♫ Tue May 26, 2009 @ 4:56 PM

Ewww by Just Brenda Wed May 27, 2009 @ 8:01 AM

Menus by Donno Mon May 25, 2009 @ 7:33 PM

OMG! by MA Cunningham Tue May 26, 2009 @ 9:07 AM

by Harley Has A New Cat Posted Sun May 24, 2009 @ 9:20 PM

I'm very sensitive to odors and have not noticed any at all and I've
recently purchased three multi packs of them.

by oupiglet Posted Sun May 24, 2009 @ 7:44 PM

I recently bought Bounty paper towels and both my husband and myself
commented on the odor of the towels especially if they get damp.
We've gone back to the lower priced, non-stinky, Sparkle brand.


by ♫Venice♫ Posted Sun May 24, 2009 @ 7:29 PM

The height of boredom... I am now smelling my paper towels.

I use Bounty, too (prints), and there is no unusual smell. I would
know because I am very sensitive to smell and use them to blow my

By any chance, are you referring to the new "Save a Tree" variety that
Marcal and Scott came out with? I haven't seen Bounty's version, but
I'm sure it's on the way. And don't buy into the "Save a Tree" idea
because I tried Marcal and they are so wimpy and small, you need two
instead of one. I was going to write a letter but couldn't find
Marcal in the system here.


by Donno Posted Sun May 24, 2009 @ 6:58 PM

and I have not noticed an odor. But I don't put them anywhere near my

I like this product, though a housewife I know thinks Select A Size is
a completely useless product. I grew up in a house where the paper
towels were usually ripped in half, so I find them perfect (:
Depression era parents... To me, using a whole paper towel is like,
well, it's like drinking a 16 ounce Snapple or eating a whole
chocolate bar in one sitting.


My mother tore them in half, too by ♫Venice♫ Sun May 24, 2009 @ 7:31 PM

Hey! by Donno Sun May 24, 2009 @ 11:11 PM

by Bill R. Posted Sun May 24, 2009 @ 6:34 PM

Good observation.
In the meantime you might place a few of them in a sealed plastic bag
just in case the company asks you to send them. Plus, hold onto the
package for the lot number etc.
Stop back when you hear back.


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