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Bounty Paper Towels / Stink

1 CA, United States Review updated:

Proctor and Gamble's Bounty Paper Towels give off this horrendous smell once they are wet. I always purchase the 8-pack at Costco, but the last time I did, I started noticing a horrible chemical smell emitting from the wet paper towel. The smell is so bad, that I refuse to use them to wrap veggies in, or even to pat fruit dry. The paper towels ruined a whole stalk of celery to the point where it was inedible. What is going on? I've written the company, only to receive a coupon with no explanation. Has anyone else had this problem???

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  • Ks
      14th of Nov, 2017
    0 Votes

    This is the first time I noticed the horrible chemical smell, it gets worse if they are wet. We purchased these from Walmart but as I read these complaints they are coming from everywhere. We will just be returning these not sure what brand we'll be switching to.

  • An
      31st of Oct, 2017
    0 Votes

    I have noticed them smelling fishy, especially the last half. I told daughter not to buy them anymore can't stand the smell.

  • Ke
      30th of Oct, 2017
    0 Votes

    Ha! I knew I wasn’t imagining it. My son and my husband can’t smell it. Of course they spend half their time working on trucks. I never noticed it until yesterday, toward the end of a roll. I used was as a napkin and it was very obvious. The next roll was the same but a roll from a different pack is okay. There must be manufacturing errors made with some chemical they use. This is it for me and Bounty.

  • Sm
      27th of May, 2017
    +1 Votes

    Bounty is, or was, our go-to paper towel. We like the half-size sheets and the strength. But wife and I were perplexed at the smell. We even did tests with dry and wet to see if we were losing our minds. Even the dry ones smell if you hold them tight to your nostrils. There's the faint odor of what I'd describe as cat pee, but others might call a sour rag or chemical smell. And when they get wet, wow. I don't recall them smelling so terrible in the past, but now I'm wondering if I haven't been smelling this for a while and attributing it to other sources.
    Proctor & Gamble: What the hell?? Please respond to this, I'd prefer to continue using Bounty towels, but the smell is a game changer.

  • Ra
      19th of Apr, 2017
    0 Votes


  • Je
      23rd of Jun, 2016
    0 Votes

    I bought a pack of Bounty paper towels from Costco yesterday, I put some of the individually wrapped packs in a cupboard and when I opened the cupboard this morning the smell was overwhelming. A horrible chemical smell, even though they are still wrapped in plastic. I unwrapped one and I do not feel it is safe to use these near food or even to wipe my counters and I am wondering if they are toxic.

  • De
      17th of Mar, 2016
    0 Votes

    We've had the same problem with all brands for as long as I can remember, and I'm 50. Well maybe not as long as I can remember, but at least since I was a teenager, and started paying attention, 30 plus years ago. Recently we had the problem with Brawny, which is produced by the Georgia-Pacific company and from Walmart's store brand. The lady for Brawny said she had worked there for years, and was older than 50, and had never heard of the problem, which I couldn't believe; and she made me feel like maybe it was just me. I'm so thankful I looked it up online and see that it isn't just me. Now, I feel like the paper towel industry is trying to hide something. The Brawny towels have a strong smoke smell, and when you get them wet, they have strong sour smell. I figure the smoke smell is deliberately put there to hide the sour smell. Maybe when they're making the paper during the drying process some sort of bacteria has gotten in there and they use the smoke not only to help in the drying but again, to help cover up any foul odors. The Walmart generic brand simply stinks, with a slight sour smell that gets worse when you wet them. Brawny sent us a coupon so we got a new 8 pack. They don't have the smell, but have a chemical smell with a slight powderiness or something; and when I breathed it in to smell it, it became slightly hard for me to breath, like I have something in my throat and lungs. I'm thinking of stopping using paper towels altogether. They're too expensive anyway. Also, as a side note, toilet paper has the same smell sometimes, too, but not that often. I don't smell it in facial tissue. I'm sure the same people are making all three products, what's the difference? Why can't paper towels and toilet paper be odor free like facial tissue?

  • He
      7th of Feb, 2016
    0 Votes

    I just opened the bounty paper towels that I purchased from Walmart ..Washed my hands with one and an awful smell was on my hands.. I can't even be around..It smells like a very strong chemical and I hope to God that using these for years has not caused any medical problems..This is a BIG DEAL to me! I will be contacting someone regarding this...perhaps an attorney..BBB...Consumer Affairs.../these papertowels are toxic...!

  • Ma
      4th of Jan, 2016
    +1 Votes

    I just discovered the oily/metallic smell of wet Bounty paper towels. We've used this brand for years, and they haven't always been like this.. I thought maybe it was a problem with the water heater or the kitchen faucet. Fortunately, I had an older partial roll of Bounty paper towels in a cupboard upstairs so I tested it with hot water from the kitchen. No bad smell. It had a bit of a scent, but it was more like flowers. There are complaints online about lots of different brands that have this problem. Maybe the only solution is to make the change to using washable cloths to do the cleanup. (My daughter doesn't use paper towels, probably because they're too expensive for her budget.)

  • Su
      30th of Sep, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I have used Bounty paper towels for many 20--30 years. Now, I buy them at Sam's Club and for the last year they smell like smoke. As if they were made in a place that had been on fire. I thought I was nuts until I read all of these comments. I will be changing brands.

  • Lk
      24th of Apr, 2015
    0 Votes

    Bounty paper towels have smelled for years now. Before that, I had been using them for a decade or more with no smell problems. I reported the problem to them many times, but they refuse or don't know how to fix it. I eventually switched to Costco's Kirkland brand of paper towels, which have no smell.

  • Cs
      11th of Mar, 2015
    +1 Votes

    Same problem and I am switching brands as well, once I googled this and realized I wasn't crazy, others were having the same issues

  • Ab
      5th of Jan, 2015
    +2 Votes

    I've also noticed a mildew odor when these towels are wet. I've had some rolls that were fine, but the last two both smelled terrible. I'm reluctant to keep using them, in case they're now being processed with some sort of harmful chemical.

  • Js
      8th of Oct, 2014
    +2 Votes

    i am pregnant and kept smelling faint urine... its coming from my brand new roll of paper towels, !!! I want to have them tested

  • Ti
      14th of Jul, 2017
    +1 Votes


  • No
      17th of Sep, 2014
    +1 Votes

    The Bounty towels smell OK until they are moistened. Then they have a disagreeable moldy smell. We're returning them and getting another brand until the problem is corrected

  • Fl
      10th of Aug, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I have just noticed this problem within the past year or two, but it is not unique to a particular brand. I have not been able to find a brand that does not have the awful smell. It is bad enough that I have almost stopped using them, but that is impractical. If anyone knows of a brand without the stink, please share! I don't remember this being a problem in the past - wonder if something has changed in this industry?

  • Ba
      8th of Aug, 2014
    +2 Votes

    They stink so bad I'll never by this brand again.

  • Al
      18th of May, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I just experience it now and found out that people had complaint years before. What is going on and why it couldn't be fixed? I bought them from Costco too. When I used bounty to wipe the table, I noticed a horrible smell like urine. I tried to smell every where and finally found out it was from the paper towers.

  • Co
      14th of Dec, 2013
    +2 Votes

    I just returned a 8 pack bounty paper towels from Target and purchased a new pack thinking that one had the problem. But just opened the new one and it's also smells bad when wet or when I bring it to my nose. Glad I saw your posts and not thought that I was going crazy. I hope something can be done about it soon cause I had been using bounty paper towels for a long time and really liked them. It's a shame.

  • Wd
      26th of Nov, 2013
    +3 Votes

    I did not ever think I would post a comment on paper towels. But they have a horrible smell. Almost like Cheetos or like an electrical fire smell. I have a fish tank and would use the bounty towels to wash my hands after cleaning the tank. It took this chat room to realize I did not have an issue in my saltwater tank. Now I know. Funny that I had guests just commenting on the stinky smell of my pairs towels. Caused a lot of trouble for no reason. Shame on bounty.

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