Bounty Towels / Stink

California, MD, 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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  • Gr
      23rd of Apr, 2012


    -2 Votes
  • Go
      13th of Jun, 2012

    Yes, I recently had this unfortunate experience for the first time ever, after using Bounty paper towels for years and years. When you get them near your face it smells like a strong chemical smell, like paint or caulk. I threw them out, afraid to get near food. I thought that maybe it was because I purchased them in a hardware store, and maybe the sort of smell that one notices inside the hardware store had permeated through the plastic wrap and aborbed itself into the paper. However, I see many people across the net also posting about this problem. I will switch to Brawny or Viva after I check the label and see who manufactures it. Bounty is manufactured by Procter and Gamble.

    +2 Votes
  • An
      30th of Sep, 2012

    Mine reek like a moldy wet rag. They arE vile!

    +3 Votes
  • Ra
      5th of Oct, 2012

    The ones purchased from Costsco smell like they were soaked in kerosene! Hmmm... another snaeky petroleum product makes its way into the food chain and our sacred bodies are violated yet again by Big Oil.

    -1 Votes
  • Je
      20th of Oct, 2012

    same problem. just sent in a complaint on label code 3700081760, i hope i dont get a coupon. the smell has ruined the inside of all my pantries. i didnt know where the smell was coming from. and had lined every cupboard with them. now it's transferring to my dishes. smells like old wet ashtrays.

    +3 Votes
  • Cr
      5th of Nov, 2012

    Yes, what the heck, same thing. Been buying Bounty for years! Are these being made in China with toxic ink???? Bounty better come clean about this - no pun intended ;-)

    +1 Votes
  • Ap
      5th of Nov, 2012

    I use them to wipe my bum and come too think of it they do smell really bad after.

    -4 Votes
  • An
      25th of Jan, 2013

    wow! I quickly use one if I need to blow my nose, and it smells like smoke! I feel like the chemicals are hurting my lungs!

    +1 Votes
  • Wd
      26th of Nov, 2013

    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.

    +3 Votes
  • Co
      14th of Dec, 2013

    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.

    +2 Votes
  • Al
      18th of May, 2014

    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.

    +1 Votes
  • Ba
      8th of Aug, 2014
    Best Best Advice

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

    +4 Votes
  • Fl
      10th of Aug, 2014

    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?

    +2 Votes
  • No
      17th of Sep, 2014

    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

    +2 Votes
  • Js
      8th of Oct, 2014

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

    +2 Votes
  • Ti
      14th of Jul, 2017


    +1 Votes
  • Ab
      5th of Jan, 2015

    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.

    +3 Votes
  • Cs
      11th of Mar, 2015

    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

    +2 Votes
  • Lk
      24th of Apr, 2015

    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.

    +2 Votes
  • Su
      30th of Sep, 2015

    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.

    +1 Votes
  • Ma
      4th of Jan, 2016

    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.)

    +1 Votes
  • He
      7th of Feb, 2016

    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...!

    0 Votes
  • De
      17th of Mar, 2016

    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?

    +1 Votes
  • Je
      23rd of Jun, 2016

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
      19th of Apr, 2017


    0 Votes
  • Sm
      27th of May, 2017

    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.

    +1 Votes
  • Ke
      30th of Oct, 2017

    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.

    0 Votes
  • An
      31st of Oct, 2017

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

    0 Votes
  • Ks
      14th of Nov, 2017

    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.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      6th of Oct, 2018

    Yes. Noticed the stink. They stink like wet clothes left in the washer overnight or wet dirty towels. Switching brand. Curious if there made from recycled paper and water. Since we use them for just about everything, including during meals. I don't want my young grand children, one is still who are here most of the time using these any. This is disturbing.

    +2 Votes
  • Sh
      25th of Oct, 2018

    I just noticed this horrid smell coming from the paper towels. It's a chemical like odor, similar to febreeze. There are a lot of chemically sensitive people out there including myself. Please fix this problem or I will not buy another Bounty Towell.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
      12th of Nov, 2018

    Yes, for about a year now. I don’t always notice it, but if I dry my hands with one and wipe my face with it I can smell mildew. I actually googled this because it’s really starting to concern me. I’ve been using Bounty for as long as I can remember and I’d like to point out I didn’t notice this while living in NY, but since I now live in Nevada I have noticed it. It’s really strange and I hate other paper towel brands and the way they feel, so I keep buying them. Cleaning something up before, I had noticed it’s not every sheet it’s every few that smells like mildew once wet. I can’t believe I’m not the only one.

    +1 Votes
  • Ra
      16th of Jan, 2019

    [protected] 16th of Jan, 2019
    My comment is the same as everyone else - using paper towels (Bounty brand from Costco & Supermarket). It doesn't matter if they are bundled as plain paper towels or individually wrapped in plastic, they stink. I would describe the smell like a "sour body-odor smell" - the kind folks get after working out in the gym or after getting sweaty in the summertime & continuing to wear the same offense clothing into the evening PHEW!!! I noticed the smell and was using bleach water sprayed on my counter tops to kill the stench. Then I had the same experience many other consumers had - I used a dampened paper towel to wipe my mouth in the kitchen, and the smell from the paper towel almost knocked me over. I'm beginning to think the manufacturers are using recycled "paper by-products" and mixing it in with regular paper. Something disgusting has changed in the paper towel industry.
    I'm not going to purchase products that are going to create more work. Back to terry towels...

    +2 Votes
  • Vi
      17th of Jan, 2019

    I am also experiencing the same horrible stench from bounty paper towels. At first I thought it might have absorbed something smelly in my office, but after reading all these posts I know its not that.

    My business partner always buys bounty for the office, and I remember at this time last year there was Starwars printed bounty rolls on sale. We purchased those, and I found they had the same sour (body odour, chemical like) stench. The rolls didn't look mouldy, but something about them smelled rotten. I used some of these paper towels, before I smelled the stench, to clean my eyes (I have chronic dry eyes and need to clean my eyes on the regular to get rid of residuals from my eye drops) only to end up with an eye infection a few days later. The next time I went to use the paper towels, I inspected them further only to be blown away by the foul odour.

    We just purchased another pack of bounty recently, with no coloured ink in them, and they have the same foul, sour, stench as the last batch. I feel like these paper towels are contaminated and unsafe to use on food-stuffs or personal care. At most, these paper towels will be used to clean up messes on the floor or in the bathroom.

    0 Votes

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