How to Wash Towels to Keep them Looking Good and Feeling Soft
Top Tips on How to Wash Towels
Ever wondered if you should wash towels differently compared to how you wash the rest of your clothes? The answer is yes! Your towels will benefit from a different washing method to keep them clean, fresh smelling and absorbent. Here are the basics for washing your towels.
Washing Towels for the First Time
When you bring those freshly purchased towels home, be sure to wash them before using them for the first time. Most bath towels have a finish on them and washing them will remove it and make your towels more absorbent. Another bonus, when you dry them, you will remove a significant amount of lint rather than getting that lint all over you when you’re fresh out of the shower.
What Setting to Wash Towels
Wash towels every three to four days. Be sure to separate towels by color when you wash them. Putting colored towels with your whites will not help those white towels stay their true white. Use warm water and color-safe bleach for colored towels. Use hot water and chlorine bleach for white towels.
Keeping Towels Soft
It might seem that fabric softeners would be the most obvious way to keep your towels nice and soft. But instead, hold back on the fabric softener and only use it every third or fourth wash. Fabric softeners can leave a residue on towels and make them less absorbent. Try using a good old-fashioned cup of vinegar in your load of towels as a natural fabric softener.
How to Dry Towels
The main idea here is to be sure to completely dry your towels. Don’t pull them out early while they’re a little damp. This can lead to smelly, mildewed towels. Just keep them in the dryer a little longer. Want to give them a little help on the softness end? Toss a few clean tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff up the fabric and keep them soft.
Deciding on Detergent
Remember that your towels are essentially being used to dry off an already-clean person. So they’re likely to not be near as dirty as you might think. Try washing them with about half the usual amount of detergent to keep them from getting stiff and retaining a residue from the detergent.
Stopping Towels from Smelling
If you find your towels are starting to get a not-so-great smell, then take the two-wash approach to deodorizing towels. First wash them in hot water with only a cup of white vinegar. (Skip the detergent!) Then wash them a second time in hot water with only a ½ cup of baking soda. Pop them in the dryer, and skip the dryer sheet. This method will strip the residue left on your towels over time from detergents and fabric softeners. Not only will your towels have a renewed freshness, they will be more absorbent too!
When your towels need some TLC to get a stain out, be sure to pre-treat them before you toss them in the washer and dryer. Missing this step could result in the stain getting set and a lot tougher, if not impossible, to get out later.
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