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Why Is My Towel Shedding?

If you’ve ever purchased soft, new towels only to find that they leave behind tiny bits of lint everywhere, you’re not alone. But what causes towel pilling? Read on to learn more, along with ways you can help stop the extra fuzz and fluff from getting all over.


Why Is My Towel Shedding and Pilling?

Most towels are made from cotton, and cotton is a natural fiber that is subject to shedding. Lower-quality cotton fibers can make the situation worse since they are often shorter — and shorter fibers are more susceptible to pilling and shedding. High-quality materials such as Pima or Egyptian cotton have longer fibers, which reduces the tendency. Towels made from combed cotton will also not pill or shed as much because the threads are combed, which gets rid of the shorter fibers before the spinning process.

The age of your towels can also play a role in how much they pill or shed. Brand-new towels have undamaged fibers. With use, those fibers start to break down. This makes them shed and pill quite a bit, so it can seem like only new towels have the issue. However, even though it's not usually to the same extent, it does still happen with older towels as well since their fibers still experience wear with use.

How to Stop Fluff Coming off New Towels

If you find extra lint from your towels to be a problem, there are a few things you can do to help reduce it:

  • Freeze your new towels or soak them in cold water for a day. Once they have had their cold treatment, wash and dry them as you would normally.
  • Wash your new towels with either vinegar or baking soda before using them. If you are using vinegar, simply add a cup of vinegar into the wash. If you are using baking soda, dissolve half a cup of baking soda in about a cup of water and add it to the wash. In both cases, use hot water and your regular detergent.
  • Always run towels-only washer and dryer loads. Fibers in the towels can become damaged if they encounter zippers or buttons in a washer or dryer.
  • Make sure you have enough towels. Overusing towels can mean the fibers get worn down more quickly — causing them to pill and shed. If you are in the hospitality industry or in any business where you need to use towels, keep enough on hand to avoid excessive wear and tear.
  • Use dryers judiciously. Where possible, dry towels outside. This will allow lint to blow off naturally and will reduce damage to the fabric, which can help reduce pilling. If this is not possible, at least use a lower heat setting and remove towels as soon as they are dry.

Do You Need New Towels?

No matter how carefully you care for your towels, they eventually reach the end of their life cycle. If you need to replace your current towels, take advantage of the wholesale prices at Towel Super Center. We offer terry towels made from quality 100% cotton, and we offer a selection of sizes and colors.

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