How to Make Towels Last: Refresh Towels So They Stay Soft and Absorbent

How to Make Towels Last: Refresh Towels So They Stay Soft and Absorbent

Many homeowners aim to make their towels last longer than a few years. If you want to refresh your towels to make them soft and absorbent, consider helpful tips like using the vinegar and baking soda method, washing with nonchlorine bleach, and implementing effective drying tactics. Explore how to make your towels look clean and fresh again.

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How Do You Refresh Towels?

Whether you own a gym, hotel or spa, when you buy towels for your business, you want the right ones for the job. Selecting the best material for your towels is critical in ensuring they serve their purpose — keeping your customers dry, clean and comfortable.

Depending on your specific situation and business, towel refreshes might be necessary every week or every few months. Here is how to use the vinegar and baking soda method and how often you should refresh your towels.

How to Wash Towels in Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two common household cleaners with helpful properties for towel refreshes. Because vinegar contains acetic acid, it dissolves grime and mineral deposits on your towels. Baking soda is alkaline, which helps to neutralize odors.

To give your towels a deep clean, follow these steps:

  1. Wash with vinegar and hot water: Wash your towels in white vinegar and hot water. Be sure to use about one cup of vinegar for each load, and avoid using fabric softeners or detergents.
  2. Wash a second time: After the first wash, add a half-cup of baking soda and wash the towels in hot water again.
  3. Dry properly: Dry your towels on the hottest setting your dryer can provide. Don’t be afraid of the high temperature, as it can improve the refresh outcome of your towels. Afterward, hang them outside so they have a fresh smell.
  4. Check for an “off” smell: Check for any leftover odors or grime after washing and drying. If you still think the towels smell “off,” consider putting the load back in the washer and repeating the previous steps. This time, add two cups of vinegar and allow the towels to soak for longer.

Why Does the Baking Soda and Vinegar Method Work?

Both vinegar and baking soda can strip the residue from your towels. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner due to its acidic properties, which target large buildups and strip away dirt and grime. It can also act as a reliable fabric softener. It’s essential to stay away from fabric softener because it can coat the fibers of your towels with chemical oils, preventing them from ever getting truly clean.

Baking soda is a natural absorber, making it a great cleaner for businesses that want to eliminate odors in their towels. Many odors are acidic, and because baking soda is made from basic chemicals, it effectively neutralizes acids in the air and on the towel’s materials.

Do not mix the vinegar and baking soda in the same load when trying the vinegar and baking soda method. While both cleaners can be effective on their own, the two substances combined will cause a chemical reaction that will make your machine overflow with foam.

How Often Should You Refresh Your Towels?

So, how often should you use baking soda and vinegar? It all depends on your usage. If you have a new set of towels, be sure to toss them into the washer as soon as possible before using them. Run them through a cycle alone with baking soda and vinegar. Then, dry them with a dryer sheet or ball to encourage maximum fluffiness and prevent shedding. This method can rid new towels of any residual odors.

Toss used and old towels into baking soda and vinegar baths every four to six weeks. You can vary the frequency depending on how often you use your towels and put them through regular laundering.

For instance, if you have a few towels that you rotate, the towels will probably start to absorb unwanted fragrances after a few weeks. Running them through a vinegar-baking soda cycle helps them release smells and reduces buildup along the fibers.

9 Tips to Keep Your Towels Fresh

While the vinegar and baking soda method is effective, it is only the first step toward towel freshness. Explore a few tips and tricks for towel maintenance and simple care:

  1. Hang to dry: Hang up your towel to dry immediately after drying off after a bath or shower.
  2. Check before folding: Check if your towels are fully dry before folding and stashing them in your closet. Even the tiniest amount of moisture can cause unwanted odor.
  3. Measure detergent: Measure out only the amount of detergent you need. Even trace amounts of excess detergent can cause unwanted towel odors.
  4. Avoid fabric softener: Steer clear of fabric softener when drying towels in a machine dryer. Residue from the fabric softener will make your towels less absorbent.
  5. Wash towels before first use: Wash your towels before using them for the first time. Most towels have finishes like silicone that prevent them from absorbing moisture. The coating makes them appear extra-fluffy when you buy them. Washing the towels removes these finishes and permits higher levels of absorbency.
  6. Wash towels often: Wash your towels often or every three to four days. Wash colored towels with warm water and color-safe bleach. For white towels, use nonchlorine bleach if needed and hot water. Always wash white towels with other white items to avoid discoloration over time.
  7. Wash towels separately: Wash towels separately from clothes for sanitary reasons. Plus, damp towels dry slower than clothes.
  8. Shake your towels: Shake your towels out immediately after removing them from the washer. Doing this will fluff the terry loops that aid absorbency and prevent towels from contorting into a ball in the dryer.
  9. Avoid the iron:Keep it just for your clothes — ironing towels can reduce their ability to absorb moisture.

How to Make Towels Absorbent Again

Over time, your fresh, fluffy towels may become flat and rough. The stress of regular use and specific cleaning chemicals can alter their water-retaining properties. They may develop a slightly mildewy smell. You may notice they do not feel the same when they come out of the dryer. If the towels feel less absorbent than they should, don’t despair. Explore some tips for improving towel absorbency and making them more absorbent in just a few hours.

How to Make Old Towels More Absorbent

How to Make Old Towels More Absorbent

The secret to making your towels more absorbent is to run them through the washer twice without using detergent. You’ll use two different cleaning agents to make those towels fluffy again. Follow these steps:

  1. Place in the washer: Place your towels in the washing machine for the first cycle, but don’t overload it. Only fill it about halfway, and don’t put anything in the wash besides the towels. Start a hot-water rinse cycle and let it fill up completely. The hot water helps break down chemicals and contaminants on the towels.
  2. Add white vinegar: Add about a cup of white vinegar to the mix, which will further help break down any chemicals that have made your towels less absorbent.
  3. Start the cycle: Start the wash cycle, and don’t dry the towels before moving on to step four. You can be rid of the vinegar smell in the next cycle.
  4. Fill a second load with hot water: Do the same as before and fill the washer with hot water. This time, add a half-cup of baking soda to the load. Finish the wash cycle.
  5. Dry as normal: Dry your towels as you usually would.

After using this method, you should have fluffy towels ready to sop up all the water you need. This method will work on bath towels, dish towels, kitchen towels — pretty much all of them — leaving them fresh and soft. Repeat the vinegar step with two cups instead of one if your towels don’t feel more absorbent after this process.

Don’t try to take a shortcut and put the baking soda and vinegar in one load. You would be making a giant version of a science-fair volcano. It can damage your washer and make a huge mess.

Why is this an effective means of cleaning the towels? The vinegar and baking soda attack the towels’ fibers to strip out lingering detergent and fabric softener that can damage your towels.

The chemical oils from these substances make the fibers feel heavy and block absorbency.

Wash only a few towels at a time when using this method. Doing so will allow them to get thoroughly cleaned and ensure the vinegar and baking soda do their jobs. Try two bath towels, a couple of washcloths and a hand towel.

4 Tips for Making Towels Absorbent Again

In addition to employing the baking soda and vinegar solution, you can also try out these other ideas to increase the absorbency of your towels:

  • Use less detergent: Use less detergent when you wash your towels. Fill below the line. You will still get everything clean, we promise. You can save a little on detergent by making it last longer. Excess detergent can leave an oily residue on your towels that can keep water from absorbing.
  • Decrease your use of fabric softeners: Decrease using liquid fabric softeners, too. The chemicals in fabric softeners tend to be hydrophobic and repel water, which is the opposite of what we want our towels to do.
  • Use dryer balls: Instead, try tossing it into two dryer balls or clean tennis balls. They’ll fluff things up without imparting any chemicals.
  • Hang towels outside: Hang the towels outside to dry every few months if possible. Sunshine naturally helps kill off some of the bacteria that can lead to the funky smell and lack of absorbency. Clothing also dries more thoroughly when outside than when you stick it in the dryer.

Never overload your washer. When you do this, the machine cannot do its job, and the detergent will not get equally distributed. You won’t be washing your towels either, which can lead to an absorbency problem developing more quickly.

How to Make Towels Last Longer

Many homeowners and business owners wonder how to make towels soft again to improve the material’s longevity. Many towels are sturdy and soft when you first buy them. After a couple of wash cycles, they might lose their absorbency and thickness. After a year, it’s time to get new towels and start the process again. How can this be avoided?

The answer isn’t switching to a different brand or type of towel. It’s how you take care of them. At Towel Super Center, we know the ins and outs of keeping your towels as fresh and soft as the day you got them.

How to Make Towels Soft Again

When towels start to get rough, they’re scratchy, don’t dry well and are overall unpleasant. They become the towels to avoid in your closet, which takes up space and will probably be replaced with a new towel at some point.

How do you keep the softness of a new towel? It’s all in how you wash it.

  • Use small loads: Overloading your washer will prevent your towels from getting clean. Towels need room for water and airflow to wash and dry them properly.
  • Stay on cycle: It’s easy to leave a load of laundry in the wash and say you’ll get to it tomorrow. This leaves them sitting in damp conditions for hours and will become a perfect storm for mold and mildew to start growing. When doing a load of laundry, give yourself time to get through the whole process of washing, drying and putting them away.
  • Don’t leave towels around: When towels are left on the ground, they collect bacteria you could quickly transfer to your body when you use them again. It’s even worse when the towel is moist. Folding a damp towel can still lead to mold and mildew. While you can get more than one use out of a towel, do not leave it on the floor. Hang it up in a clean space so it can thoroughly dry before you use it again.
  • Dry them properly: When drying towels, use dryer sheets sparingly. They cover materials and will make your towels less absorbent. The material will tell you which setting to use. Cotton towels should be dried at high heat, and more delicate fabrics should be dried at lower settings. If you’re using a clothesline, make sure your towel is clipped to the line evenly.

Get Quality Towels in Bulk From Towel Super Center

Get Quality Towels in Bulk From Towel Super Center

At Towel Super Center, you can shop wholesale towels with ease. You can order towels in bulk for your gym, spa, salon or business, or browse our selection of towels for the exact size, color, function or style that fits your preferences. We offer everything from wholesale towels and bath towels to hand towels and washcloth towels. Explore our products online today!

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