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, or you may notice they do not feel the same when they come out of the dryer. If your towels feel less absorbent than they should, don’t despair.

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We’ve put together a few tips that can help revive them and make those towels more absorbent in just a few hours.

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 be using two different cleaning agents to get those towels fluffy again.

    1. For the first cycle, place your towels in the washing machine, 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 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 wash cycle, and don’t dry the towels before moving on to step four. Don’t worry, we’ll get rid of that vinegar smell in the next cycle.
    4. 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 your towels as you usually would.

Voila! 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. If your towels don’t feel more absorbent after this process, repeat the vinegar step with two cups instead of one.

Don’t try to take a shortcut and put the baking soda and vinegar in one load. You would essentially 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 fibers of the towels to strip out lingering detergent and fabric softener that can gunk up 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. You could try two bath towels, a couple of washcloths and a hand towel, for instance.

Use These Tips to Make 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 when you wash your towels. Fill below the line. You will still get everything clean, we promise. You may even 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 liquid fabric softener, too. The chemicals in fabric softener tend to be hydrophobic and repel water, which is the opposite of what we want our towels to do. Instead, try tossing it two dryer balls or clean tennis balls. They’ll fluff things up without imparting any chemicals.
  • 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 it’s 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 as well, and that can lead to an absorbency problem developing more quickly.

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Do you need new towels for your bathroom, kitchen or business? Check out our selection, and consider stocking up to take advantage of our wholesale pricing. You can save a lot when you buy a lot. Place your order for new towels today!

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