How to Make Towels Last Longer

How to Make Towels Last Longer

A soft, fluffy towel is one of life’s simple luxuries. When you step out of the shower, you should know you’ve got a comfortable and clean towel waiting for you. Bath towels should be absorbent, gentle and plush.

Many towels start this way when you buy them. But after a couple of wash cycles, they might start to lose their absorbency and thickness. After a year, it’s time to get new towels and start the process all over 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 as the day you got them.

Types of Towels

Bath towels aren’t the only type of towel in your house. You probably own a lot more towels than you’d think. It’s a waste of your time and money to replace them each year because they lose their absorbency or plushness.

Households typically have these types of towels:

  • Bath Towels: Used to dry off after your shower.
  • Hand Towels: Used to dry your hands.
  • Fingertip Towels: These are slightly smaller than hand towels, and they can be used for decorative purposes. Seasonal fingertip towels can be displayed and give your bathroom a homey feel.
  • Washcloths: Used to wash your face. You want your washcloths to be gentle on your skin.
  • Kitchen Towels: These can be decorative and functional like fingertip towels and are used for drying off dishes.
  • Grooming Towels: If you have pets, these are the towels you want for your pets.
  • Car Towels: After washing your car, you’re going to want a non-abrasive absorbent towel. Car towels are usually made of microfiber and won’t leave streaks.

Best Towel Materials

Towels are made from a variety of materials. They all have different drying rates and comfort levels. You’ll be able to tell if this towel is good for you or not by the type of fabric.

  • Cotton Towels: These are typically the most luxurious because of the high comfort level. Hotels and spas usually have cotton towels because of this reason and because cotton is relatively cheap. The towels can be bleached multiple times and still maintain its high-quality feel.
  • Chamois Towels: Usually smoother than most towels, chamois feel like felt and are smaller than regular bath towels. They dry quickly and take up less space but aren’t going to wrap around you and keep you warm. They’re best if you want to get dry fast.
  • Microfiber Towels: Microfiber is a highly absorbent fabric made out of a Polyester/Nylon blend. These towels can be folded to a small size and are excellent for traveling.
  • Terry Towels: Also made out of cotton, terry towels are absorbent and don’t irritate the skin. These are made of loosely woven loops that make the towel feel thick and full.

How to Make Towels Soft

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.

Fabric softeners block the fibers on the towel and keep the soap from cleaning it.

  • Don’t Use Fabric Softeners: These block the fibers on the towel and keep the soap from cleaning it. An alternative softener that won’t cause build up is white vinegar — ¼ of a cup of vinegar is all you need for one load.
  • Use Small Loads: Overloading your washer will prevent your towels from getting clean. Towels need room for water and air flow 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 that you could easily transfer to your body when you use it 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.
  • Drying: 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, making sure your towel is clipped to the line evenly.

How to Get Residue Off Towels

If you already have worn towels, don’t toss them in the trash just yet. Here is a method you can try to bring them back to their original, soft state.

  1. Use Hot Water: Load your washer with towels. When it’s time to run the cycle, use hot water.
  2. Vinegar: Add a cup of vinegar to the wash where you usually put laundry soap.
  3. Run: Wash the towels with the hot water and vinegar.
  4. Baking Soda: When the load is done, leave the towels in the wash. Add a cup of baking soda as you did with the vinegar.
  5. Run: Wash the towels with the hot water and baking soda. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.
  6. Dry: When the wash cycles are done, place the towels in the dryer and run on low heat.

This technique will take away leftover residue on your towels and leave them absorbent, fresh and clean.

How to Make Towels Fluffy Again

Making a few simple changes to how you wash and dry your towels can keep them fluffy.

  • Wash: Make sure your detergent is mild so that it cleans but isn’t as harsh as other detergents. You can also use less detergent per load if you don’t have time to get a different detergent.
  • Dry: For drying your towels on a line, clip it and when you’re taking it down, give the towels a snap before folding and putting away. If they’re not completely dry, run them in the dryer on low heat. You should be drying your towels on low to medium heat because high heat can affect the fabric after multiple cycles.
  • Fold and Put Away: Leaving your towels out allows them to collect dust. Putting them away in a closet will keep them as fresh as possible for when you’re ready to use one.

How to Make Towels White

Over time, a towel’s deep color can fade. You might want to consider investing in white towels and washcloths because you can bleach them. This method can help bring back that crisp white and will make your towels look brand new again.

Keep towels white with bleach.

  • Water Temperature: For optimal cleaning, you want to set the washing machine to hot water.
  • Detergent: Check to see if your detergent has a whitener in it because this will be another whitening tool.
  • Load Size: Don’t overload your washer or the cleaning and whitening agents won’t be able to get to everything evenly.
  • Bleach: Add a ½ cup of bleach with the detergent. It should be diluted with 1 quart of water and added about five minutes after the agitator has started.
  • No Fabric Softener: Fabric softener will leave residue on the fabric and reduced absorbency.

Protect Your New Towels

While most advice is geared toward getting your towels back to how they were when you first bought them, how do you keep the new ones as perfect as possible?

  • Wash Towels: Put the new towels in the laundry before you use them. This will get rid of any extra dye or bacteria on the towel from sitting in the department store. The towels should be in a separate load.
  • Laundry Detergent: Use a gentle laundry detergent to preserve the fluffiness of the towels.
  • No Fabric Softeners: These will usually coat the towel and make them less absorbent.
  • Warm Water: Wash in warm water unless there are instructions that say to use cool water. Hot water could cause colors to fade more quickly.
  • Dry Towels: Set the dryer to a low setting. Too much heat will damage the fibers and make the towel lose its plush feel.
  • Hang Up Towels: Letting the towels air dry helps keep away mold and will keep your towels as fresh as possible for a longer amount of time.

How Often Should I Wash My Towels?

Towels should be washed once a week to keep them fresh, absorbent and as free of bacteria as possible. When you’re done using a towel, hang it up immediately. Placing the towel on a hook or clothesline is optimal because towels have space to dry out evenly. Bunched or bundled towels won’t dry quickly, and mildew and mold can start to grow.

This doesn’t only apply to bath towels. Kitchen towels need this kind of strict attention, especially if you’re using them to dry dishes and silverware.

Staying on top of how often you wash your towels will reduce the number of bacteria spread in your house.

  • Bath Towels: At the latest, bath towels should be washed after three uses. Hang up and let your towel dry if you’re going to use it three times.
  • Washcloths: Your face is sensitive to skin cells and dirt that washcloths collect. These should be washed after each use because you’re going to be touching your face with it.
  • Face and Hand Towels: These follow the same rules as washcloths because they deal with touching your face. A lot of germs and bacteria can easily be transferred from your hands, so be sure to wash and replace after you use them.
  • Kitchen Towels: These should be washed after each use. One suggestion: Kitchen towels should be dipped in a diluted bleach solution between uses. Make sure to change the towel if you use it to dry your hands because of the oil and skin cells that will be stuck on it. You don’t want to use that to dry dishes accidentally.

Kitchen towels should be washed after each use.

When Should I Replace My Towels?

You’ve tried everything to get rid of the musty smell coming from a towel. It’s flat and doesn’t absorb water. The vinegar and baking soda method couldn’t restore its original plushy state, and now this towel is taking up space in the closet.

When they have these characteristics and you can’t salvage them, it’s time to replace your towels.

  • Thin and Worn Out: When old towels lose their absorbency and plush feeling, it’s no longer doing its job. But you can still repurpose an old towel as a rag.
  • Torn, Ragged or Has Holes: Ever tried to use a towel that full of holes or falling apart at some seams? There’s no reason to deal with that. Get a full rectangle without any corners missing.
  • Smell Like Mildew: Can’t get rid of that musty smell no matter what methods you try? Toss that towel and start fresh.

Clean Towels and Clear Skin

Towels easily collect dirt, dust and moisture, which all help bacterial growth. If you reuse a towel and dry your face, you’re rubbing everything the towel has collected into your pores. This can lead to acne and oily skin. Using fresh towels can help keep your skin clean and clear.

Keep skin clean and clear.

When drying your face, make sure you’re using a clean towel fresh from the linen closet. Even if you can’t see any dirt on a used towel doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Dry yourself by patting your skin. Anything too forceful will irritate your skin.

You could also use a paper towel to dry your face if you don’t want to dirty another towel. Using clean towels may benefit your skin but it will cause your laundry to pile up.

Use different towels for your face, body and hair. The towel can catch conditioner residue or bacteria from your body. This can get on your face if you use the same towel for everything.

Pillowcases trap a lot of dirt and oil. If you’re having problems with acne, you can change your pillowcase every night. But that can get tedious. Another alternative is sleeping on a clean towel every night. If you toss and turn when you sleep, spread the towel out to cover both of your pillows.

Choose the Right Towel With Towel Super Center

Towel Super Center is committed to providing high-quality towels for kitchens, bathrooms, cleaning and more. Our towels are plush, thick and absorbent. We have a wide variety of towels that come in many materials, sizes and colors. You’ll be able to find the perfect towel that you need.

Don’t wait and let old, worn and musty towels become eyesores in your linen closet. Contact us today to start looking for excellent towels.

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