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How to Wash Wholesale Towels

Towels are an investment. When you run a business that relies on clean, fresh-smelling towels, finding a way to prolong their life is essential. Whether you own a spa, gym, hair salon or another business where clients come in contact with towels, you must keep them looking good and smelling great. After all, the state of your towels speaks volumes about your business.

After a few wash cycles, towels can lose that wonderful, new soft towel feel or become less absorbent. Before you know it, it’s time to buy fresh towels again.

Positive towel-washing habits should be practiced the day your towels arrive. From that very first washing, you can ensure they’re around for a long time. From there, it’s essential to maintain their upkeep. Although it may mean changing the way you do a few things, keeping your towels in excellent condition is not that difficult.

Businesses that use towels will always need new replacements, and Towel Super Center will constantly refresh your stock of high-quality cotton towels. But our goal is to give you tips so that the daily wear and tear won’t exhaust your towel supply faster than it should.

If you’re wondering how to keep your towels soft and fluffy after washing, here’s some advice on the best way to clean your towels. The outcome is bright colors, a plush feel and hard-working towels that are there when you need them.

What’s the Best Way to Wash Towels?

When washing towels, be sure to use the right setting. While the right way to wash towels may vary depending on their color or materials, a good rule of thumb is to follow the instructions on the tag. If the towel does not have a tag on it, follow these few instructions:

  • Wash colors with cool or warm water: Towels with vibrant colors can benefit from a thorough wash in cool water.
  • Wash white towels in hot water: Many homeowners wash their whites in hot water to fully clean the fabric.
  • Gently wash linens and decorative towels: Many decorative towels have embroidery or special fabric that needs a gentle wash.
  • Wash cotton towels in high settings: Cotton towels can be placed in a heavy or high setting for an ultimate water wash.

How Often Should I Wash Towels?

For towels you use at home, you do not have to wash them every day. However, the frequency of washing depends on the type of towel. For example, hand towels and bath towels should be washed every few days, as these towels collect dirt and grime. Washcloths should be washed after every use, as these towels directly clean the surface of the face or body. If you go to the gym or practice sports, wash any sports towels after every use.

How to Wash New Towels

Incredible towels require simple care, but it all starts on day one. Before using your brand-new bath towel, hand towel or washcloth, it’s essential to wash them.

When your towels arrive, they may have been treated with silicone or another type of finish. This protects them from moisture during transportation. Once they’re in your hands, this finish has done its job and is no longer required. If left unwashed, it will continue to block absorbency. Once you wash your towels for the first time, the finish is removed, and your towels are at their most absorbent.

Here are some more hints that will help make your initial towel wash a success:

  •  Check the label: Most towels, like those at Towel Super Center, include a label along the edge with basic care instructions. They have washing, temperature and drying recommendations. Following the directions on the label will ensure your towels won’t get damaged.
  • Separate white and color towels: Although many people separate whites and colors in all their washings, this step is essential during that first wash. New towels can transfer their dye quickly, which could ruin the beautiful crisp color of your fresh white towels. After all, an extra load of wash never hurt anyone.
  • Give them their own load: Don’t add other clothes or items to your towel laundry load for that initial wash. As mentioned, the dyes are new and could transfer, ruining your favorite blouse.
  • Set colors with white vinegar: For the first few washes, use half the amount of detergent you would usually use and add about one-half to a cup of white vinegar. Vinegar will not only help the cleaning process, but it’s also helpful in setting the colors.
  • Warm water: For the first few washes, it’s good to use warm water instead of hot unless the label on your towels says otherwise.

What Temperature Should I Wash Towels At?

Not all towels should be washed at the same temperature. This subtle decision can impact your towels’ color, softness and longevity. Most towels have a label with a recommended temperature. The hotter the water, the better it will clean. Choose the warmest setting possible that won’t damage or fade your towels.

Here are the basic rules of thumb when choosing what temperature to wash your towels in:

  • Whites or light colors: Hot water helps keep these light-colored towels bright.
  • Colored or dark colors: Warm water is best for colored towels, as hot water can make the colors bleed or lead to fading.
  • Decorative, microfiber or delicate fabrics: Although warm water is more effective if these towels are soiled, cold water is better to maintain the integrity of the fabrics.

Should I Use Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets?

For those wondering how to keep towels soft, many fall back on fabric softeners or dryer sheets. However, both of these options should be avoided, as long-term usage can cause build-ups and reduce absorbency. If you really want to keep your towels feeling soft and brand new, try adding a bit of vinegar to your wash cycle. Vinegar can break down soap residue and reduce the chance of build-ups. You can also use wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets.

How Often Should I Clean Bath Mats?

It depends on how often you use the bath mat. For example, if many people use the bathroom, you should wash the bath mat regularly. If water splashes onto the mat more often, especially in bathrooms used by children, you should wash the bath mat every week.

For mats with rubber backing, be sure to wash them gently and infrequently, as the backing could deteriorate more quickly than others. Rubber-backed mats should also not be placed in the dryer.

How to Keep Towels From Shedding and Stiffness

When preventing shedding and stiffness in your towels, follow a few general steps.


Freeze the towels overnight or soak them in cold water. You can also wash new towels in vinegar or baking soda before using them for the first time. When drying and washing your towels, run a towels-only load. 


Reduce your usage of detergents and softeners while only using warm water during washes and space during cycles. If you can afford quality towels, invest in a few good fabrics, or replace your towels often.

How to Remove Spots and Stains From Towels

Begin by using bleach on white fabrics. On other colors of fabric, try using rubbing alcohol or diluted bleach to even out the color. In some cases, you can create color with markers and dye. If the stain persists, try investing in new towels.

How to Get Nail Polish and Makeup Out of Towels

First, check if the towel is made from triacetate or acetate fabric. If it is not, you can use a polish remover to remove stains. Rinse off the towel and throw it in the washer. When removing makeup stains, blot the area and spot test with a cleaning solution. Ensure you don't dry the towel until the stain is gone, as the dryer can solidify the stain into the fabric.

How to Get Grease Out of Towels

There are a few steps you can take to remove grease from towels. First, pretreat the greasy towel with shampoo and rub the substance into the fibers. Rinse out the towel with warm water and sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the problem spots. After letting the powder sit, use a soft brush or toothbrush to brush the grease into a trashcan. After pretreatment, wash and dry the towels as usual.

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Towels

When removing mold and mildew, remove loose spores with a light brush or a gentle shake. Put the towels in the washing machine and use hot water with bleach and laundry detergent. Repeat the cycle a few times if the spores haven't disappeared, and hang the towels to dry. 

What Washer Setting to Use When Washing Towels

Depending on your washing machine type, there may be several washer settings. We’ve already discussed which color temperature to use, but let’s go one step further. Here are our recommendations for which settings to use:

1. Load Size

Choosing the appropriate load size setting depends on how many towels you are washing:

  • Small load — one-quarter full
  • Medium load — one-half full
  • Large load — over half full
  • Super large load — washer is full

2. Cycle Selection

This setting determines the washing and spinning of each load. Although there are many options, not all are appropriate for towels. Be sure to check your towel’s label for specific instructions. Here are the cycles you should be aware of when choosing the right one for your towel load:

  • Normal — This cycle has a high-speed wash and spin for average loads.
  • Heavy-duty — This is the most common cycle for towels and it provides a longer wash cycle, high-speed agitation and a high-speed spin which expels as much moisture as possible.
  • Whites — Your white towels may need a white cycle that releases the bleach at the appropriate time.
  • Rinse and spin — For soiled towels needing additional detergent, adding an extra rinse and spin cycle helps clean your towels.

How to Dry Towels

Proper drying techniques are essential for a soft and fluffy towel. After all, what’s better than the warmth and feel of fresh towels straight from the dryer? Just like washing towels, following a few simple guidelines when drying towels in the dryer is essential. Extreme heat and other factors can make your towels appear worn out before their time.

Here are a few drying tips you can try from the get-go to keep towels at their optimal fluffiness:

  • Fluff your towels: We all know what towels look like when they leave the washer — wet, crumpled and usually compacted in a wad. Shaking out your towels and running your fingers over the loops before drying them helps them fluff up and aids absorbency.
  • Clean out the lint catcher: We don’t always think about it, but a clean lint catcher will keep towels fresh longer.
  • Nylon netting to remove lint: Towels may have lots of lint, especially new ones. Drying your towels with nylon netting will help remove this excess.
  • Make sure they’re dry before folding: If a towel is slightly damp, you may be tempted to shrug your shoulders and fold it up. However, this prevents towels from drying properly. Wet towels develop mildew, making them lose their clean, fresh scent.
  • Don’t over-dry: If you over-dry your towels, the individual cotton fibers can become damaged and lose their integrity.
  • Avoid dryer sheets: Dryer sheets contain chemicals that are not only bad for the environment but can also make towels lose their absorbency over time.
  • Use dryer balls: Dryer balls, or even tennis balls, beat lumps out of towels while in the dryer. They can also help fluff them up.

How to Refresh and Whiten Your Towels

Brightly colored towels add a touch of vitality to any space or business. If you’ve purchased one of our vibrant and exciting colored towels, then your goal and ours is to keep that color going strong for as long as possible.

Even if colors naturally fade over time, there are a few things you can do to keep them brighter and more vivid for longer:

  • Use color-safe bleach: We all know that bleach is excellent for keeping white towels whiter, but color-safe bleach can be used on your colored towels. If you’ve got a pesky stain, try this method, so your colored towels maintain their vibrant color.
  • Pre-treat stains: Stains happen, but they don’t have to ruin your towels. Pre-treating pesky spots will prevent stains from holding on. For oil-based stains, dishwashing liquid is a readily available option.
  • Wash at cooler temperatures: Hot water may be excellent for cleaning, but not so much for colors. It notoriously makes colored towels fade. That’s why cleaning these towels at a cooler temperature is essential.
  • Follow all care instructions: The label on the edge of your towel may be small, but it contains valuable information that will keep your colored towels looking beautiful.

How to Get Towels to Smell Fresh 

There can be many causes for pesky odors, but getting those smells out is essential to maintaining your towels for as long as possible. Mildew is the primary culprit, but dirt, dust, bacteria and other things your towels come into contact with could be causing them to smell, too.

Washing your towels regularly is essential to avoid those things that may cause odor. Since it’s recommended that towels be cleaned every three to four days, or more depending on your business, schedule a couple of days a week for towel washing, so you don’t forget. In most cases, this will thwart bad smells from developing.

If an odor has already developed, don’t give up. There are quite a few things you can do to get the pesky smell to leave:

  • Multiple washes: If the towel still smells after the first wash, run it through again. But this time, try adding a cup of white vinegar or a half cup of baking soda to the mix.
  • White vinegar: Adding this to your towel load helps keep them free from odors and mildew.
  • Baking soda: If the vinegar isn’t cutting it, then adding baking soda to your wash gives its cleaning power extra oomph.
  • Add naturally fresh smells: As we discussed previously, dryer sheets aren’t necessarily the best option for sweet-smelling towels. Instead, try spraying your towels with herbal-infused water before washing them. You can also spray them after they come out of the dryer.
  • Store with soap or potpourri: Tucking a scented bar of soap or a little potpourri between your towels when freshly folded in your linen closet instills a fresh scent into the fabric. Once you pull it out for use, the pleasant aroma remains.

How to Make Towels Last

Are your towel habits ruining the fabric? Here are some tips to help new towels last longer:

  • Watch out for stain causers: Towels can easily clean spills, but you can avoid them for certain tasks. Various chemicals can stain your towels no matter how much you wash them. Avoiding these will give your towels a longer shelf life.
  • Lay them flat: When using a towel, lay it out to air dry. Allow your towel to breathe and reduce the chance of mildew.
  • Wash often: You may believe that over-washing your towels makes them wear out faster, but that’s not true. Towels should be washed every three to four days and daily if you own a business where clients use them.
  • Don’t overdo it with the detergent: Stiff towels may be the result of too much detergent. Most of the time, towels aren’t filthy. Unless they’re soiled, try using half the detergent you usually use.
  • Pay special attention to whites: White towels, especially, can lose the vibrancy and crispness that make them great. Wash your whites in their own load to avoid discoloration over time, and use non-chlorine bleach if needed.
  • Do towel-only loads: Because of how we use towels, giving them their own load is more sanitary. Plus, it lets you adjust the settings to the above recommendations.
  • Use little to no fabric softener: Fabric softener is a divisive issue. Some people swear by it and can’t imagine a load of laundry without its extra added touch. But it can create a waxy buildup over time, reducing your towels’ absorbency. Although it’s better to do without it, try using it only every three to four washes.
  • Don’t iron terry towels: We know crumply towels may appear unappealing, but ironing your terry towels will reduce their absorbency. Instead, shake your towels out between cycles as soon as they dry. Then immediately lay them flat or fold them.

Start Right With Towels From Towel Super Center

If you’re ready to invest in some new high-quality towels, then Towel Super Center is here for you. We’re the perfect solution for both homes and businesses that buy their towels in bulk because we offer incredible deals the more you purchase.

Our bath towels, hand towels and washcloths come in a variety of colors, including pristine white options. Plus, they’re made of 100 percent cotton. If you’re ready to make a clean start, order your towels from Towel Super Center today. Once they arrive, practice some of our washing tips, and you’ll be enjoying your towels for years to come.

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