New towels and bath towels always look and smell great. But after washing new towels a few times, they can start to lose their luster. If you want to keep your new towels looking and smelling good as long as possible, follow these tips.
Washing New Towels The Right Way
Towels that are new often come with a waxy fabric softener coating which makes them look and feel great on store shelves. However, this unfortunate side effect is that it reduces the towel’s absorbency. Always wash your new towels or bath towel before using them to avoid this problem.
Washing new towels with vinegar
Did you know that vinegar can serve as a natural fabric softener? Simply add half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine’s pre-wash cycle. You’ll notice the difference in your laundry! You can also add baking soda if you like.
Should You Use Fabric Softener on Towels?
If you don’t clean your towels regularly, the fibres will begin to break down and they won’t absorb water as well. Additionally, they may start to develop an unpleasant smell. To ensure your bath towels remain absorbent, avoid using detergent or fabric softener and dryer sheets and wash towels separately from clothing.
Tips for Washing Towels in the Washing Machine
From time to time, Sheridan’s experts recommend running a deep wash on a warm to hot cycle at 40-60 degrees. This will help remove any bacteria, oils and smells that may be present. Avoid overcrowding the machine as this could reduce the effectiveness of the wash and prevent the detergent from being rinsed out properly.
Which Laundry Detergent Should You Use to Wash Towels?
If you’re looking for a fresh-smelling towel that doesn’t use phosphates, ammonia, chlorine or synthetic chemicals, try Lemon Scented Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oil.
Did you know that the oils and sweat from your skin are scientifically proven to be the main dirt culprits on towels? To properly remove them, use emulsifiers which are found in high-quality laundry detergents. When using said detergent, make sure to set the washer settings to an extra-long rinse cycle as residue from detergent will otherwise leave your towels feeling stiff.
For white towels specifically, we suggest using a brightening agent or a whitening detergent for best results. Additionally, never use fabric softener of any kind on towels as it significantly lessens their absorbency overall.
How Often Should Towels Be Washed?
Everyone has different standards for cleanliness, but usually a towel can be used 3-4 times (not days) before it needs to laundry.
What Is the Best Way to Dry Towels?
Drying towels on the clothesline is preferable to using a dryer, weather permitting. Not only does this practice reduce your energy bills, but air-drying outdoors exposes towels to UV light from the sun which eliminates any remaining germs or bacteria.
When towels are dried in the sun, not only do they have a clean scent similar to that of ‘line-dried’ clothes, but according to a CSIRO study, this is due to chemical processes on the fabric’s surface caused by UV exposure.
While line drying towels can save you money and time, they may not come out as soft as you’d like. A good way to combat this is by adding vinegar to the rinse cycle. However, if your main priority is ultra-soft towels, using a clothes dryer is your best bet. Be sure to give them a shake before putting them in the machine; doing so will help open up their fibers and prevent them from getting tangled.
To avoid musty smells and bacterial growth, fold your towels only when they are completely dry. This means taking them out of the clothes dryer on a medium heat setting. Afterward, place them in your linen cupboard.
How Long Should One Expect Towels to Last?
There is some debate on when the best time to replace your towels is, with some estimates citing 5 to 10 years and others claiming it should be no more than two. In the end, you will know when they need to go. A tip for buying new ones: choose lighter colors. These have less dye which allows them to stay fluffy and absorbent for longer periods of time; not to mention, they also tend to fade less quickly.
Avoid Decorative Edges
Washing towels is a delicate process that should be handled with care. Many decorative trims, such as lace or ribbon, are put on high-quality towels to add a soft design element in the bathroom. If possible, use these towels as accents only and limit their laundering to reduce wear and tear on the trimming.
Final Thoughts on Washing New Towels
Whether you’re following the best practices for washing new towels or simply looking to keep your existing ones in good shape, remember that a gentle touch and high-quality detergent is all you need. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that your towels come out fresh and clean every time!
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