When shopping for new bath towels we naturally steer towards thick absorbent towels as they feel good and dry us off really well but thick towels will hold onto that moisture long after you have used it and moisture leads to bacteria which then leads to unpleasant smells. YUK
Keep your towels well aired in between uses.
When you get out of the bath or shower and hang up your towel you need to keep the air circulating so your towel does not grow any bacteria. If you have a window to your bathroom throw it open, even if it is cold outside you need to dry your bathroom off and get some air through your towels. If you don’t have a window use your ventilation fan.
When drying forget hooks as these do not offer your towels enough air, instead opt for towel rails, this way you can stretch out your towel fully and allow the air to circulate to all off the towel before bacteria starts to grow.
If you have room on your washing line and it is a good drying day pop outside and let it air dry for 30 minutes or so.
How to wash bath towels
Towels are thick, heavy, and designed to absorb water. So when it goes into your washing machine, it’s going to absorb all of the water and laundry products you are using. The key with washing towels is to never over use laundry products, stick to the correct dosage as displayed on the packaging/bottle. You may think that because they are bigger and thicker than other items you wash that you will need more but trust me you don’t. Using too much product can actually make your towels smell bad!
Make sure not to overfill your washing machine, with towels think less is more. Using the correct dose of detergent and not overloading your machine will help the water evenly distribute and properly rinse those towels.
Wash towels together and not with other laundry, washing towels with clothes can transfer germs and bacteria between items in the wash. For sanitary reasons, you should always wash bath towels separately from clothing items. Putting towels in their own load also makes it easier to adjust the setting if you are washing different colour towels be sure to add in a colour catcher. It’s also easier to dry towels in the same load since damp towels dry slower than most clothes. Towels will also rub against your clothes, shortening their lifespan.
Say NO to fabric conditioner
Trust me fabric conditioner is doing your towels no favours and will take away the absorbency and the soft bouncing feeling. Fabric conditioner is actually a soft wax coating that conditions clothes, makes them feel softer and loosens fibres. If you loosen the fibres in your towels the absorbency will slowly disappear.
If you are wanting to use fabric conditioner because you want your towels to smell fresh and give the bathroom an added scent then use it in every 3rd or 4th towel wash.
My top tip for soft fluffy towels is to use white vinegar, white vinegar is a natural disinfectant so will add in an extra layer of protection to element bacteria even when washing at lower temperatures and the vinegar will strip away and residue that is in your towels from products.
Don’t worry your towels will not come out smelling of vinegar as the smell disperses.
Shake towels before drying
Give your towels a shake when taking them out of the washing machine. This will help fluff them and aid absorbency. Shaking your towels also helps prevent them from twisting into a ball in the dryer, lengthening their drying time.
How to Dry Towels
Ensure that towels are dry when you remove them from the tumble dryer, keeping in mind that clothes dry quicker than towels so the cycle will be longer. Even slightly damp towels can quickly mildew. The best dryer setting for towels is the regular or automatic setting that you use for other durable fabrics. This will use the highest heat and be most efficient in getting the job done. Avoid over-drying as it can destroy the individual cotton fibers. Use tumble dryer balls to keep the air flowing freely and speed up the dryer time, the balls absorb water and I recommend using 6 dryer balls for a towel load.
Drying outside is always my preferred option for towels, they normally line dry within 3 to 6 hours dependent on the weather, good quality towels will always come in soft and fluffy. If your towels are coming in a little crisp and hard pop them in the dryer for 5 minutes before you put them away or in the bathroom.
If you don’t have a tumble dryer to use over the winter months it is worth bearing in mind that towels can take up to 24 hours to dry indoors, ensure they are well spaced out on a drying rack in a well ventilated space.
Follow Towel Care Instructions
Good-quality bath towels can last for 10 years with proper care. Always check the label on your towels for particular care instructions before proceeding with washing and drying.
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