Do you wish that every time you stepped out of the shower you could dry off with a soft and fluffy towel? Are you instead greeted by one that is rough and scratchy? This has been a problem with my towels so I went looking for the secret of the best way to wash towels to keep them soft and fluffy!
The Best Way to Wash Towels
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It’s been about a year since I made it my mission to figure out how to stop towels from smelling. It is so nice to have fresh smelling towels again, but my towels still aren’t very soft. The thought of soft and fluffy towels sounded fabulous, so I decided to look into how to improve my towel washing method.
What I found out is that I was already doing a lot of the right things. Many of the techniques I used to rid my towels of mildew smells also help to keep towels soft. I hadn’t continued washing towels that way though because once the smell was gone I didn’t need to keep washing with baking soda and vinegar.
Needless to say I have gone back to using many of those methods and I’ve really noticed a difference!
How to Achieve Soft and Fluffy Towels
Now before I tell you the best way to wash towels I do want to mention a few things. First of all if you buy low quality towels they are going to wear out faster and get rough and scratchy a lot sooner. Not that you have to buy expensive towels, but make sure you keep this in mind if these washing methods don’t help much.
Second, for those of you out there with hard water like I have I feel your pain! There is no getting around the fact that it is hard to get really soft and fluffy towels when you’re battling hard water. Using the washing techniques I’m about to share will help, but your towels likely won’t be as soft as you truly want. Hopefully you have a better water softener then the one I have!
The other thing is that if you have old towels that are really rough then they just might be worn out. Towels don’t last forever. If you try this way of washing a few times and see no change then it might just be time to invest in some new towels.
Use Less Detergent
It might seem crazy, but the first step in achieving soft and fluffy towels is to use less detergent when you wash them. The detergent chemicals can actually get attached to the towel fibers over time which is a big reason of why they get stiff. Using less detergent will make it easier for your washing machine to rinse the majority of the detergent off.
If you want to take things a step further you can use even less detergent and mix it with baking soda. The baking soda will not only will help with any mildew like smells, but it also has the ability to help get some of the extra dirt and chemicals off of the towels while they’re being washed.
Wash Smaller Loads
When it comes to the best way to wash towels one of the key factors is to actually wash less towels at a time. This really goes with the first point of using less detergent. When you have a smaller load the washing machine is better able to give a good wash to the items that are being washed.
To truly give your towels the best wash possible you want a laundry load that is just towels. Aim to wash a small to medium size load. That load should be loosely packed as well.
Wash With Warm Water
When it comes to washing towels warm to hot water is always best. Part of the reason for this is because you want hot water to help sanitize your towels. The hotter the water the more sanitized your towels will get. The other reason is because the hot water absorbs the detergent better so it doesn’t buildup on your towels.
Ditch the Fabric Softener
Do you remember those old commercials where the lady doing the laundry gets upset because she forgot to put the fabric softener in? Well, you shouldn’t be that person when washing towels because fabric softener is actually really bad for them. A fabric softener can cause the towels to repel water. Meaning they won’t get as good of a clean, and they won’t work as well when you use them either!
Instead of using fabric softener use white vinegar. The vinegar helps remove any soapy residue that has built up on the towels which helps them stay soft and fluffy. You do not need to use vinegar every time you wash the towels though. Every few weeks is enough.
If you are using vinegar and baking soda in the same wash it is very important that you do not mix the two. Otherwise you’ll end up with a big mess on your hands. You should be alright though as long as you treat the vinegar as your fabric softener. So if you have a regular washing machine add 1/4 a cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. If you have a HE washing machine just pour the vinegar to the full line of the fabric softener compartment.
I know when researching in the past a lot of sites say to never wash with baking soda and white vinegar together, but I have done it many times. If you do it the way I just mentioned above then you should be perfectly safe. If you’re nervous that they’ll still end up mixed together though then do a regular wash with the baking soda and then wash the towels again using the vinegar.
Dry Your Towels Correctly
When it comes to the best way to wash towels if you want to keep them soft and fluffy then you can’t skip the final part of the laundry process and that is drying the towels!
First of all, since towels need to be washed in hot water it seems that they should be dried really well too. That is actually not the case though. Over time the dryer heat can actually damage your towels. The best course of action is to dry them on a lower setting and for as little of time as possible.
You do not want to use any type of dryer sheets with your towels. The dryer sheets can transfer a waxy buildup to the towels causing the same problems that fabric softeners do. Instead dry your sheets with dryer balls. I have been using these dryer balls for about two years now and I love them! They help fluff my towels up, and they help them dry faster so they don’t need to be in the heat as long.
You can also hang your towels up on a clothes line if you prefer which is a great way to save some money on electricity. If you do this you want to remember a few things. First you’ll want to shake the towels out to help fluff up the fibers before you hang them on the line. Also, be sure to really spread the towels out and to not overlap them anywhere. Air drying doesn’t always get towels as soft and fluffy though, so you might still want to throw them in a dryer for a quick fluff after you take them off the clothesline.
That’s all there is to it! This is the best way to wash towels to keep them soft and fluffy. Plus it will help them stay sanitary and smelling great! So the next time you step out of the shower you can dry off with a wonderfully soft towel.