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Towel Care: 10 Tips on Keeping Home Towels Soft and Fluffy
Towel Care: 10 Tips on Keeping Home Towels Soft and Fluffy
Few things are as comforting as a freshly washed dried towel that you pick up after a rejuvenating shower. But are you sure that towel is really clean? Also, do you wish it’s still as soft and fluffy as the day you bought it?
Our care guide will show you how easy it is to maintain the condition of your towels while ensuring your bathroom stays hygienic to create a healthy environment for you and your family.
The 8 Basic Steps for Washing Towels
With most cotton towels you can use your standard washing machine, so no handwashing or drycleaning required. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Step 1: Separate washing according to colours.
- Step 2: Add detergent, using the appliance’s guidelines as reference for the size of the load.
- Step 3: Select a warm cycle, since you need the heat to help sanitise the towel.
- Step 4: Add fabric softener if you really need it (see more below), or use a natural softener.
- Step 5: Pour in a sanitising agent, but stick to natural products like vinegar or baking soda rather than traditional bleach.
- Step 6: Run the wash cycle.
- Step 7: Remove the load and give each towel a firm shake to flick off excess moisture and loosen the fibres.
- Step 8: Hang up for airdrying or place in the dryer.
9 Tips to Ensure Soft, Fluffy Cotton Towels
The small details of what you do during each wash can play a big role in how fluffy your towels remain. You may even be able to return some of their lustre if you form good washday habits.
Always Keep Colours Separate
Even when buying quality towels such as the ones found in Comfy’s bath towels collections, there’s some risk that towels’ colours will transfer. To avoid towels staining each other, rather wash similar colours together and always keep whites aside for their own wash.
Also, you can use warmer water on white towels, while hot water could cause colours to fade. So, wash whites on their own, so you can optimally sanitise them.
Never Overload the Washing Machine
Wash small loads at a time, so the water has a better chance of reaching and soaking the entire surface of each towel. Large loads also put washing machines’ motors under pressure, which can easily happen with heavier items like large towels.
Limit Detergents and Bleach
Machine washing is a safe option with quality towels, even plush, luxury towels. However, don’t overdo it when measuring any of the following:
- Fabric softener
Fabric softeners tend to create build-up on fibres that can change the texture over time, and it will also limit absorbency. Avoid them completely by rather using natural softeners like white vinegar, or only use softener once every 4 washes. Towel manufacturers often provide linen care guides and it’s best to use the minimum amount suggested.
Baking soda is another alternative and excellent for removing residue from fabric so it retains its absorbency. ½ cup of baking soda or white vinegar is suitable for one load of washing.
Pick the Right Cycle and Temperature
You can wash white towels in hot water but with coloured cotton fabric, it’s safer to use warm water. Otherwise, you risk colours fading.
During dryer cycles, use the cycles without heat or keep the temperature below 60°C.
Wash Towels…with Towels
Protect your towels and your other laundry by rather washing home towels separately from other items. This way you can pick the ideal cycle and water temperature for the towels, to ensure they come out fluffy and soft. Also, you’re preventing the germs and bacteria that are possibly on the towels from being transferred to clothes or other laundry.
Preserve Decorative Features with Cold Water
Although cotton can handle warmer temperatures, decorative towels may require you to only use cold water. Hot water can damage the more delicate fibres of embroidery or other decorations added to the towel.
Dry Towels Immediately After Washing
It pays off planning washing day so you’re home when the wash cycle ends, so you can immediately take out the towels and hang them up or place them in the dryer. Even leaving them in the machine or a washing basket for a short period could lead to mildew growth.
Don’t Dry for Too Long
Most cotton towels are dryer safe but never overdo this process. Even during a cool cycle, you risk damaging fibres because of all the friction between the fabrics inside the dryer. Rather check on the load halfway through and remove if the towels are already dry.
Never Iron Cotton Towels
To retain the fluffy texture, don’t iron cotton towels. Ironing is appropriate for linen fabrics, but any towel with fluffy surfaces will lose its trademark texture if you push down on the loop with a hot iron.
Different Towels—Different Care Guidelines
Because of its absorbency and allowing airflow, cotton is ideal for bath towels and towels for general or professional use. Still, you’ll find towels made of other fabrics on today’s market. They may require other care guidelines than what you use for cotton. Some examples are:
- Polyester/Microfibre: Although beneficial thanks to being absorbent, a machine wash could result in the towel shedding microplastics which will end up in the water. This is bad for the environment, so it’s not wise to use microfibre fabrics for general use that will require regular washing. They’re more appropriate for speciality uses, especially where washing isn’t required, such as absorbing chemicals in the car industry.
- Bamboo: Bamboo does beat cotton in the absorbency department, being able to take on 40% more moisture than your cotton towels. However, this can make them heavy to carry after washing, so they’re less practical. Also, 100% bamboo towels are rarely machine-safe, so they’re more difficult to care for.
- Hemp: Hemp carries the benefit of being durable, so it will last long. Hemp is also very absorbent. However, the texture is more abrasive, making them appropriate for other uses, but not as cosy bathroom towels.
To protect your cotton towels and prevent damage to other fabrics, rather separate towels according to fibre types before washing.
How Often Should You Wash Your Home Towels?
As they do it in the spa industry, wash towels after they’ve been in use for about 3 days. The humid conditions in a bathroom combined with the fact that you use towels to soak up moisture means they’re often moist even if you hang them up to dry. This creates an environment where germs and bacteria can flourish.
In addition, when you dry off with a towel, particles like dead skin cells and even substances secreted by your body are transferred to the towel. You don’t want to dry yourself off with a towel containing that buildup after just taking a cleansing shower or bath, do you?
Should You Wash New Towels Before Using Them?
Experts would advise you to wash new towels before using them the first time. It depends on manufacturers, but often there are silicone coatings on the towels’ fibres. While these aren’t harmful, they will limit the towel’s absorbency so it’s to your benefit to run it through a quick wash cycle first.
Is Cotton Good for Bath Towels?
Throughout the industry, cotton is the most popular fabric to use for towels. Since they contain natural fibres it’s a more eco-friendly product than others such as microfibre fabrics. Also, cotton is naturally absorbent and because it’s breathable it doesn’t take too long to dry after use.
Is it Good to Fold Towels for Storage?
Yes, you can fold towels and put them in a container or closet for storing purposes. Simply make sure all towels are completely dry before folding. Any moisture left in the fabric could spark mould and mildew growth, as well as result in a musty smell in the bathroom once you take out the towels for use.
Can I Handwash Towels?
Yes, it’s safe to wash towels by hand, and you’ll save on energy costs. However, hand washing this fabric isn’t very practical because the towels will be very heavy after absorbing the water. Also, it will take multiple rinses before it’s soap-free and if any soap is left behind, the towel will feel stiff and be less absorbent. This makes machine washable home towels so valuable.
Comfy Ensures Towel Care can be Effortless
When you pick your home towels from the Comfy range, you’ll have bathroom linen that’s easy to care for. All our towels are machine washable and with our Ultra Light collection you’ll appreciate how quickly they dry, so they’re ready for use in no time.
We sell bathroom linens of all traditional sizes, including bath sheets, hand towels, face cloths and bathroom mats. Pick a set or compile your own from our popular collections:
- 360gsm Ultra Light
- 480gsm Plush
- 630gsm Super Plush
Our ordering process allows you to customise your order in terms of colours, fabric and more.
Find out how to care for your towels and how to keep them soft and fluffy for longer. We explore cotton towels and how to care for them properly