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How to Wash Towels to Keep Them Soft

Don’t you love that luxurious feeling of wrapping yourself in a soft, thirsty towel after a relaxing bath or shower? That’s why you bought high-quality towels like the fit-for-a-queen Christy England towels from our Bathshop department when you chose your bathroom necessities. 

Of course, you’d like to preserve that fluffiness for as long as possible, and the way you wash your towels will have a role to play. 

In this easy guide, we’ll give you all the tips you need on how to wash towels so that they keep their softness and look great for longer. It’s not rocket science, but be ready for a few little surprises!

How to Wash New Towels Before Use

Manufacturers use a silicone-based agent to make fibres feel softer – but it makes towels less absorbent. 

Your first wash is necessary to remove this agent and also to clear away any bits of fluff and lint from the factory. You’ll also be able to make your towels more colour-fast with the first wash before use.

Don’t use soap for this wash. Instead, you’ll use about half a cup of vinegar for a small load of towels. Ideally, you should wash your new towels on their own. 

Washday Tips: How to Wash New Towels in The Washing Machine

After their first wash, you can start washing your towels as normal in the washing machine. Remember to read the washing instructions printed on the label – not all towel fabrics are the same. 

Apart from any specific instructions you may find on the label, the normal rules apply. Sort your washing into lights, darks, and colours, for example. However, it’s a good idea to wash towels separately if possible. Here’s why. 

  • You might like to use brightening detergents and fabric softeners on other items, but they’re not a good choice if you want soft, absorbent towels. 
  • You should use less detergent on towels than you’d ordinarily use in a general wash – about half as much. 
  • You can use a gentler setting for towels so that you don’t get fabric pills that make your towels look old before their time. 

Finally, be sure you leave enough room in the washing machine. An overfull machine means more chance of damage – no matter what you’re washing. Leave a bit of room. How about the washing temperature? 30 degrees is just fine!

Add These Things to The Wash For Softer Towels

Vinegar, bicarb, and washday may not seem like things that go together, but when it comes to keeping your towels soft, they’re good friends.

Add half a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the washing cycle to soften towels. It really works. You needn’t do this every time you wash them, but it makes a difference. Try it!

Scratchy towels? Detergent residues may be to blame. Add half a cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle to strip them away. At the same time, vinegar will help to preserve the colour of your towels. 

Put this tip to work every third time your towels need to be washed. They won’t smell of vinegar, and you’ll lose any lingering, musty odours that may have been building up.

By the way, if you already have some rough towels, these tips might help you to get them softened up again. Double whammy! All your towels will be fluffier!

Should You Bleach White Towels?

There’s good news for those who want to keep their towels dazzlingly white: most towels are bleach-safe and experts say that bleach doesn’t significantly impact the lifespan of your towels. 

But are your towels bleach-safe or not? Once again the label should tell you. If you don’t see a bleach-safe icon on the label, check the fabric composition: 100 percent cotton towels are safe to bleach. 

Skip The Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

Fabric softener or dryer sheets might seem like just the thing for keeping your towels soft, but these products have a slight waxiness which will make your towels less absorbent. In fact, some fabric softeners can even leave your towels feeling rougher than before. 

If you’d like to add a fresh scent to your towels, you can always use a few drops of essential oil in your washing process. Lavender is always a good choice, but it’s not your only option. 

Drying For Fluffiness is Just as Important as Washing

Now that you’ve set your towels up for softness, all you have to do is get the drying step just right. 

A bit of fresh air and sunshine isn’t usually a bad thing for your clean laundry – but if you air dry towels, they’ll often seem harder. That’s because the water matts the fibres together. Shake them out before hanging them out to dry and choose a windy day. 

Alternatively, use the dryer, and if you want to air them, take them off the line before they’re quite dry and finish them off in the drier. Even if you’re using a dryer from start to finish, give your towels a good shake out to free the fluffiness before popping them into the dryer. Every bit of softness counts!

How Often Should You Wash Towels?

You should wash towels every three days or at least once a week. If your towels have been stored for any length of time, give them a wash before putting them back into service. 

Because towels spend quite a lot of their time being damp, they start developing a mouldy, musty smell. You can get rid of this with your vinegar rinse, but since there are few things worse than reaching for a towel only to find it has a sour smell, make the weekly wash part of your routine. 

Quality Counts

You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear – and you can’t turn a poor-quality towel into that gorgeously fluffy item you need for bathtime pampering – at least, not in the longer term. Good quality linen and towels can last for many years when well cared for, so this is one of those moments when you really get rewarded when you pay for quality. 

Wondering if you should invest in bathtime softness? At Boundary Outlet we’re there for you with better prices and insider access to the things you and your home deserve. Join our Privilege Family today to get the inside track on what’s hot and happening. Looking to share the love? Help your dear ones to set themselves up in style with one of our coveted Gift Vouchers. They’re a perfect match for every special occasion. 

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