The best way to clean towels.
Washing towels is not difficult, but there are tips you can use to get them cleaner, softer & extend their life.
It does not take a trained professional to wash towels, although there are specific ways in which you can keep them feeling softer, cleaner and fresher while also extending their life.
Terry towels are made from a number of different fibers, which include cotton, cotton/poly and linen. Our professional opinion is that 100% cotton bath towels are easily the best choice. The all-natural fiber makes a difference while a cotton/poly towel will not do as good of job when it comes to absorbing moisture.
The time frame for washing towels differs from person to person. There are some people who wash their towels after a single use. It is recommended that towels be laundered every three to four days. Leaving them lying around could cause some unpleasantness and here are some more important points to consider:
- Damp towels, left in places they cannot dry quickly, will begin to grow mildew.
- Mildew thrives in humidity, particularly in homes that are tight or closed.
- Ideal temperature for mildew growth is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mildew grows very easily in damp bathrooms.
- Terry bath towels sponge up your body oil and dead skin after bathing which is food for some bacteria and mold.
The first rule when it comes to laundering towels is to wash new ones before you use them. The majority of towels contain starch, which is applied to the yarn to stiffens fiber so that weaving can be completed at a faster pace. The next rule is to always separate light and dark towels with every wash. Now that you have the first two rules down pat, here are some more to follow:
- Choose detergents wisely – Concentrated detergents may discolor your towels.
Most big name detergents (Tide and Cheer) use brighteners in their formulations. Most times, these brighteners are bleach derivatives, which fades colors and are very rough on cotton fibers.
Use a mild detergent such as Ivory, Dreft or even better yet, Le Blanc Linen Wash, which is sold on our website here.
- Use either warm or cold water when washing your towels. Begin by starting your washer, adding the detergent and then letting it fill halfway before inserting your towels. Use this method when washing all types of laundry.
- When laundering darker color towels, set the color during their first wash by adding ½ to 1 cup of white vinegar.
- Bath towels typically do not get very dirty, so try using ½ to ¾ the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use.
- When your towels start to look dingy or develop a musty odor, add ½ cup of baking soda. This practice is recommended every few months.
- Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softener with your towels. Softeners usually contain silicone, which will make your towel feel softer. However, the silicone will also leave a coating on the cotton fiber, which will make the towel less absorbent.
- Use low to medium heat when drying your towels. Having the towels tumble in the dryer will make them softer than line drying. If you still want to line dry your towels, do it during a breezy day so that the wind can agitate them.
- Never over dry terry towels as the high heat will damage their cotton fibers. On towels that have a woven band, you may see this band shrink at a different rate than the terry part of the towel. Over drying exacerbates the band shrinkage.
- Never allow towels to remain in your dryer once they are dry because the residual heat can inflict damage.
- Fold your dry towels on a flat surface. And if you should happen to notice a snag or pulled loop, it’s okay to cut it off as the towel will not unravel.
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Vero Linens offers some of the finest terry bath towels anywhere in the world. Our bed linens are made in Italy for that extra special touch of luxury. Check out all of our fine bed linens as Vero Linens is ready to introduce you to luxury at affordable prices.