how to wash towels

How to Wash Towels

Most of us are in the habit of throwing towels in the washer along with clothes and bed linen. But did you know there is a right way to wash towels?

Yes, believe it or not, that absorbent piece of fabric hanging in the dark, damp bathroom actually has a right way of being taken care of. If you want your towels to last and give you the most value for money, you have to stop tossing them into the washer along with other fabrics. Towels work hard all day, every day. We use them in the kitchen, in the bathroom, at the dinner table, and even keep them by the bedside. We often forget to wash them for a long time, and when we do wash them, we do it all wrong.

Here are a few tips to wash towels the right way and make them last longer.

  • Wash towels- from the small hand towels to the big fluffy bath towels- before using them for the first time. Most towels have fabric softeners, silicone, and other finishes when they are in stores. Washing and drying towels before the first use is needed to get rid of these finishes.
  • For sanitary reasons, wash towels separately from other clothes or linen. Towels carry a lot of germs that can get transferred to other clothes and bed linen if washed together.
  • An easy way to set the color of towels is to wash them with similar colored fabrics in warm water the first few times. Along with the detergent, add half a cup of vinegar to the water. Vinegar is excellent for setting colors and softening the fabric.
  • It is recommended that towels be washed every three to four days. White towels should be washed in hot water with non-chlorine bleach together with other white items, while colored towels should be washed in warm water. Avoid washing dark colored towels with other items to avoid discoloration.
  • Use fabric softeners sparingly and always follow the directions for use. Fabric softeners shouldn’t be used more than once a week because the residue left behind by the chemical damages the fiber and reduces absorbency over time.
  • To keep your towels naturally fluffy and soft, shake them out before and after every wash. You could also fluff them after every drying cycle to increase absorbency. Never iron a cotton towel. The heat damages the fibers and affects absorbency and longevity of towels.
  • Towels must be completely dry before every use. Instead of leaving wet or damp towels in the bathroom, hang them out to dry in the sun. The natural light and air kills germs and prevents the growth of mildew. On rainy or cloudy days, you could leave damp towels under a fan until they are completely dry. That said, when drying towels in the sun, care must be taken to not over-dry them, as it could affect the strength of the fibers.
  • Some kinds of towels have decorative features like trims and accents. Such towels are best used for living up the bathroom and other decorative purposes because, with regular use and washing, the trims can get ruined. These trims and accents are usually weak and get damaged if the towel is put to regular use and washing.


  • Never remove makeup with a towel. The chemicals in eyeliners and lipsticks can cause permanent stains that are hard to remove. If you get a makeup stain on a towel, make sure to spray a pretreatment solution like a dishwashing liquid on it, before putting it in the washer. Without a pretreatment, the stain will set further when you wash it.
  • Remember that cotton towels are more prone to damage than synthetic or blended towels, and should be washed with care. Cotton towels should be washed with mild soap or detergent to keep the integrity of the fibers intact. Since cotton is more absorbent and takes a longer time to dry, it should be left in the sun or under a fan to rid it of water completely.


Towels are a necessary item in every household. Taking proper care of them is the key to making them last longer and getting the most out of them.


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