How to: Wash Towels

Learn how to wash towels the right way
Learn how to wash towels the right way

Have you ever spent a night at a hotel and wondered how they manage to keep their towels so luxuriously soft and fluffy?

Believe it or not, there’s an art to how you wash towels so that they not only stay feeling great, but also maintain their absorbency for longer. With these simple tips for washing your towels, you’ll always be able to have that hotel-fresh feeling at home too!

Wash before use
Wash and dry bath towels before you use them for the first time. The same goes for tea towels. Many towels are coated in a silicone or other finish so that they look soft and fluffy (or stiff and shiny for tea towels) and maintain this appearance during packing, transport and display. The downside is that this inhibits the towels ability to absorb. By washing them before use, you’ll remove this finish and get the towel back to maximum absorbency levels!

Set colours
Wash your towels with similar colours in warm water for the first few washes. If you’ve bought towels as a set, this shouldn’t be too hard. One trick is to add 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash water (wait until the wash has filled, then add the vinegar to the water, not directly onto the towels. The vinegar helps to set deep colour, helps prevent fading and removes excess detergent.

Wash towels regularly
Wash and change your towels every three to four days if they’re in daily use. Changing tea towels daily is good practice. Try to keep a separate tea towel and hand towel in your kitchen – one for drying dishes, the other for drying your hands.

Hang to dry between use
Not surprisingly, towels are a hot bed for mildew unless they dry completely, so hang them up after each use, unless you plan to throw them in the wash immediately. Towels do not smell great if they’ve been left in a heap on the floor or at the bottom of the laundry hamper! If you can, peg your towel on the line after use and bring in again at the end of the day.

Always separate
It can be tempting to throw all your towels in together, but try to keep like colours with like. Being so absorbent, towels will also take on colour that leaches during the wash. White towels in particular should always be washed separately to avoid discolouration. Wash towels separately to other items, including your tea towels – these should go in a separate wash for sanitary reasons.

Skip the softener
You’ve likely been tempted to throw fabric softener in with your towels to get back that soft and fluffy feeling, but this is actually a no-no when it comes to towels. Softeners can actually deteriorate the towel fibres and prevent them from being able to absorb moisture over time. If you do want to use fabric softener, use it only every third or fourth wash.

Dry immediately
Grab your towels out of the washing machine and hang them out to dry straight away to avoid them smelling damp and going mildewy. There’s nothing nicer than fresh air-dried towels, but avoid leaving them in the scorching sun for too long as they’ll end up resembling cardboard rather than a soft and fluffy towel!

Avoid high heat in the dryer
If you need to use the clothes dryer to dry your towels, turn it to a cooler setting. High heats will cook the fibres in your towels and compromise its absorbency. Always ensure the towels are completely dry before you put them away.

Don’t overload
Being so absorbent, towels take on a lot of water in the washing machine and become very heavy. Don’t overload your washing machine with too many towels, otherwise you might start to see your off-balanced machine walking out the laundry door as it thuds and rattles!

Stock up
Not all towels have the same life span due to differences in use and wear and tear. Stock up on towels you use most frequently so that you always have some on hand while others are being laundered.

Choose the right fabrics
Absorbency is super important when it comes to your kitchen tea towels. Look for labels that say ‘highly absorbent’, or choose waffle-weave cotton towels that tend to be more absorbent than other fabrics because the textured pockets capture water. Fabrics with finer weaves are better for cleaning glass and crystal. Microfibre is also gaining popularity because of its lint-free quality. It goes without saying that your tea towels should also be durable, given the multitude of tasks that we put them through! EziBuy have an ample selection for you to choose high quality towels, which will also fit in with your decor.

Try these tips for yourself and see if you can see the difference in the quality and appearance of your towels. Do you have any other laundry hacks for maintaining top performing towels? Share them in the comments below.