How to wash towels: ‘Optimum temperature’ to avoid ‘stiff’ towels
Regular washing and drying can make the fibers of towels stiff and rough, but knowing what wash temperatures to use, how to load the washing machine, and what products to choose can restore softness to towels and prevent them from re-entering. this state. Tom Drake, DIY expert at Only Radiators, has shared his top laundry tips to “keep towels soft and fight creaking”.
He said: “Towels can feel hard and stiff due to soap and detergent buildup which causes a less absorbent layer on your towels. You may think that lots of fabric softener and a hot wash will keep your towels fresh, but it can actually have the opposite effect.
For soft, fluffy towels, pay attention to the wash temperature, checking the laundry symbols on the labels of all towels before putting them in the machine.
Tom said: “You might think warmer temperatures are better for cleaning clothes, but for towels the optimal temperature is between 30 and 40 degrees. Hot water absorbs detergent better, leaving fewer chemical children on your towels, making them stiff.
“While washing your towels at higher temperatures is the most effective way to get rid of germs, 30 or 40 degrees will still kill most of your bacteria and preserve the fibers in your towels.”
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He said: “The fabric softener will coat the fibers of the towel and build up over time, causing the towels to become hard and less absorbent.
“Soften with towels in a load of white vinegar once every few weeks to remove soap scum that makes your towels hard. A cup of white vinegar will suffice for this process.
The expert suggested replacing the fabric softener with baking soda, as this is what will quell the fires on the towels.
He explained, “Baking soda not only helps brighten up your towels and keep them soft, but it also keeps odors away. Half a cup of baking soda per load will do, along with your normal detergent.
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Too much heat can damage the cotton in your towels, which can be another reason why they are hard and stiff.
Tom suggested the Brits should ‘skip the dryer’. However, for those who rely on appliances to dry their towels, the expert advised trying a “lower heat setting” or a “shorter cycle”.
The expert added: “Line washing is the most environmentally friendly way to dry towels, so if you dry them this way, you have to shake the towels after they’ve dried to fluff them up.”
Shaking out towels is a quick and easy step in the washing routine that can have a huge impact on how soft they are.
This will open up the fibers slightly, allowing the detergent to penetrate every pore and get them super clean.
Once households have perfected the washing and drying routine, the final step to keeping towels soft is storing them properly.
Tom said: “Storing the towels side by side rather than in stacks will ensure the bottom towels are not crushed by the top ones. To prevent this from happening, you can store the towels on heated towel rails.”
Add a few drops of lavender or another essential oil to towels before storing to keep them smelling great.