Kitchen & Bath - Bathroom

How to: Launder bath towels

Learn how to keep your towels fluffy and fresh by laundering them with care.

Buying towels is not something you want to have to do every few months. Quality towels should last years, standing up to the rigours of regular use. But how do you keep them fluffy and fresh? By taking proper care of your towels, you can keep them looking new for years to come. Here’s how.

Forget fabric softener
While you may be inclined to add fabric softener to your load of laundry, think twice about it. It coats fibres with a waxy layer, making towels less absorbent. Make sure the detergent you use doesn’t have a built-in fabric softener, either. If you love the smell of fabric softener, use scented linen water.

TIP Add ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar to a load to soften towels.

Keep colours bold
Hot water is good for eliminating germs, but it also fades colours. Warm water will keep colours bold and prevent towels from wearing down quickly. Even if your towel’s label says it’s colourfast, wash colours separately for the first few times. It’s a bit of a hassle but it helps maintain your towel’s original colour. Never wash whites with colours.

Use mild detergent

Stick with mild detergents for warm water washing, as strong ones break towel fibres down faster. Opt for a liquid detergent, as powdered ones may not come out in the rinse cycle and instead get stuck in the fibres — not good for those with sensitive skin. If you’re using a powdered detergent, add it as the washer is filling with water and add the towels when the water level is just over half-full.

Buy white towels
White towels are the way to go for easy maintenance and will create a spa-like look in your bathroom. Bleach them once in a while (not each time they’re washed; that’ll cause the fibres to break down faster) and you’ll have a new-looking, thoroughly disinfected towel. Warm water is still recommended, but hot can be used for stain removal. Another plus? They’re easier to replace than coloured towels (try matching dye lots years later!) and they go with most, if not all, colour palettes.

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