How to wash towels: ‘Optimum temperature’ to avoid ‘stiff’ towels

Regular washing and drying can cause towel fibers to become stiff and rough, but knowing what wash temperatures to use, how to load the washer, and what products to choose can restore softness to towels and prevent them from getting that bad again. condition. Tom Drake, DIY expert at Only Radiators, has shared his best laundry tips to “keep towels soft and combat creaking.”

He said: “Towels can feel hard and stiff due to soap and detergent buildup causing a less absorbent layer on your towels. You may think that a lot of fabric softener and a hot wash will keep your towels fresh, but this can actually have the opposite effect.”

For soft and fluffy towels, pay attention to the washing temperature, checking the washing symbols on the labels of all towels before they go into the machine.

Tom said: “You may think that higher temperatures are better for washing clothes, but for towels, the optimum temperature is between 30 and 40 degrees. Warm water absorbs detergent better and, in turn, leaves fewer chemicals on your towels, making them feel stiff.

“Although washing towels at higher temperatures is the most efficient way to get rid of germs, 30 or 40 degrees will still kill most bacteria and preserve the fibers of the towels.”

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He said: “Fabric softener will coat the fibers of the towel and build up over time, making the towels feel stiff and become less absorbent.

“Soften with towels in a load of white vinegar just once every few weeks to remove soap scum that makes your towels feel 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 loosen the fire in the towels.

He explained: “Baking soda not only helps brighten towels and keep them soft, it also keeps odors at bay. A half cup of baking soda per load will do the trick, along with your regular detergent.”

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Too much intense heat can damage the cotton in your towels, which can be another reason why they feel hard and stiff.

Tom suggested that the British “skip the dryer stage”. 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 are drying them this way, you should shake them once they are dry to fluff them up.”

Shaking your towels is a quick and simple step in your laundry routine that can have a big impact on their softness.

This will open up the fibers slightly, allowing the detergent to penetrate each pore and leave them super clean.

Once households have perfected the washing and drying routine, the final step in keeping towels soft is proper storage.

Tom said: “By storing the towels side by side rather than stacking them, you will ensure that the bottom towels don’t get crushed by the top ones. To prevent this from happening, you can store towels on heated towel racks.”

Add a few drops of lavender or another essential oil to towels before you put them away to keep them smelling wonderful.

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