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What you need to know about taking care of your towels

by emily

in Variety

One of the best things about taking a shower is wrapping yourself in a soft, fresh towel afterwards. There is no doubt that this action is calming, and depending on the towel material, extremely comfortable.

While you might only be using your towel once or twice (at maximum) a day, it’s important to know when and why it’s time for a towel wash. Towels should be changed every three to four days and hand towels should be changed more frequently due to their regular use. Dirty towels, especially those that aren’t left out in the cold to dry, carry a massive amount of microbes which are linked to infectious diseases. There is no way you can keep your towels germ-free but you can limit the dirt by washing them weekly.

Many people are not aware that towels are such a bacteria trap, but you’re transferring natural skin bacteria from all over your body onto a towel which already has germs and bacteria on the surface. Even more so when you reuse a damp towel. In future, wash your towels every few days with the right chemicals and method to ensure your towels are best kept for your health and for their condition.

Here are some tips for taking care of your bathroom towels:

  • Do not wash with too much detergent

Once you’ve purchased a new set of towels, do not use them immediately without washing them in vinegar. This will help set the dye and keep the colour brighter for longer. The vinegar also helps your towels shed less in the tumble dryer. After a while of using your towels, do not add too much detergent into your water when washing them. Why? This stiffens towels as they absorb all that soap, which is then topped up by the soap we give off from our bodies. If you did add too much detergent, set your washing machine for longer rinses to get rid of all that extra soap which is destroying the material.

  • Be careful with fabric softener

As much as you think fabric softener is going to keep your towels soft and fresh, think again. Fabric softener actually prevents towels from absorbing water as it tends to sit in the material and leave a wax buildup. In this case, wash your towels with vinegar or baking soda to get rid of any soap, and make sure it rinses properly. Experts suggest leaving softeners altogether, but if you feel that you’d like to use a softener to add a clean, fresh smell to your towels, then resort to very little.

  • Do not use towels to remove makeup

Well, this is simply for stain purposes. If you’re going to spend money on buying good quality towel fabric then best you avoid removing your makeup with them at all costs, because makeup has oil in it which is not easy to get out of anything. If not treated correctly during the washing process, these stains could become permanent.

  • Do not wash your towels in hot water

Naturally, we wash our clothes and dishes in hot water to get rid of the dirt. But with towels, it’s the opposite. Hot water can cause some towel materials to fade, become scratchy, and lose their knack to dry off and soak up water. Especially for towels that have patterns and brighter colours as the hot water will cause them to fade, however, hot water benefits white fabric towels.

  • Make sure your towels are dry before using them

As mentioned, when your towels are damp they can build up mildew which is not good for your health. But over-drying them after a wash can also destroy the fibres in the material. So, if you are unsure of what to do, air-dry them effectively and make sure that your towels breathe properly. If you are drying your towel in the machine, then follow the correct material instructions and shake them out in between the wash and dry cycle. If your towel comes out smelling stinky then run it through the wash with a cup of baking soda. This will eliminate the musty smell, usually what you smell after swimming and then drying yourself or leaving your towel tucked away in a bag for a few days.

Final words

Good quality, more expensive material towels will make a difference in the long-term condition. Much like everything in life, if you’re going to buy the cheaper version of something then you are going to be left with the consequences that come along with it. For example, to keep prices as low as possible, some manufacturers use a poor quality yarn and ‘fake’ softness. Unfortunately, the chemicals in the softener make towels less absorbent, which leads to you not being able to dry your body properly and having to dump them. As a result, do some research on the best quality material to suit your budget.

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