Bathroom towels are tricky things.
They are used daily and therefore require lots of love and attention to keep them clean and healthy while looking good and feeling great.
Here are some common problems most of us will have encountered while maintaining a long-term relationship with our bathroom towel.
Problem #1: They never dry completely
Towels won't dry out if they are hung badly, if there is limited ventilation or if they are 'double hung' with another towel. Make sure you hang towels with enough space to air out properly - using a towel bar will be more effective than a towel hook. Remember, bathroom towels should only be used 3 - 4 times before being washed.
Problem #2: They smell.
No one wants to step out of a nice hot shower and wrap themselves in a smelly towel! If you're towels have a lingering odor, even when they are clean, it is because there is bacteria growing on it (eeeew!). Try washing them using the hottest water possible, along with 1 to 2 cups of vinegar. Set the highest water level and be sure not to over-fill your washing machine. After the wash is finished, wash them again with your regular laundry detergent and throw them straight into the dryer to ensure they dry properly. Just be careful not to tumble dry your cotton towels on a hot setting.
Problem #3: They're fading
To keep towels bright, put vinegar in with your detergent the first time you wash them, then dry them according to the instructions on the label. Really hot water will also speed up the fading process, so when washing coloured towels, make sure you turn down the wash temperature to keep the colour looking bold and bright.
Problem #4: They aren't fluffy anymore
Maintain the fullness of your towel by giving it a good shake before putting it in the dryer, and again after taking it out. Enlist the help of some dryer balls (or clean tennis balls) to help to keep towels extra fluffy. Drying towels outside in the sunshine gives them a great, airy scent, but it can also make them feel coarse and stiff. Be sure to shake towels firmly before hanging them on the line and peg them along the short side for a faster drying time with fewer wrinkles. You can soften coarse towels by tumbling them in a dryer for 3 - 5 minutes after they've been out on the line.
Problem #5: They are shedding lint
If your towel is shedding, chances are it's because it is new. A few washes should remove those loose fibres, but if the problem keeps occurring, try dissolving half a cup of baking soda in water and adding it to a hot wash of about 60 degrees Celsius.
Problem #6: They feel rough
If the softness is disappearing, it may mean you are using too much detergent to wash your towels with. Excess detergent will not make your towels cleaner, in fact, it can contribute to that rough, dried out feeling and even breed bacteria over time.
Problem #7: They're losing absorbency
Excessive use of fabric softener can coat the fibres of the towel and actually repels water instead of absorbing it. If you feel your towels are less absorbent than they used to be, try skipping the softener and add half a cup of white vinegar to your wash. Finish the process by throwing your towels in the tumble dryer.
As always, make sure you read the care label on your towels and ensure you follow the washing and drying instructions for best results.
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