Towel care seems simple enough. Just toss them in the wash and you're good, right? As it turns out, there's a bit more to it than that. Here, the team at Garnet Hill fills us in on how to keep these daily essentials fluffy and absorbent for years to come.
Wash Before You Use
The first step in maximizing your towels efficiency starts as soon as you bring them home. Be sure to wash your towels before you use them, as this will open up the fibers. "If the fibers aren't open they won't be as absorbent," says the team from Garnet Hill. New towels are often coated in fabric softeners so they're nice and plush for shoppers, but these softeners prevent towels from soaking up water. To get rid of that buildup, add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle during the initial wash. And, in general, skip fabric softeners and dryer sheets when washing and drying bath towels to ensure they remain as absorbent as possible.
The Best Way to Wash
How frequently you should wash your towels comes down to personal preference, but the team at Garnet Hill suggest every three or four uses. Most towels require warm water in a regular cycle, but read the tag to be sure. "If the label stresses that you should separate your dark colors from your white colors, you better do that," say the experts at Garnet Hill. "And each towel could differ depending on the fibers." Speaking of those fibers, to avoid getting lint all over your clothes, wash towels separately from clothing.
The Best Way to Dry
Remove your towels from the washing machine, give them a shake, and tumble dry on medium heat. Once dry, remove immediately (inhale that fresh scent) and fold. To avoid a musty smell, make sure your towels are completely dry before folding and storing away. And if you're considering line drying your towels, be prepared for an exfoliation—line drying makes the fibers very stiff and scratchy. To avoid wrinkly towels, pull them out of the dryer as soon as they are 100 percent dry and fold.