So how do we make our towels last so long? Here are a few tips:
- Wash every 5-7 uses. That's right...we use towels for about a week and hang them up to dry. The less laundering, the longer the life.
- Hang to dry completely. If you do not wash after each use, make sure you hang the towels in a way to allow them to dry completely. If they are still wet a few hours later, you need to find another way or place to hang them or they are just going to reek soon. Make sure the entire towel is exposed to air for drying purposes. If you can hang near sunlight, this will help.
- Wash on the warmest setting allowed by the colors of the towels. I know...this goes against the conservation teachings, but the more germs and stains you get out of your towels, the longer they will last. Promise.
- Do NOT use fabric softener. I've covered this before on this blog, but I will say it again. Do NOT use fabric softener on your towels. This includes liquid softener for the wash, dryer sheets, or those terrible, terrible dryer bars that one particular company promotes (terrible because fabric softener damages some clothes and this is a semi-permanent fixture to your dryer). The chemicals that make your towels soft also make them non-absorbent. Ever tried to use a towel that will not soak up water? It will not remove water from your wet body either. That's a sign that they have been washed and/or dried with fabric softener. There is no way to fix this...you just have to toss them.
- Get the funk out. Also preached on this blog before, there are times when your towels just get this smell. It permeates the towel and no amount of regular washing will remove it. But you do not have to throw in the towel (I'm so punny) or buy some special cleaning products. Here's how to get rid of it: white vinegar. Wash your towels with vinegar rather than detergent in one load and dry as usual. Smell gone. And no...your towels will not smell like vinegar when they dry.
- Hang out to dry. This is one that we do not do because we have no where to hang up clothes, but line drying instead of machine drying will save your towels (and some electricity as well!).
So that's it. Use these steps and I promise that your towels will last longer too!
Photo credit: heltje