Towels don’t have to be a short-term investment. They can last for years if treated well. Often, towels start pristine, but after a few wash cycles, they lose their luster. Extending their lifespan can be as simple as changing the type of laundry detergent you use. Read on to discover more ways to make your bath towels last longer.
Know Your Materials
First, you’ll need to know your materials. Each material has its own method of care and following those methods to the letter is crucial to keeping your towels fresh and fluffy.
Cotton towels are the most luxurious towels because of their high comfort level. Hotels, spas, and saunas usually carry cotton towels because of the comfy feel and level of softness. They have an incredible amount of value, and they’re long-lasting.
Microfiber towels—though incredibly thin and flexible—are durable and highly absorbent. Their high absorbency, however, can make them prone to mildew if not treated quickly and properly. They’re good for travel and can be easily folded into a briefcase without taking up much space. While practical, they tend to be less luxurious and absorbent than cotton.
Terry Cloth towels are perfect for people who have sensitive skin since the fabric doesn’t irritate due to its softness. Furthermore, terry towels are made from loops which cause the towels to feel thick and full rather than flimsy and easily torn for the duration of the towels’ lifespan. Trust me, that isn’t a texture you want to experience.
Now that we know which materials to consider when shopping for bath towels, we can discover the methods required to help our towels last.
How To Make Your Towels Last
Towels have definitive signs of wear as they near the end of their lifespan. In addition to this, using worn towels can get uncomfortable and irritate your skin. So, how do you keep your towels’ natural softness intact and make your bath towels last longer? Try the following:
- No fabric softeners. This may seem counterproductive, given the name, but fabric softeners coat the fibers in the towel, keeping your laundry detergent from getting your towels clean. Instead, try adding 1/4th of a cup of white vinegar to the softener compartment in your washing machine.
- Speaking of washing machines, those with multiple cycle settings are ideal for keeping your hand and bath towels fresh and clean. We recommend using the delicate cycle to reduce the risk of your towels ripping or tearing. However, if your towels are particularly dirty, you can use a stronger wash cycle to clean them properly.
- Use smaller loads. Overloading your washer keeps your towels from becoming completely clean. Towels need as much room as possible for water and airflow to work together in the cleaning process. It might be wise to wash towels in a separate, smaller load.
- Use a less stringent laundry detergent. That way, it’ll do its job, but it won’t be as harsh as other detergents. Towels washed with more astringent detergents and dried on high heat tend to shrink and lose their integrity over time. Some of these detergents are made from silicone oil, which latches onto towel fibers and makes them slippery and less absorbent. Emphasize natural ingredients and brands known for ‘softness.’ Sometimes you can find detergents that are specifically made for towels.
- Let your towels drip dry on a clothesline—just don’t forget to clip them to the line with clothespins! If your towels are still damp, put them in the dryer on low heat for a few minutes. If your towels are plenty dry from hanging on the clothesline, shake out the towels and fold or roll them up before putting them away.
- Let your towels air dry as much as possible, doing so keeps mold away—which helps keep your towels fresh for longer periods.
- Folding your towels and putting them away keeps them from collecting dust. A closet or drawer is ideal and will keep your towels as fresh as possible for when they’re ready to use.
- Use warm or cold water when washing your towels as hot water can cause colors to fade.
- Wash your brand-new towels before you use them. In addition to ridding your towels of bacteria and extra dye due to processing, washing your brand-new towels before using them also makes them soft and fluffy.
Now that you know how you should care for your towels so they’ll have a long lifespan, how do you know when it’s time to replace them? We’ll check more into this below.
When Should I Replace My Towels?
Not all towels can be saved. Sometimes, replacing them is better. Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace your towels. If you’ve tried everything to get the musty smell out—it’s flat and doesn’t absorb water properly, or it has several holes in it—it’s likely time to replace your towel. Though it’s no longer as fresh as it was, you can still use your old towels as wash rags—just make sure you wash these separately and on the delicate cycle.
There are many ways to make your towels look brand-new. Remember, the towel’s materials are key. Cotton is one of the easiest to procure, and it’s the most luxurious. Our Red Land Cotton towels are some of the best luxury cotton towels made in the USA!