January 17, 2022

How to Wash Towels

One of the most asked laundry questions from readers is how to wash towels so they feel soft, fluffy and smell good. If you’re wondering what the best methods are for truly clean towels, you’re going to love this post. You’ll also find some other laundry tips linked up at the bottom of the post.

Towels absorb water, if they aren’t hung up to allow for quick and thorough drying or if they remain damp, they get stinky. Hampers and baskets are full, towels get stuffed into the washing machine and never get fully clean. Then they get over-stuffed into the dryer and don’t get completely dry or get dry but aren’t folded right away leaving them wrinkled and crunchy. It’s much easier than you might think to keep those towels looking and feeling like new.

First things first, here’s my Towel Laundering Method:

  1. Every load of towels gets 1 scoop of Laundry Super Powder or 5 sprays of Laundry Detergent Spray – both have enzymes that break down dirt, sweat, bacteria, odors, etc.
  2. Every load gets 1/4 cup white vinegar in lieu of a fabric softener – this helps to soften the towels naturally – there is NO smell in the wet or dry laundry. I don’t always use white vinegar with the Laundry Detergent Spray as I feel like it doesn’t need it.  Say NO to fabric softener: it’s typically full of artificial fragrances and chemicals AND it coats the fibers in your towels making it harder to get them clean.
  3. Every load of towels gets 1 scoop of Oxygen Whitener – this whitens, brightens, and cleans.

How to keep your towels smelling fresh and clean:

There are some things you can do to ensure your towels are getting clean and not stinky between washing. As you read through these tips, think through your towel storage and your current laundry process to see if you can tweak your current system for cleaner towels.

    • Make sure your towel storage method is optimal for non-stinky towels.
    • Use bath towels no more than twice before washing and make sure that they are able to fully dry in between uses and before tossing them in a hamper or laundry basket.
    • Change your hand towels often – daily is optimal.
    • Never leave your towels (or any laundry) longer than a couple hours in the washing machine. The wet towels and closed space are breeding grounds for bacteria and smells to build up.
    • Never over-fill your washing machine or dryer as you want adequate water flow in the wash and air flow in the dryer to clean and dry your towels (and any laundry).
    • If you notice on my cleaning routine I wash sheets and towels on Saturdays. This works really well to keep the towels clean and put away on schedule.
    • If you have some extra stinky towels use 1/2 cup baking soda in a wash with warm water and then re-wash the towels with your favorite laundry powder or spray.

I use Wool Dryer Balls (sign up to be notified for the new wool dryer balls coming this spring) and a couple drops of the Clean Mama Blends of essential oil (love the Clean Home Blend for laundry!) on the dryer balls (let dry before putting in the dryer) to lightly scent towels and to help them dry thoroughly in the dryer.

Grab my must-have laundry products with a discount with the subscription or bundle! Lots of new laundry products are coming this spring!

Here are a couple more laundry posts you might enjoy:

How to Naturally Strip Laundry
Free Printable : Cleaning + Laundry Swaps
Simple Shortcuts : Laundry Tips
Free Printable : Laundry Schedule
Free Printable : Laundry Guide
Doing a Load of Laundry Every Day Can Change Your Life 
How to Naturally Clean Any Washing Machine and free printable guides

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