Life hack: TikTok user shares her ‘secret’ for soft towels
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After just a few washes, homeowners may notice some of the towels in their regular bathroom rotation begin to lose their just-bought fluffy feel, leaving dry, scratchy towelling material in its place. The obvious thought might be to chuck them in the laundry with an extra dose of fabric softener for good measure. However, experts at Mira Showers warned “never” to use fabric softener as it “lessens their absorbency”.
The cleaning experts noted that washing towels is not as “simple” as it sounds.
They said: “Washing towels is simple, right? You just put them in the washing machine and let it do its thing.
“While doing this isn’t exactly wrong and will, at the very least, result in clean towels, it’s not the ideal way to care for them.
“If you want to get the best out of your towels for longer, a little care in washing them will go a very long way.”
Specifically when it comes to products being used on towels, they suggest using a mixture of white vinegar and detergent.
The experts explained: “Towels will have a silicone finish that makes them less absorbent.
“You’ll also want to set the colour so that it doesn’t run or fade.
“To do this, use half the normal amount of detergent and add a half cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle for the first few washes.”
Some people insist that towels should be washed with other items of clothing in order to keep the drum of your machine balanced.
A load of wet towels will throw the machine’s drum off balance, resulting in a thumping noise when it spins.
Others say to wash towels by themselves for hygiene reasons and because they produce a lot of lint.
The cleaning pros pointed out: “Both are correct, but we advise washing towels separately and not overloading the machine.”
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Scientifically, the majority of the dirt on towels comes from the oils and sweat on our skin.
Rather than using fabric softener on towels, the pros advise opting for detergent.
They said: “To properly remove these, you need emulsifiers, which are found in most decent laundry detergents.
“Use half the amount you would for a normal clothes wash and make sure to set the wash to an extra-long rinse cycle as residue from detergent will leave your towels feeling stiff.
“For white towels, we suggest using a brightening agent or a whitening detergent.
“Never use fabric softener on towels as it lessens their absorbency.”
There are differing opinions on what temperature and setting to wash towels on.
Some people advise 30 degrees, saying anything hotter will make towels stiffen.
Others cite the bacterial load in towels as a reason to wash them at hotter temperatures, ranging from 40 degrees to a staggering 90 degrees.
The laundry experts instructed: “Coloured towels definitely prefer lower temperatures, as the dye in the fibres can cause them to become faded and scratchy when washed in hot water.
“Wash coloured towels at 40 degrees and white towels between 60 and 75 degrees.”
The final step for cleaning your towels is to dry them and the experts noted that the “secret” to do it effectively is how much heat is used on them.
They said: “The secret is heat but not too much heat. It’s not good for your towels to dry them the whole way in the tumble dryer and worse still to put them on the radiator.
“The former will ruin the fibres and the latter will leave them stiff and unpleasant to use.
“Air-drying works well, especially outside on the line as the sun will bleach white towels to keep them white and the UV rays kill any remaining bacteria.”
Those air-drying them inside, open windows or use a dehumidifier to prevent a build-up of moisture in the air.
The laundry enthusiasts explained that the “best method” they’ve found is to take the towels out and shake them once the wash cycle is finished, then put them in the tumble dryer with some clean tennis balls and dry for around 20 minutes on a high heat.
They continued: “The tennis balls will fluff up the towels and the heat will kill any remaining bacteria.
“Then dry the towels the rest of the way on the line. Make sure they are totally dry before putting them away and always air-dry them flat after use.”
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