How to wash towels properly – the 7 do’s and don’ts

TikTok user shares cleaning hack to keep towels soft

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When you think of hotel room bathrooms, you think of soft, luxurious towels. There’s no reason why you can’t achieve hotel-standard towels at home if you know-how. Express.co.uk chatted to George Hughes, founder of towel and bedding brand Dip & Doze, to find out how to wash towels properly.

How to wash towels properly

DON’T use fabric conditioners

Fabric conditioners are supposed to leave your clothes, bedding and towels feeling soft to touch and in tip-top shape, just like hair conditioner works on your hair after shampooing.

However, George recommends ditching fabric conditioners to keep your towels soft.

The expert said: “The waxy residue can actually make the fibres stiffer over time and affect the drying performance, making them less absorbent.”

Cool it down

Stick to low temperatures as much as possible when washing towels.

George explained: “It is not recommended to wash above 40℃ for the sake of the environment, but sometimes it’s necessary to wash at a higher temperature for allergy or hygiene reasons.

“If you’ve invested in organic cotton, it would be a shame to douse it with chemicals, so choose a non-biological detergent.”

Dry them naturally

Want to make your towels soft again? DON’T dry them on a heated radiator!

George warned: “Drying towels on a heated radiator is guaranteed to make them hard and crunchy.
“Instead, dry your towels naturally – line or air drying is ideal.

“Simply shake them out after washing to fluff the towels up.”

Alternatively, use a low heat setting on the tumble dryer to help maintain softness in the fibres.

Quality is key

‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ is a commonly used phrase, and it’s absolutely true when it comes to towels.

George advised: “The best way to care for your towels is to make a sound investment at the beginning.

“High quality, 100 percent organic and Fairtrade cotton is a great way to start.

“Dip & Doze to tick all of the above, with bath towels, hand towels, face towels & bath sheets, all designed to challenge the ‘throwaway mentality’ with our textiles, by working harder and lasting longer.”

Wash them alone

Whatever you do, DON’T wash your towels with your clothes!

If you want to keep those whites white and free from snags, try to wash your towels separately from potential hazards like zips, hooks, buttons and velcro trims that can pull the threads.

George said: “To help keep your white towels looking whiter for longer, make sure you separate lights from darks to avoid any colour transfer.”

Wash them frequently

Ideally, you should clean your bath and hand towels after every three to four uses.

Face towels should ideally be washed after every use too – especially if you have sensitive skin or eczema – doing so will help prevent irritation, George said.

The expert said: “Gym towels should be changed after every use as they come into contact with sweat, airborne bacteria and other contaminants if you use them to wipe down equipment, along with towels used at public swimming baths.

“It’s a really good idea to have separate beach and bath towels as well – even if that means packing twice as many – as sand can be hard to remove.”

Fold them

Get that upscale hotel look with the goddess of organisation, Marie Kondo.

George said: “The Konmari method of towel folding involves laying the towel flat, folding it in half widthways to make a rectangle, then folding the halved towel in half widthways again, then folding the towel into thirds by taking one end into the middle and finish by folding the other end over the top. Simple.

“Alternatively, impress your guests with a towel swan or a fan arrangement.”

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