Nothing is more disappointing than stepping out of a lovely shower and reaching for a clean towel—only to find it feels gross. Towels wear out over time and start to shed, which makes them thin and ragged feeling. However, this process is supposed to take time. We know when a towel is old and needs to go.
But what about all those newer towels that seem to be withering away prematurely? As it turns out, towels need as much special care as our nicer pieces of clothing. How to keep bath towels smelling fresh and feeling great comes down to proper washing and drying.
What Makes Towels Wear Out?
A few factors go into the upkeep of washcloths and bath linens. If washed with the wrong settings or too much soap, towels become compromised. This is especially true if you use too much detergent, which is lethal to towels.
The absorbent nature of their weave makes this type of cloth vulnerable to soaking up the chemicals of our cleaning products. Once soaked up, the wash cycle is not enough to fully rinse out this substance, essentially waterproofing your towel! In other words, towels don’t absorb or dry out properly anymore, which will lead to bad smells and even mold.
Wash With Care
While it may be inconvenient for the busy homeowner, you should wash towels separately from other clothing. Doing so will give you a chance to figure out exactly how much product your batch of towels needs, rather than adding soap relative to a mixed load’s size. For towels that are already suffering bad odors and gross texture, try adding white vinegar to the load. The vinegar naturally fights odor by killing microorganisms and molds. If you want your towels extra fluffy, baking soda also helps clean and repair.
Gentler Drying Methods
How to keep bath towels smelling fresh most often comes down to the drying stage. Try to keep your towels separate again; they will always soak up more water than any other item, so they need extra time to thoroughly dry. Once dried, shake them out. This helps release any lint and loose threads as well as re-fluff the towels. If you’re still having trouble with sticky or smelly towels, double-check your dryer sheet usage.
Like detergents, these bright smelling squares also are loaded with unhealthy chemicals. The same greasy texture of this product gets absorbed by your towels in the dryer leading to the same waterproof effect. Instead, swap out toxic sheets for wool balls—they do the same work but are natural and chemical-free.
Anyone looking to retain that same bright scent should instead consider a spritz of a fresh linen spray Made from natural essence water, they lack the chemical nature that causes residue. Simply spray onto your wool ball, in the dryer, or over your folded laundry. This will help beat back smells as well as reduce many problems that are often symptomatically treated with more unhealthy chemicals.