Getting new bath towels is a treat! We typically wait until our towels have long passed their expiration date. If your towels have been hanging around since the George W. administration, it’s time to put them out of their misery or at least banish them to the rag or pet pile.
Besides, picking out new bath towels is fun. You hold them up, test their weight, wrap them around you, imagine how they will feel after a nice relaxing shower…
You open your eyes and realize, “Yikes, I look ridiculous!”
You get your amazing new towels home and then you notice how heavy they get after hopping out of the shower and drying off.
What the heck? Why are wet bath towels such a drag?
Bath towels are designed for maximum softness, durability, and absorbency. Maximum absorbency makes them water retaining machines.
Here’s the problem with water retention… it breeds bacteria. Scary bacteria.
Preserve Your New Bath Towels And Your Health
Let’s face it, the bathroom is one of the germiest rooms in your house. Flushing your toilet can contaminate anything within a six-foot radius in every direction… Where’s your toothbrush stored?
After you use your towel, don’t hang it in your dark bathroom on a hook. Hang on a towel bar or over a towel rod and make sure the towel is spread flat and not squished together. Your towels need proper ventilation to dry completely between each use. If your towel remains damp between uses, it is a breeding ground for nasty germs.
Make sure you store your towel at least 6-feet away from your toilet (3 feet for low-flow toilets).
Clean towels should be folded and stored in a closet outside of the “dirtiest” room in the house and far from the bacteria spewing toilet.
Remember that feeling when you were towel shopping and wrapped yourself in your towel? Washing your towels correctly keeps your towels fresh, fluffy, and inviting after every hot shower or luxurious soak in your tub. Here are some simple and helpful tips for caring for your bath towels.
- Wash your towels before the first use. If you use a ½ cup of white vinegar, it will help set the dyes and keep your towels’ color vibrant. Washing will also help reduce the lint and shedding common for new towels.
- Frequently wash your bath towels. Bath towels should be washed after 2-3 uses as long as the towels are allowed to dry completely between each use. If they begin to smell musty, wash them immediately, and add some vinegar to the wash cycle.
- Wash towels together. Washing your bath towels together will significantly reducing pilling. You know, those annoying little balls of fabric. You should never wash your towels with clothing. Zippers, buttons, and snaps can snag your towel’s fabric and lead to holes and tears.
- Avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Fabric softener is awesome for your favorite T-shirt. But fabric softener builds up on towels (that absorbency machine) and causes damage to the fibers and reduces the towel’s absorbency. Dryer balls are great alternatives to fabric softener and will remove wrinkles while softening and plumping your favorite bath towels.
- Refresh your towels with baking soda. To give your towels a cleaning boost, add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your regular detergent. The baking soda helps eliminate musty smells and revitalizes your bath towels.
- Wash towels in smaller loads. Don’t overload the washing machine when washing towels. It’s very important to have adequate room for the rinse cycle to do its job and get all of the dirt and laundry detergent out of the towels.
- Try line-drying your bath towels. Nothing is better than a warm fresh from the dryer towel. Over drying towels can damage your towels. Try line-drying your bath towels until they are almost completely dry and then pop them in the dryer to get them fully dry. You can also let your towels dry completely on the line.
- Immediately remove wet towels from the washing machine. Wet towels in the washing machine can begin to grow bacteria within a few hours. When the wash cycle ends, remove the towels immediately and place them in the dryer or on the clothesline to dry.
How Often Should You Replace Bath Towels?
How often bath towels need to be replaced depends on a few things. How many sets of bath towels do you have? If you rotate your towels, they will last longer. If you follow the guidelines above, that will also extend the life expectancy of your towels.
On average, bath towels should be replaced when they begin to show wear or are have become less absorbent.
Bottom line, when cared for properly, high-quality bath towels will last 2-4 years.