How To Wash Towels

How To Wash Towels

There aren’t many things as satisfying as a warm, fluffy towel – but how do you keep towels feeling soft after multiple uses? The trick is in how you wash them.

If you’re looking for advice on the best way to wash your towels, you’re in the right place. Here’s everything you need to know…

How often should you wash towels?

Dirty towels can carry a lot of bacteria, which isn’t ideal after a bath or shower. To keep them clean, you should wash your towels every few days, or after 3 to 4 uses. You should also avoid sharing towels to keep them hygienic and prevent the spread of bacteria.

How to wash towels in the washing machine

The best way to wash towels is by using the washing machine. You should wash towels together, separately from your other laundry. This allows you to choose the correct setting for the optimum results and reduces the chance of discolouration from other laundry items.

You should sort your towels into light, dark and colours, and wash each group separately to reduce discolouration. Separating your towels means you can use specific detergents and products to target them, for example, a white-specific detergent for white towels or a colour-protecting detergent for colourful towels.

You should also take care not to overload your towels in the washing machine. As with any laundry, ensure there’s enough room left in the drum for your towels to tumble, as this provides the most efficient clean.

What setting to use to wash towels

Depending on the make and colour of your towels, different instructions may apply. If you’re unsure, always double-check the label on your laundry to see what settings are recommended.

Generally speaking, towels can be washed on a regular washing cycle. Most towels are made from cotton, so if your machine has a cotton option, this will help keep your towels soft and looking their best.

For a deeper clean, you can choose the sanitise or heavy-duty option, if your washer has this. However, we wouldn’t recommend using a harsh setting every time you wash your towels, as this can damage the fabric and lead to threadbare towels.

What temperature to wash towels on

If your towels have specific laundry instructions, you should always follow these.

As a general guide, towels are best washed on a warm or hot wash. As they can gather a lot of dirt, a cool wash isn’t strong enough to remove all dirt, oils and bacteria completely

Most towels, particularly dark-coloured towels, can be washed on a warm wash, around 40 degrees maximum. This is warm enough to clean the towel but gentle enough to keep the colour from fading.

If you have light-coloured or white towels and want a deeper clean, you can opt for a hotter setting, around 60 degrees maximum. Hot water can help kill bacteria and remove stains – just be cautious using water that is too hot, or washing towels on hot settings too often, as this can weaken the towel fibres over time. 

How to wash towels to keep them soft

To keep your favourite towels soft and looking their best wash after wash, follow these tips:

  • Don’t use too much detergent.

If you want super fresh-feeling towels, you may be tempted to use more product than usual. However, excessive detergent can leave a residue on your towels, which makes them feel stiff. For soft towels, we’d recommend using a little less detergent than usual.

  • Avoid fabric softeners

Similarly, many people overload their washers with fabric softeners to try to soften their towels. But, this can have the opposite effect. Fabric softeners can leave a coating on your towels. Over time, this can affect the absorbency or lead to the towels feeling stiff. If you’re not happy using only detergent, white vinegar can act as a natural fabric softener when added to the rinse cycle, as it ensures all detergent residue is removed.

  • Shake out towels after washing

Once your wash cycle has finished, and before you dry the towels, give them a thorough shake to fluff them up and prevent them from clumping together.

  • Air dry, or tumble on a low setting

Putting towels through the tumble dryer on a hot drying cycle can weaken the fibres, causing them to become rough. Instead, air dry your towels or tumble dry them using a low heat setting.

  • Avoid dryer sheets

If you do tumble dry your towels, avoid dryer sheets. Like fabric softeners, they can leave behind a residue on your towels and stop them feeling soft.

  • Rotate towels

Using the same towels repeatedly can cause them to wear down faster and lose their softness – especially if you don’t allow sufficient time to dry between uses. Rotate your towel usage regularly to make sure they have enough time to dry thoroughly between uses.

With these tips, you can continue enjoying soft, fluffy towels for even longer!

Are you looking to upgrade your washing machine? The Hoover washing collection is packed with options, from standalone washing machines to washer-dryer combos. Explore the full washing range at Hoover to make your laundry routine a breeze.