How Can I Make My Old Towels Soft and Fluffy Again?

Monday, January 25, 2010
posted by Lorraine L

6-pc-water-weaves-towel-setWritten by S.E. Smith

The stiff sensation of old towels on the skin can be very unpleasant. Some consumers dispose of towels when they start to get old and less absorbent. However, there are ways to make old towels soft and fluffy again, and when well cared for a towel will provide years of productive use. Caring for a towel well throughout its life will prevent the old towel phenomenon as well.

There are several types of material used for towels, all of which behave differently. Terry cloth is most commonly used for towels. Terry cloth is woven on a loom while using additional thread to create loops of material, also called pile. Velour towels are made in a similar manner, but the pile is sheared on one side to create a decorative shiny surface. Other towels include embroidery and other embellishments. It is time to retire old towels when the fibers have worn thin or the towel has developed holes.

When you purchase a towel, make sure that it is of high quality. Cotton tends to wear well throughout the life of the towel, and is easy to care for. Towels made from mixed fibers tend to wear poorly, and also tend not to dry the skin as well. In some cases, mixed materials can cause skin irritation. A towel of high quality will last longer because of the sturdier construction.

A common problem with old towels is that the colors tend to dull. Towels should always be washed with like colors to avoid bleeding of dyes onto other towels. In addition, white towels should always be washed separately. Use lemon juice instead of bleach to wash white towels, as bleach will damage the fabric. Old towels which have experienced color fade can sometimes be redeye, as long as the color is solid.

Old towels tend to be less absorbent and can sometimes acquire a crackly feeling when used. This is caused by being washed in hard water, or excessive detergent use. A fabric so0ftner can lead to lack of absorbency, because the fabric softener coats the fibers in the towel. Washing with vinegar will help to eliminate odor issues and will strip buildup from the towel. If you are concerned about odor issues with your old towels, wash in baking soda for a fresh scent.

Wash towels in warm water with like colors and fabric weights. Try to avoid overfilling your washer so that the towels will be evenly washed and will dry quickly. When you take the towels out, fluff them out before hanging them to dry or putting them in the dryer. Keep the dryer on medium heat and remove the towels promptly. Fluff the towels again before folding.

Old towels do not have to be banished to the darkest corner of the linen closet. Make sure to keep your linens rotated, which will prolong the life of your fabrics. Discard linens which are no longer suitable for use, or turn them into rags for use around the house. Make sure that towels do not remain in an extremely humid environment for more than few days. If the weather or the bathroom is humid, dry the towels in the dryer every few days, and wash them at least once a week.



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