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How to Soften Towels (and Keep Them Soft)

How to Soften Towels (and Keep Them Soft)

Posted by The Canningvale Team on 20th Mar 2024

We all love the feeling of brand-new, fluffy towels, but over time even the most luxurious ones can start to feel stiff and scratchy. Don’t worry, with a little bit of know-how, you can keep your towels feeling plush and snuggly for years to come.

Why do towels get scratchy?

It may sound counterintuitive, but the combo of excess detergent and fabric softeners could be the reason your towels feel more like an exfoliating loofah than the luxe cuddly towel you first purchased.

Washing your towels right

📸 by Featuring Royal Splendour Towels

To keep your towels soft and snuggly, first you need to make sure you’re washing them correctly.  

It’s always best to batch your towels and wash them separately from the rest of your laundry (especially your white towels). Washing with other items means lint from the other fabrics can collect over time, leaving them a little “grey-ish”.  

To ensure there is plenty of water around the towels to soak and wash properly, do not overfill your machine.

Reduce the amount of detergent used (about a quarter of your regular load) and increase the water temperature to warm or hot to soften the fibres in your towels.

How to soften your towels

If your towels feel stiff and scratchy, it might be time to take emergency measures!

Next time you’re doing a load of towels, mix half a cup of baking soda in with your normal detergent (still a quarter measure). The baking soda will clean your towels and eliminate the chance of mildew and musty smells from being damp for too long. Don’t panic if your towels come out feeling scratchier than ever! This is only the first step.

Do a second wash and add a cup of white vinegar into your fabric softener compartment (no detergent this time). The baking soda in your first wash will leave your towels cleaner and better smelling, but can initially cause them to feel a little harsh. The vinegar will restore the softness.

** We do not recommend fabric softeners as they just coat the fibres of the towel and decrease absorbency.

📸 by @ashleejayinteriors

Drying your towels…

📸 by @phoenixandtheocean featuring Alessia cotton bamboo rib towels

For the softest and fluffiest towels, add a tennis ball to the dryer, this will make them extra soft, as the pounding of the ball beats the fibres into the softest submission during the tumbling action.

No dryer? No problem.

If you’re line-drying your towels, give them a good shake before hanging out in the shade (avoid direct sunlight) to fluff up the fibres, and another shake before folding and storing. This will give your towels the best chance to maintain their snuggly hand feel for years to come.

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