How to launder towels so they last

If you're looking to make your towels last, look to the laundry. There are various tricks and tips relating to laundering your towels that will help keep them towels bright, plush and in tact.

How to launder towels so they last

Stop coloured towels from fading

  • Keep your brand-new coloured towels from fading by adding 250 millilitres (one cup) of salt to the water the first time you launder them.
  • The salt will "set" the colour and help the towels gleam brightly longer.
  • When the colour does start to fade, throw in some salt to perk up the colour again.
  • Adding salt will also give dark clothes a boost when they begin to fade.

When to add detergent

  • Be sure not to let full-strength detergent come into direct contact with your coloured towels, because that can cause colours to fade, too.
  • Wait until the washer is filling with water and the detergent is dissolved before adding the towels.

Reduce laundering time

  • You don't have to wash your terry-cloth bath towels after every use.
  • The towels will last longer if you limit the amount of time they spend in the washer and dryer.
  • Let them air-dry after several uses before laundering. (You'll want to wash them more often in humid weather, however.)
  • They'll stay fresher between launderings if you add 50 grams (1/4 cup) of baking soda with the detergent when washing. Rinse in cold water to save energy and money.

Skip the fabric softener

  • Fabric softener added to the washer or dryer will coat your towels and interfere with their absorbency.
  • Instead, try adding 250 millilitres (one cup) of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your wash.
  • It will act as a natural fabric softener, reduce static cling, and get rid of extra suds and soap deposits.
  • Using vinegar instead of fabric softener will leave your towels soft and fresh and save you money, too.

Give them a shake

  • If you air-dry towels outdoors, give them a vigorous shake before hanging them on the clothesline; then shake them again before you fold them.
  • This makes the towels soft and absorbent again by fluffing up the terry fibres.
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