How to Wash Towels

Jun 24, 2023

Washing towels can be a bit of a mystery. When should you wash them, what temperature should you use, and how often should you do it? To answer all these questions and more, we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide on how to wash towels properly.

How to Wash Towels?

Wash towels in hot water. The hotter the water, the more effective it will be at removing germs and dirt from your towels.

Use a gentle detergent. A mild detergent like laundry soap or dish detergent will be sufficient for washing your towel and keeping it clean, fresh, and soft-as long as you rinse well before drying it out to prevent residue from building up on the fabric of your towel!

Don’t Overload the Washing Machine

How many towels can you wash at once?

One of the most common mistakes people make when washing towels is loading them into the washing machine and then adding more like they might with clothes. The problem is that if you overload your washing machine, your towels will get tangled up and bunched together in a messy pile.

So how many towels should you wash at once?

While there's no magic number, experts recommend not going over two towels per load unless they're dirty (and even then, it may be best to separate whites from darks). Smaller or thinner items like hand towels should also be washed separately from larger bath sheets and robes because they won't soak up as much water during the rinse cycle—which means they could take longer than usual to get clean!

Don’t Use too much Detergent

The first thing to remember when washing towels is that you should use only as much detergent as is necessary. A cup or less of detergent per load is sufficient, and adding more won't make your towels any cleaner.

Choose Temperature by Color

Wash your white towels on the lowest temperature setting.

Light-colored towels can be washed at a medium temperature.

Dark-colored towels should be washed at a high temperature.

Dry on Low Heat

The best way to dry towels is on a rack or clothesline. The sun's heat will help them dry faster, but you should avoid drying towels in direct sunlight unless the weather is cool and sunny.

Don’t Worry About Adding Fabric Softener

Don’t bother with fabric softener. It’s not necessary, and it can make towels less absorbent and scratchy. Fabric softener also coats the fibers of your towels with chemicals that will stay there even after you dry your towel, which means they can clog up your washing machine over time.

Washing Towels by Hand

You can hand wash towels in a sink or tub. It's important to use warm water and a mild detergent, such as Ivory Snow or Snuggle. You'll also want to add two tablespoons of baking soda as a natural rinse agent, which can help reduce the odor-causing bacteria on your towels. If you're looking for extra cleaning power during this step, add ½ cup of white vinegar after filling your container with hot water, then let it sit for 30 minutes before draining and rinsing with cold water.

Drying: Hang Them Out!

When done washing them (or after drying them), hang your clean towels outside on a line or clothesline where they will dry quickly in fresh air in no time flat—you'll feel good knowing that there are no toxic chemicals being emitted into our environment through dryer sheets!


Detergent Using the right detergent is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your towels last. Here are some things to keep in mind: Use a mild detergent with as few ingredients as possible. This will help prevent fabric buildup and residue, which can make towels less absorbent over time. Do not use bleach. It may sound like a good idea at first, but it actually breaks down cotton fibers and causes them to become less absorbent over time. Do not use fabric softener sheets or other harsh detergents—they can cause similar problems as bleach does above by breaking down the towel’s fibers faster than normal usage would have done on its own (and fabric softeners also make it harder for a towel to dry).


Temperature is another important factor to consider when washing towels. Hot water will fade colors and cold water will not clean your towels well. Warm water is best for cleaning, but if you are concerned about fading the colors of your towels, use slightly cooler water instead of hot.


How long to wash towels

As with all things, this depends on how dirty your towels are. If you have a lot of them and want to wash them all at once, you can use a large load setting in your washer and then dry them on high or permanent press. If you only have a few that need washing, it's best to do one load every day or two instead of waiting until there are enough for an entire load.


Wring out excess water:

  • Place the towel on a flat surface and fold it in half, then fold in half again.
  • Grab the towel by one of its corners and twist it vigorously, like you're wringing out a wet dishcloth. You should feel some resistance as you twist; this means there's still some moisture in there! Keep twisting until that resistance disappears, then go back to step 1 to repeat if necessary.


When it comes time to dry your towels, there are a few things you should know. It's best not to put them in the dryer. There's no need; they're already clean and fluffy, so why waste energy? Washcloths will take about 15 minutes on low heat or about 30 minutes on medium heat. You can just hang them up there and let them air dry

Other TIPS

You should wash towels after every use, as well as when you suspect that they have become dirty (i.e., don't just wait until the laundry pile gets too high).

How to Dry Towels?

You should wash towels after every use, as well as when you suspect that they have become dirty (i.e., don't just wait until the laundry pile gets too high).

How to Fold Towels?

Folding towels is not hard, but it does take some practice. It's important to fold your towels so that they dry faster and fit better in your linen closet. When you fold a towel, make sure that the edges are neat and even. This will help them last longer as well as make them look nicer when you take them out of the wash or pull them out of storage later on!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should i wash towels?

A: The frequency of your towel washing depends on how you use them. For example, if you use a bathroom towel every time you shower and then hang it up to dry, it will need to be washed more frequently than the hand towel that only gets used periodically.

Can you wash towels with clothes?

Yes! It’s okay for towels to get washed along with other items like jeans and T-shirts; however, if there are any loose ends sticking out from under garments (like strings), they may end up causing damage during the wash cycle so keep an eye out for this issue before starting the cycle.

How to make towels soft again?

If you're looking for ways to make your towels softer, there are a few options.

  • Vinegar is a common ingredient in homemade cleaning solutions and can be used as a fabric softener. The acetic acid present in vinegar softens the fibers of your towel and breaks down any soap residue left behind after washing. It's best to use distilled white vinegar on cotton towels; otherwise, the color will bleed out. To use this method:
  • Add 1 cup white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your wash (after adding detergent but before adding clothes).
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes before draining the tub. This is optional if you don't want to wait around; however, letting it sit will allow more time for its cleaning abilities to work their magic. Conclusion

If you follow these steps, you will have clean, soft towels every time. If your towels are still rough and stiff after washing them in the recommended manner, there could be something wrong with your detergent or fabric softener. Try changing brands to see if this helps.

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