Never reach for a stinky, scratchy towel again. It will be a thing of the past when you use these simple solutions for superb smoothness.

You wrap your shower, turn off the water and open the curtain. Nothing can knock you down. Except, perhaps, a rough, lifeless, mildew-y towel.

There’s hope, friends. It’s easy to keep your towels in tip-top shape. All you have to do is stop washing them like any other laundry (hint: save your dryer sheets for those non-laundry solutions), and you’re on your way to feeling fresh, clean and comfortable.

Use, block, repeat
I’ll start with the good news. You don’t need to wash the towels after every use. You’re off the hook as long as your towels are on one. Just dry, then hang that bad boy up right away. (If you don’t have enough, it’s easy to add a few more towel hooks to your bathroom.)

Also, keep the towels off the floor and you can go at least three uses before washing, so you only have to worry about the rest of these tips about once a week.

Don’t mix laundry loads
Wash your towels separately. Since towels usually stay pretty clean (you are clean when you use them, right?), they don’t need as much soap as clothes. Plus, excess soap can build up on your towels and dull their softness. Liquid fabric softener is a definite no-no, as it coats the fibers of the towels and can prevent them from absorbing moisture.

Rely on kitchen staples
Freshening your towels is easy. Start with a hot water cycle (for whites) or a warm cycle (colors) and add about half the detergent you would use for clothes. To clean moldy towels or remove old fabric softener, add 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar (it’s a miracle cleaner!) to your rinse cycle. Don’t worry, they won’t come out smelling like vinegar.

Using vinegar every other wash can also help prevent the musty smell, but you can also treat extra stinky towels by using baking soda instead. Super-striped towels might benefit from this occasional treatment: a hot cycle with only vinegar (no detergent) followed by a hot cycle with only baking soda.

Dry them right
In an ideal world, we only do one load of laundry at a time. If your dryer is empty, you’re more likely to get those towels in immediately. This helps prevent the harvesting that can occur while wet towels sit in the wash.

Dryer sheets can give the same absorbency blockage build-up as liquid fabric softener. You can use them from time to time, but they’re not crucial to keeping towels soft. Shake out your wet towels before you dry them, then remove them as soon as they are dry. Shaking helps fluff the fibers for maximum absorption and more efficient drying. Overdrying (along with using too much soap) is one of the cardinal sins of scratching. If the towels are still a little damp at the end of the dryer, err on the side of caution and hang them up to finish.

Tagged in: