We talked recently about when it’s time to toss the towel. (Into the washing machine, as opposed to the garbage can.) But what if over time they’ve have gotten kind of… well… crunchy? Does terrible texture mean it’s time to trash that towel?
According to CNET, not necessarily.
Eventually even the best towels can become stiff, scratchy and not very absorbent. It happens when fabric softeners and residue from dryer sheets build up on the fibers.
Did you catch that? The very thing you’re using in hopes to make your towels fluffy and soft – namely, fabric softener and/or dryer sheets – will eventually have the exact opposite effect of what you intended.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to swear off that spring-fresh scent you love. You just need to strip away that built-up residue and get back down to clean fibers.
First, load your washer with towels (clean or dirty, doesn’t matter) and set your washer’s temperature to hot water or the sanitize cycle. Then add a cup of vinegar by pouring it in the area where you normally pour the laundry soap.
Skip the detergent, and forego the softener. You want nothing in the wash except your towels, the vinegar, and plenty of hot water. (Which will also help to freshen and disinfect your towels.)
When the towels are done, run the load again, but this time add a cup of baking soda to the load the same way you added the vinegar.
Again, no detergent. And certainly no softener. (Otherwise you’re just feeding into the same problem you already have.) Dry your now-residue-free towels on high heat, and enjoy.
If your towels are really coated with residue you may need to repeat these steps one more time. To keep your towels fresh, give your towels this treatment once a month or whenever they start to feel crunchy.
Really, nobody wants to use a crunchy towel. Especially your guests. And with minimal effort once a month or so, you can keep them soft, fluffy, and luxurious!