Bedding expert shares 4 methods to properly clean towels to keep them ‘fluffy’

Lynsey Queen of Clean shares her laundry tip

Jessica Hanley, founder of Piglet in Bed, has shared top tips which will help to keep towels “softer” and “last longer”. Jessica explained: “Wash your new towels before you use them. Nearly all new towels are coated with softeners that are often used during the finishing process, which provides that extra fluffy look that you see at the store. The coating can restrict the absorbency of your towels, so it’s best to practise to wash them before your first use.”

1. Avoid chemicals

The expert recommended avoiding using harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach because this can affect the quality and colour of towels.

She added: “Adding fabric softener coats the fibres with residue, which can hinder water absorption.

“Instead, use wool dryer balls to help fluff fibres and speed up the drying time of towels.”

Instead of fabric softener, put some white vinegar in with the towels when washing them. Vinegar is one of the ways to achieve “soft towels” which have begun to feel stiff.

The household essential can also help to remove bad odours and bacteria, perfect for cleaning towels which can hold lots of germs.

2. Invest in high quality towels

If you invest in high quality towels from the beginning, this will help them last longer and may also help to keep them soft.

Jessica explained: “Opting for cotton terry towels made from high quality materials such as cotton poly blend or zero twist cotton, gives you the best start for long-term freshness and softness.

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“Zero twist means that the yarn didn’t have to be twisted in the production process, which is only possible with high quality cotton fibres, making towels feel luxurious.”

When purchasing towels, make sure to avoid towels which have decorative trimmings such as crochet or frayed edges.

According to the pro, these can show signs of wear and tear faster than the rest of the towel so pick ones without these patterns.

3. Separate clothes

Jessica continued: “Keep your clothes and towels separate when washing.

“Washing towels with clothes can transfer a lot of bacteria between each item in the washing cycle.

“Putting towels in their own load allows towels to dry easier, as damp towels typically dry slower than clothes.

“Make sure you shake any excess water from your towels before placing them in the dryer, as this will help fluff the material and keep them absorbent.

“Avoid leaving wet towels to sit in the washer for a long period of time, as this can result in an unpleasant musty smell.”

4. Drying towels

It can be hard to dry towels, especially during the winter months and if you don’t have access to a tumble dryer. However, if you do put towels in the tumble dryer, make sure to dry them on a low heat, as the expert said high heats can cause damage to the fibres.

The “ideal temperature” to dry them is 40C which will help to keep them nice and soft, eliminating bacteria in the process.

The bedding expert noted: “In the summer months, take advantage of the sun to let your towels air dry – the ultimate all-natural dryer that helps maintain the integrity of the fabric, and keeps your towels soft and fresh.”

When it comes to storing them, make sure they stay folded as this will help to keep them soft and nicely organised.

While this might seem simple, it can make a huge difference. Jessica added: “Begin by holding the short end of the towel at chest height, and then fold each edge across to meet the opposite side fold to achieve neatly overlapping thirds. Fold up the bottom third of the towel, then fold the top third down, and store with the outer folded edge of the towel facing out to make it easy to grab your towels off the shelf – and to keep your closet looking great.”

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