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How to Make Old Bath Towels Soft Again


Brand new bath towels often feel soft and plush, especially if they are high-quality. They also last longer than cheap brands, but even the best towels begin to feel less luxurious over time. If you don't want to have to replace them until you update your bath décor, you can find ways to make them feel like they did when they were new. Here are a few tips that you can try.

Washing Your Bath Towels

When you purchase your towels you will want to wash them before the first use. It is ideal to begin these tips from the first wash and follow them every time you wash your towels for the best results.

In order to improve the softness of your linen (bath towels), you can wash them in hot water. This not only sanitizes the towels, but it improves the softness of them. The hot water is better able to dissolve oils from bath products or your skin and any other impurities that clog the fabric pores and cause them to become stiff. Of course, you have to read the label on the towels to ensure that they can be placed in hot water. White towels will generally be fine in hot temperatures, but colored towels may fade if you use hot water. Since you do not want to replace bath towels that match your bath décor until you are ready for an update, you will not want to risk it if it is not advised on the care label. You do want to rinse in cold water for the best results.

Regardless of the temperature of the water you use, you should not overfill the washing machine with the towels. Allow them to have plenty of room to move around so that they will get cleaner. This also prevents friction between the items that can make them wear out faster. Even if they look clean, they may not be completely free from chemicals and oils if they did not have enough room to move. For most standard washing machines, it is recommended to only put in two or three bath towels along with hand towels and washcloths. You should also set the machine to the highest setting to allow for enough water. Don't combine towels in the wash with other items of clothing since they can get caught up on closures that pull and tug on the fibers.

Use Vinegar

Many people ignore the extra rinse cycle on their washing machine to save on water use. This works well for most items, but bath towels can utilize the additional rinse. In the first cycle, you can add a half-cup of white vinegar to the wash. The vinegar helps to soften the fabric and is a natural ingredient that will not cause any damage to the material. It helps to remove any leftover oils in the linen (bath towels). Since you don't want your towels to smell like vinegar, the second rinse cycle will take care of that. When you are finished, all you are left with is clean-smelling, soft towels.

You can also use ammonia to remove oils from your towels but it does not provide the softening quality that the vinegar does. You can also use other softening agents but notice what ingredients are used to ensure that they don't add chemicals that will build-up on your towels to defeat your purpose.

Drying Towels

When you place your towels in the dryer, put in dryer balls or even a few unused tennis balls before turning on the setting. The balls will circulate around with the towels during the drying cycle and will pound the fibers to help them become naturally soft while fluffing up the towels.

If you like to line dry your towels, you will want to shake them to fluff up the fibers. You can also put them in the dryer on a cool setting to give them additional softness. Using a lower setting will also help prevent your towels from becoming too thin. Another option is to partially dry them on the line and finish in the dryer on a low setting.

Culprits for Scratchy Towels

While many towels last for years before they start to become scratchy and uncomfortable to use, others can start feeling that way within a few months of purchase. It's not always the quality of the towel that causes this issue but other culprits that steal the softness of the towels. Even high-quality towels such as Egyptian cotton or bamboo can begin to lose their plush, luxurious feeling quickly.

One problem is with hard water. If you have hard water in your home, it will not take long for brand new linen (bath towels) to start to feel old and rough. Another problem is using too much detergent and causing build-up in your towels. Even fabric softener can coat the fibers of the towels to reduce their softness. It also makes them less absorbent. The vinegar can help with all of these problems and you can also use a water softener for the hard water issue. Dryer sheets coat the towels and cause them to be less efficient at drying.

Many people like to buy their towels online for free shipping and sales to match their bath décor and do not know what quality they are getting until they have received them. For these tips to work effectively, you must start with good quality towels. Cheap towels are often rough to begin with and no work on your part will help them to improve. However, if you have soft, plush towels of fine quality, you can work to keep them that way for longer. This ensures that you will enjoy your bath towels until you are ready to replace them when you change your bath décor or select a different style.