How to Wash Towels: 15 Expert Tips for Prolonged Softness

There’s nothing quite like stepping out of a relaxing bubble bath or a steaming, hot shower and into the warm, soft embrace of your favourite Christy premium cotton towel.

Learn how to care for your towels like a pro to ensure your favourite Christy towels stay softer and last longer for a spa-like experience wash after wash.

How to Wash Towels: 15 Expert Tips for Prolonged Softness

How to wash your towels and keep them soft and fluffy

Proper towel care starts in your washing machine. Our top towel care tips discuss correct washing machine detergent usage and drying methods - and even what to avoid when washing your towels.

Knowing how to wash your dirty towels correctly can help extend their lifespan and keep them looking and feeling great for years.

Become a towel-laundry expert and follow this guide for towels that stay good as new after every clean.

Wash your towels before use

Washing your towels before their first use is really important. New towels often contain excess lint and other fibres that can shed and cause irritation or discomfort. By giving them a quick wash before using them, you can minimise the number of loose fibres - keeping your towels soft and ready to use.

Wash towels together

Laundering your towels separately from other items helps avoid pulls and pills on your towels and ensures you can use the correct care when washing. Weave pulls and fabric pills age your towels visibly and over time this will cause them to lose their softness. 

Doing this will also reduce the chance of discolouration or reduced absorbancy from using brightening detergents and softeners.

Separate lights, darks and colours

This is a well-known rule for laundering any fabrics, but be sure to separate your lights, colours and darks when washing. If you want to ensure your colours remain vivid and clean, consider washing like-colours together.

For example, all green towels together in one load, all beige, creams and light brown towels together in another load and then dark hues and blacks in one load, too.

Click here to browse our colourful towel collections.

Launder your towels in small loads

When laundry comes around we often want to make the most of our washing machine space and fill the drum to the brim, but this is counterproductive and can cause your laundry to come out not as clean as you’d expect.

When loading your washing machine, ensure there’s adequate space for your towels to tumble. This will change from machine to machine but we recommend leaving an estimated towels-worth of space.

Removing lingering smells from your towels

It’s normal for your towel to become musty and for smells to linger over time with regular use of your towel. To remove musty towel smells add about 64 grams or ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to your detergent tray and wash as normal.

Here are a couple of other hacks: 

Tea tree oil: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your washing machine when washing your towels. This natural oil has antibacterial properties that can help to kill odour-causing bacteria.

Air drying towels: If weather permits, hang your towels outside in the sun to dry. Natural sunlight and fresh air can help to kill bacteria and eliminate musty smells.

Lavender: To keep your towels smelling fresh, add a sachet of lavender or other fragrant herbs to your linen closet or drawers.

Remove buildup and re-fluff your towels

Much like lingering smells, with regular use and washing towels can lose their lustre and become stiff. This is commonly caused by a buildup of chemicals, including those found in your tap water. Thoroughly cleanse your towels by adding 230ml or 1 cup of white vinegar to your wash. And fear not - your towels won’t smell of vinegar when you take them out. 

Do you love a white fluffy towel? You’ll love our luxury white towels.

Avoid brightening laundry detergents

When shopping for your detergent, avoid using laundry detergent that contains brightening agents such as bleach, alpha hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxides. These ingredients can cause colours to fade, lead to patchy bath towels and deteriorate the fabrics which can reduce their absorption and softness.

Do not use fabric softener and dryer sheets on your towels

Contrary to popular belief, softeners should not be used on your towels! Using fabric conditioner can lead to a soapy residue which will not only decrease the softness and effectiveness of your towel causing them to be stiff, it can also permanently damage the threads and weave.

Similarly, dryer sheets can have the same adverse effect, causing a waxy  build-up in the towel fibres. To achieve softer towels without the harmful products, try adding ½ cup of vinegar during the final rinse cycle.

Use warm to medium hot water on a normal washing cycle

Depending on the colours of your towels, different washing instructions apply. However, the general rule of thumb is to put towels through a regular cycle at a medium-hot temperature, just hot enough to kill off any bacteria and remove loose towel fibres. However, you should check the care labels for product-specific instructions.

  • Dark towels should be washed with a warm water setting. Warm water is effective in removing dirt and bacteria while being gentler on the fibres of your towels, preventing them from fading and losing their colour intensity. Additionally, it's important to avoid washing dark-coloured towels with light-coloured ones, as this can cause bleeding and transfer of dye, resulting in discolouration over time.  

Light-coloured towels wash well with the hot water setting. Hot water can help to remove tough stains and brighten whites and light-coloured towels, providing a more thorough cleaning. However, it's important to note that hot water can also damage the fibres of your towels over time, so we recommend washing in cold water every now and then.

How often should you wash your towels?

The washing frequency will change depending on your usage, but we recommend washing or changing your towel once per week. After use, hang your wet towel to air dry in a warm space to prevent mildew and unpleasant smells.

In certain instances, It is recommended to wash towels after every use, such as when used at the gym to absorb sweat or when dealing with sensitive skin.

Is it safe to bleach white towels?

In an ideal world, your white luxury towels would stay as they are for as long as possible. You may be tempted to bleach them to bring them back to their original sparkling condition, but you should be extra vigilant when adding bleach to delicate fabrics.

Your first priority should be to check the laundry care label for any instructions or bleach-safe icons. If the label indicates that it's safe to use bleach, then you can proceed with confidence. However, if there's no indication on the label, you can consider the fabric composition as a determining factor. For instance, towels made from 100% cotton are generally safe to bleach.

How to know when it's time to replace your towels

Towels are one of the most frequently used items in our households. From drying off after a shower to wiping up spills in the kitchen, towels go through a lot of wear and tear. But how do you know when it's time to say goodbye to your old faithful towel and welcome a new one?

  1. General wear and tear: If you notice frayed edges, holes, or loose threads, it's a pretty good indication that your towel has seen better days. Not only are these imperfections unsightly, but they can also affect the performance of your towel. 
  2. A smell that won't shift: Another obvious sign that it's time to upgrade your towels is a musty or sour smell, even after washing. This is a common problem in towels that have been used for too long or have not been properly cared for. Over time, bacteria and mildew can build up in the fibres of your towel, causing that unpleasant odour. No amount of washing will be able to remove that smell, and it's time to invest in a new towel.
  3.  Rough textures: As towels age, the fibres become less absorbent, leading to a less effective drying experience. Plus, that scratchy feeling can be uncomfortable and irritating to the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin - it's time to ditch the scratchy towels once you're no longer enjoying the feel of them!

Tips on caring for your towels to keep them soft and fluffy

Over the years, we’ve built up quite the knowledge on how to care for home linens to keep them looking spa-quality and feeling irresistibly soft. Incorporating these tips will make a big difference to your towels!

Rinse off your skincare

You wouldn’t believe it but some skincare can bleach your towels! When using AHAs and other skincare products that contain acids and brightening agents, 

Sometimes no amount of care will stop the occasional pull and snag. Make sure to cut the pulled loop as soon as possible so it doesn’t worsen. This will help keep your towel looking new!

Christy’s towels have been created with lifelong softness and absorbancy at the forefront of our design. Browse our entire towel collection here

ensure your skin is thoroughly rinsed before drying your face with your favourite Christy towel. This will help prevent bleach patches and discolouration on your towel.

Snip off snags

Sometimes no amount of care will stop the occasional pull and snag. Make sure to cut the pulled loop as soon as possible so it doesn’t worsen. This will help keep your towel looking new!

How to store your towels

Whether you roll your towels for a perfect spa feel or neatly fold them away from sight, following these simple steps will help keep your towels smelling fresh and feeling brand new.

  • Make sure your towels are completely dry before storing them to prevent any funky smells!
  • Store your towels in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discolouration.
  • Avoid storing your towels in plastic bags or airtight containers as this can trap moisture and lead to mould growth.

How to dry towels correctly

When drying your towels, it’s easy to throw them into the tumble dryer on full heat for a maximum time, but this will over time damage the threads causing them to become overly dry and brittle which will affect the softness and absorption of your towel.

Here are some top tips for optimal drying:

  • We recommend using the automated setting on your tumble dryer which will stop drying when the towel is fully dried.
  • Consider air-drying your towels instead of using the dryer, as this can help preserve their softness and absorbency.
  • Shake out your towels before putting them in the dryer to help fluff up the fibres and prevent them from clumping together.
  • Don't overload the dryer - towels need space to move around and dry properly.

Upgrade to luxury towels made to last

Say goodbye to the frustration of constantly replacing scratchy towels that barely do the job. Upgrade to a luxurious, moisture-absorbing towel experience that will leave you feeling pampered and refreshed every time.

We know that there's nothing more luxurious than wrapping yourself in a soft, fluffy towel after a long, relaxing bath or shower. That's why we've designed our towels to provide you with unrivalled softness and absorbency, so you can enjoy that fresh-out-of-the-shower feeling after every wash.

Christy’s towels have been created with lifelong softness and absorbency at the forefront of our design. Browse our entire towel collection here.