When you use a towel, you want to be sure it’s not crawling with germs because when you use the towel you don’t want to be worse off than you were before. You might be surprised to learn that a simple run through the washing machine probably isn’t enough to get your towels as clean as they could be. Shocking, right? Fortunately, I’ve gathered some tips from the experts to help ensure that your towels are always clean and sanitary. You’re welcome.
1. Start by Cleaning out Your Washing Machine
Yes, you read that right. Your washing machine needs to be cleaned on a regular basis or you could wind up with funky smelling towels. To do this, run a cycle with vinegar and baking soda. Then run another cycle with plain hot water to rinse. Now, your washing machine should be clean and sanitary and ready to get your towels really clean too.
2. Wash Towels in Hot Water
I know that it takes more energy and it’s environmentally friendly to wash in cold water. That’s fine for most clothing, but if you want to kill the germs and bacteria that hang out on damp towels, you need to use hot water. The soap cleans the towels, but the heat is what gets rid of the nasty stuff. As a side note, you should also wash underwear and socks in hot water.
3. Use a Heavy Duty Detergent Instead of What You Use on Your Clothes
There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of types of laundry soap on your shelves. A heavy duty version does a better job of cleaning towels. You probably don’t want to use it on your clothes because it can be too harsh on them, but towels are designed to take a beating and heavy duty detergent will get them cleaner.
4. Quit Using Fabric Softener on Your Towels
I never use fabric softener, but I don’t notice that much of a difference in the feel of my towels. The reason you don’t want to use it is because it tends to gradually coat the fibers of the towel, which makes it hard for your laundry detergent to do its job. Skip the fabric softener so your soap can fully penetrate the material so they come clean in the washer.
5. Try Washing Your Towels with a Cup of Vinegar in the Water
Vinegar helps strip build up off your towels so they are as clean as they can be. Add one cup of white vinegar to the washing machine with your towels and they’ll be super clean when the cycle is finished. Don’t worry – your towels won’t smell like vinegar because the hot water helps get rid of the scent when the washing machine rinses the towels.
6. Wash Towels Only with Other Towels
This is especially important if you have light colored towels. While they can certainly hold up to being washed with jeans and other garments, the colors can make your towels dingy. If you want them truly clean, fresh and bright, wash towels only with other towels. And wash light ones separately from the dark ones.
7. Don’t Put the Towels Away if They Are Still Damp
When you toss your towels in the dryer, make sure they are completely dry before you fold them and put them away. If they are still a bit damp, it encourages the growth of bacteria within the folds of the towels. The same is true if you choose to air dry your towels.
Are you worried that your towels aren’t as clean as they could be? Which of these tips do you plan to add to your cleaning routine?