Soft and fluffy towels are an achievable luxury! Learn how to get your towels to stay fluffy after every wash! Gets tips for reviving old towels, too!
The Decadence of a Soft and Fluffy Towel
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There is nothing quite like the feeling of stepping out of the shower or a long hot bath and wrapping up in a soft, fluffy towel.
Pure cozy decadence.
A good towel is one of life’s small luxuries, and new towels are the best, still thick and absorbent. So, why does it seem as though that “new towel” feeling seems to be over in the blink of an eye?
After doing a bit of research, I found that the culprit is actually the very detergent and fabric softener I thought were keeping my towels fluffy.
Begin by Buying Good Towels
If possible, buy your towels in person, in the store. Look for towels that look and feel plush. Next, check the labels. Turkish, Supima, Egyptian, and 100% cotton are going to be your best bets.
If you buy towels on-line, read the comments before making your purchase. Most great towels will have tons of comments singing their praises and call out any issues you might need to be aware of.
When buying towels on-line, Lands End has a selection that is hard to beat. You will also find a few of my favorite brands below:
Reviving Old Towels
If you’ve noticed that your towels aren’t as absorbent and soft as you’d like them to be, try this process to bring some life back into them:
- Fill your washing machine about ½ – ¾ full of towels. (The key here is to not overfill the machine.)
- Set your water temperature to the highest setting. If you have a “deep clean” or “power-wash” setting on your washing machine, now is the time to use it.
- Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar into the machine and run a wash cycle.
- When the wash cycle is done, you’re are going to leave the towels in the washer and add one cup of baking soda.
- Repeat the wash cycle, again using the hottest temperature your machine will allow.
- When the second cycle has completed, throw your towels into the dryer on the setting recommended by the towel manufacturer.
- You may be surprised to find that most manufacturers recommend that their towels should be dried at LOW heat, not high as most of us are pre-programmed to do. Make the switch and you will definitely notice the difference. Drying on high heat will damage the towel fibers.
- Do NOT add dryer sheets. In order to soften the towels as they dry, you can throw three unused tennis balls into the dryer or, as I prefer, wool dryer balls.
While, this isn’t going to leave you with “good as new” towels, after I followed this process, my towels were notably more absorbent and fluffier.
Keeping Towels Fluffy Longer
As I’ve purchased new towels, I’ve completely stopped washing them with regular detergent.
Here’s my method:
- Fill your washing machine about ½ – ¾ full of towels. (Again, as tempting as it is cram as many towels as possible in there, the water needs room to move around in there.
- Set the water temperature to high and wash on the cycle recommended for towels by the manufacturer.
- Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar and one cup of baking soda into the machine and run a wash cycle.
- Run them through a cycle in the dryer on the setting recommended by the towel manufacturer. Again, NO dryer sheets. Use three clean tennis balls or wool dryer balls.
No, the Towels do Not Smell of Vinegar
This is the big question, right? Because if your towels smell like you’re trying to pickle them, this method is going to be a no-go, no matter how soft your towels are!
When I’m taking the towels out of the washing machine, I do sometimes catch a faint whiff of vinegar. Once they’ve been through the dryer though, I’ve never smelled even the faintest lingering of vinegar.
A Word on Wool Dryer Balls
Before you experience sticker shock (a set of 3 wool dryer balls can run between $15-$20. ( The price is higher if it includes a bottle of essential oil.) Keep in mind that they are made to last through 1000 loads of laundry. Even if you are running several loads a week, these will last a couple of years. Compared to purchasing dryer sheets (and eliminating chemicals in the process), they are really a bargain.
My Towels Now Stay Soft and Fluffy Longer
The last set of towels I purchased have been washed exclusively using the method above. I can say that they have stayed significantly softer and fluffier longer than any set I’ve purchased in the past.
Keep in mind that even the fluffiest of towels will begin to thin after a few of years of regular washing. But, by following the process in this post, your towels will retain their soft and fluffy goodness for a decent amount of time.