What’s the best advice for cotton towel care?
Wash before your first use: As a starter, you’ll find that most new cotton towels you bring home from the store have been coated with special materials during the manufacturing process to make them extra thick and soft, and thus hard to resist, for the store shelf. This makes them resistant to absorbing water and creates a disappointing first impression. While somewhat counterintuitive, we recommend you wash your towels before using them the first time. Specifically, if you add a cup of vinegar to your first wash you’ll not only remove most of the non-absorbent factory coating but you’ll also set and lock in the color which prevents future fading. This is, however, just the beginning of great cotton towel care.
Be gentle with the dryer: As far as drying those plush towels goes the general rule of thumb is that less is more. High heat and extended drying times damages fibers, thus reducing absorption and softness. The best practice is to dry on low heat and, preferably, drip dry every other wash cycle. As with clothing you’ll want to wash dark and light towels separately to maintain crisp colors.
Resist the fabric softeners: It’s tempting to pour on the fabric softeners thinking you can make a great towel even better. Don’t do it! These chemicals tend to leave a coating on the individual fibers that mat them down, reduce absorbency and increase stiffness… and you don’t want any of that!
Cotton Towel Care – the rest of the story…
This tip isn’t for everyone, but for those who are a bit tight with the purse strings you may consider buying premium cotton towels for the Master Bath and some lesser-quality towels for kids and guests. If you apply the simple care instructions above to these inferior towels you will still see maximum life – although don’t expect them to last as long as high quality 100% cotton bath towels.
One Last Thing About Cotton Towel Care
You’ll know your towels have outlived the Master Bath when you start to see some frayed edges and thinning of the material. But just because you’re ready to kick them out of the Master don’t hesitate to move them to the kids bath, guest bath or even garage. Your car will LOVE the “Ahhhh” of a soft spa towel just as much as you do, and great cotton towel care will get you there!