Housekeeping

How to: Keep towels fresh

How to: Keep towels fresh

crisp white towels Author: Ryan Brook

Housekeeping

How to: Keep towels fresh

Find everything you need to know to pick durable towels and keep them looking and smelling fresh.


Nothing beats wrapping yourself in fluffy terry following a bath, but if not properly cared for, towels can start looking drab and smelling worse, leaving you feeling less than clean. A towel’s dense fibres wick moisture – and everything that comes with it – deep into its core, creating the dark, damp conditions ideal for bacterial growth. So launder towels often, using the hottest setting the fabric can handle and a mild detergent. For an extra disinfecting kick, add a cup or two of white vinegar, but skip the fabric softener, which tends to cling to and remain embedded among the loops, compromising a complete cleanse. Be sure to remove towels from the washer immediately and dry thoroughly (in direct sunlight, if possible) but don’t overheat – it can damage the fibres.

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Less is more
Though it might be tempting to load up on detergent, Melissa Maker, founder of , warns that leftover suds can cling to extra dirt and redeposit it onto your laundry, leaving it dingy.

DO: Wash coloured towels separately the first few times, even those labelled colourfast (better safe than sorry!).

DON’T: Use chlorine bleach on white towels (opt for gentler oxygen-powered bleach instead).

Hang on
Beyond aesthetics, a towel left crumpled on the bathroom floor is a strict no-no, as it will remain moist for a prolonged period and therefore be vulnerable to bacterial growth. Hang it on a towel bar rather than a hook, on which it would bunch and fold. For an extra drying boost and luxe factor, consider investing in a towel warmer.

Material matters
Get to know the most popular towel textiles.
 
  • Egyptian cotton: Dense, strong fibres that produce the ultimate softness and absorbency.
  • Supima cotton: Almost as soft as egyptian but longer lasting.
  • Organic cotton: Sustainably sourced; quality depends on the type of cotton.
  • Turkish cotton: Highly durable, boasting a natural sheen.
  • Bamboo viscose: Sustainable and antibacterial; fast drying and lustrous.
  • Microfibre: Super-fast-drying synthetic; lacks hness.


Did you know?
The quality of a towel is measured by its grams per square metre (GSM), ranging from about 300 on the low end to 600 on the high.

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For good measure
Ensure you're using the right amount of detergent with pre-measured pods.

Triple threat: This naturally sourced detergent deep cleans, targets stains and softens laundry. Grab Green fragrance-free 3-in-1 laundry detergent, , $11 per 24 pods.

Earth-friendly: A low-foaming vegetable-and mineral-based option that conserves water. Nature clean unscented laundry detergent, , $8 per 24 pods.

Non-allergenic: A powerful formula that is less irritating to sensitive skin. Free & Gentle laundry detergent, , $10 per 31 pods.

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How to: Keep towels fresh

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