Cleaning hack: How to whiten and remove stains in towels
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Washing towels the wrong way can affect the fibres of the towel, turning them into a rough sheet which isn’t ideal when you get out of the shower or bath. While some may prefer rougher towels, they can cause scratches and the absorbency level to be affected. It’s important to clean towels “correctly” to prolong their life and keep them nice and fluffy.
1. Overloading the washing machine
Deyan Dimitrov, laundry expert and CEO of Laundryheap, told Express.co.uk that to keep towels soft and absorbent, they must be washed “correctly”.
He said: “When starting a towel wash, it is important to not overload the machine so that each towel is rinsed properly.
“For the average size washing machine, a load of seven bath towels is about the maximum you should wash at any one time.”
For hygiene reasons, Britons should make sure they wash towels on a hot, normal cycle to get rid of any germs and bacteria. Make sure not to select a quick cycle so that they are cleaned properly.
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2. Too much detergent
One common mistake to avoid when washing towels includes using too much detergent in one load which can leave them feeling stiff.
Deyan noted: “Try and use a little less detergent than normal – as when towels are overloaded with detergent, they become stiff and scratchy due to the built up soap residue.”
If you’re using a detergent pod, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but if you’re using liquid detergent, be mindful of how much you’re adding in.
3. Not using white vinegar and baking soda
While white vinegar and baking soda isn’t imperative when it comes to washing towels, it can help them massively in the washing cycle.
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The laundry expert explained: “Both common household ingredients can be used separately as ways to transform rough towels to soft ones.
“Simply add 250ml of white vinegar to the washing machine drum alongside the liquid detergent you normally use and dry as normal.”
According to Deyan, the white vinegar helps to get rid of detergent build up, making them super fluffy and brand new.
He added: “You can also use bicarbonate of soda to make your towels soft and fluffy. Mixing eight tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with your laundry detergent before putting it in the washing machine.
“This will help loosen up the towel fibres and get rid of any dirt, keeping your towels as good as new.”
4. Not cleaning them enough
It is recommended to clean bath towels after using them three times to get rid of any bacteria growth. In some cases though, they do need to be washed after every use.
For example, if you’ve used one at the gym to soak up sweat, or if you have sensitive skin. This can be hard during the winter months to maintain but it is crucial in maintaining good hygiene.
The expert noted: “You should also make sure to let your towel dry fully after every use to prevent germs.”
5. Avoid using fabric softener
Fabric softener can make towels smell great, but they can leave a residue on them through the wash cycle which makes them less absorbent and soft. If you like the scent of fabric softener, adding it every three to four washes shouldn’t be a problem.
Drying towels in the winter months can seem impossible, especially if you are cutting back on using the tumble dryer, or don’t have access to one.
Deyan explained: “If you have a tumble dryer, the best setting is the regular one that you use for other long lasting fabrics.
“This will use the highest heat and be most effective, as well as maximising fluffiness. However, be careful to avoid overdrying your towels, as this can ruin the quality of the cotton fibres. To air dry towels, lay them flat on a drying rack inside or if it’s good weather, hang them outdoors on a clothes line.”
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