Please tell me how to wash towels properly so they don't end up like cardboard....

(24 Posts)
Sallypuss Thu 20-Aug-09 13:33:18

I've got to 36 years old and I still don't know how to wash towels without turning them into rigid cardboard-like things. I wash them at 40degrees, don't use fabric conditioner, where am I going wrong?!

stubbyfingers Thu 20-Aug-09 13:34:45

I think the key is to dry them in a dryer really.

shootfromthehip Thu 20-Aug-09 13:35:29

The lack of fab softener may be the problem. That said I have towels that I have had for years that will not get soft. For that reason I will watch this thread with interest.

ninedragons Thu 20-Aug-09 13:35:39

Add a spoon of white vinegar to the wash. Gets them soft without coating the fibres like fabric conditioner does.

allaboutme Thu 20-Aug-09 13:35:47

a little bit offabric softener softens them.
if i dont use it they end up hard
i also tumble dry but thats probably frowned upon!!!

Tumble dry! Mine come up lovely, and I never use any fabric softener...

Lilymaid Thu 20-Aug-09 13:44:17

If you line dry them, give them a good shake out before putting them on the line - and it does help to partially tumble dry them.

BlehdyDM Thu 20-Aug-09 13:45:48

Don't use fabric softener, as it coasts the fibres and ends up damaging them. The way to make them fluffy is to tumbledry them (tip from working at the White Company).

Sallypuss Thu 20-Aug-09 14:06:53

You lot are bloomin' great! Thanks - especially like the white vinegar tip as I'm convinced vinegar cleans everything....

Going to spend my weekend washing all our towels now...<<sad loser emoticon>>

teenytinypontipine Thu 20-Aug-09 21:45:44

I have just invested in some lovely new towels, the gentleman in the towel shop insisted that they had to be washed at 60 and with no fabric conditioner.

Ponders Thu 20-Aug-09 21:49:21

Agree - hot wash, no fabric rinse, line/rack dry, then 5-10 mins in the dryer to get rid of the stiffness (or just dry them in the dryer from scratch, but towels do hold a lot of water & use a lot of power to dry).

madusa Thu 20-Aug-09 22:35:18

no fabric conditioner as it damages the fibres but do stick them in the tumble for 20 mins before line drying them.

I do that to all my washing and nothing needs ironing any more - it's fab

shigella Fri 21-Aug-09 18:57:28

Some towels are better at retaining their fluffiness, but, I just do a 60 degree wash, usually line dry with a 20 minute blast in drier but not always, they soften after a couple of uses. Fabric softener stops them being absorbent, so no good having fluffy towels if they don't dry you!

jeminthepantry Fri 21-Aug-09 18:59:13

Only way I know to have fluffy towels is to tumble, sorry.

jeminthepantry Fri 21-Aug-09 19:00:12

Or tumble for 10 mins at end, that usually fluffs 'em up<harks back to days when I had a tumble dryer>

NoNickname Fri 21-Aug-09 19:04:23

No fabric conditioner and if you don't have a tumble dryer, iron them. It's a pain to iron towels, but it makes them fluffier.

jeminthepantry Fri 21-Aug-09 19:05:34

Really? I don't iron anything, I just fold an smooth.

Does ironing make towels fluffier??

jeminthepantry Fri 21-Aug-09 19:06:33

God i can't believe the very sadness of my last post...ladies I quit...offf to shine shoes and buffet gussets....ffs,,,,

branhasnocommentfortheDM Fri 21-Aug-09 19:06:59

My John Lewis Egyptian cotton towels are always soft, they're about 10 years old now and still going strong. I generally do a 60C wash, but sometimes do them at 40C or 90C and I never add conditioner. Some of my other towels (different brand) do go hard, so I generally use them for the kids to go swimming with. [evil mother]

There's obviously something wrong with me because I simply love cardboard towels! If they're not dried on the line they just don't do it for me!

purplepeony Fri 21-Aug-09 22:47:35

I think towels have changed- the ones I got 20 years ago are still in great nick, ( JLewis ) but they have never been really soft. I have now splashed out on some new ones and the texture is different- very soft even after an identical wash.
I don't use fabric conditioner as I like to keep chemicals etc to a minimum as we all have sensitive skin. Tumble drying helps soften, but the old towels still are n't as soft as the new ones.

abra1d Fri 21-Aug-09 23:10:30

Tumble drying towels is incredibly wasteful of electricity and very un-green.

It does make for lovely fluffy towels, though.

So I just do it for a few minutes once they've come in from the line.

But how did people get soft towels in the days before tumble driers?

dreamteamgirl Sat 22-Aug-09 01:12:52

I miss my tumble drier for this sad

They are a bit crunchy on line, but 1 tip is to brng them in just still damp and shake and fluff them up, then fold and finish off on an airer
Theya re definately crunchier if they line dry fast

Clark123 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:37:37

I shall try washing my towels at 60c with no conditioner to see it it works.

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