Blasted towels!!

(27 Posts)
username12345T Sun 02-May-21 18:20:28

I've just bought some great towels. They are lovely, thick and absorbent and great quality.

I've just washed them on a cotton wash, with no conditioner and they have come out stiff as sandpaper again! This is the first time I've washed them, I didn't use too much detergent and there is no build up of detergent. I live in a hard water area though.

Should I use white vinegar? I don't know what to do. I need soft fluffy towels as I have very sensitive skin.

(I don't have a tumble dryer before anyone suggests that)

Please help.

OP’s posts: |
Goingtogetflamed Sun 02-May-21 18:22:03

Why don’t you use fabric conditioner?
Sorry, but tumble drying is the answer to fluffy towels.

username12345T Sun 02-May-21 18:24:27

Fabric conditioner apparently leaves a coating on the towels that builds up over time and makes them less absorbent.

OP’s posts: |
fairydustandsparkle Tue 04-May-21 21:37:27

Half the amount of detergent and two capfuls of while vinegar. I find that keeps them soft. And no they don’t smell like a chip shop grin

I don’t use fabric conditioner on towels but I do tumble them every other wash.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 05-May-21 07:11:51

I tumble dry mine.

BikeRunSki Wed 05-May-21 07:14:18


I tumble dry mine.

Useful comment after the OP said she didn’t have a tumble drier.

OP, white vinegar is your friend here.

Cheekyweegobshite Wed 05-May-21 07:19:50

I use a small amount of fabric conditioner, doesn't seem to affect the absorbency noticeably. I've tried white vinegar but it didn't really seem to do much.


Chemenger Wed 05-May-21 07:24:25

The only way I get soft towels is by tumble drying, sorry. Everyone here hates it when I line dry towels because they are hard. They do soften up once they’ve been used, I’m not sure why. Personally I like crunchy towels, my ideal is a practically threadbare towel dried in blazing sunshine, but that’s no help to you.

UCOinSteveArnottsPants Wed 05-May-21 07:29:12

Tumble drying is the only way. Unless it’s a perfect very breezy and warm day they will always be crunchy after being line-dried.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 05-May-21 07:32:29

But tumble dryers can be bought @BikeRunSki. I tried vinegar in our hard water area, never worked.

LaBellina Wed 05-May-21 07:35:31

How about using ecological fabric softener?

poshme Wed 05-May-21 09:28:22

I agree with @Chemenger
I love threadbare, hard towels off the line. I think they dry better.
Sorry OP

Tumbleweed101 Wed 05-May-21 09:45:42

I think shaking them before and after line drying is meant to help, along with some fabric conditioner. I only line dry in warmer months though and tumble dry the rest of the time.

username12345T Wed 05-May-21 13:49:37

Thank you all. I used to love hard, crunchy towels but have fibromyalgia now and that means even wearing clothes hurts my skin. I use a tonne of fabric conditioner on my clothes (it's ecover) to make them soft.

I don't have anywhere to put a tumble dryer even if I bought one, there's no room in my flat. I'm going to try white vinegar, I wonder if water softener might work like Calgon.

OP’s posts: |
MirandaMarple Wed 05-May-21 20:23:34

I only use distilled white vinegar on my towels. Come out super fluffy and squeaky clean every time. Put it in the softener section of your drawer and perhaps a few tiny drops of essential oil too. Not necessary (your towels won't smell of vinegar)

minniemomo Wed 05-May-21 20:29:12

I have never found only way of getting them soft except a tumble dryer. I would personally be asking a friend once a month to do a job lot (just 10 mins if already dry softens them) or get a dp like mine who prefers stiff towels, go figure!

minniemomo Wed 05-May-21 20:32:23

I get the fibromyalgia, I'm finding anything but jersey dresses and quality leggings one size too big hurts. Vanity means I take pills and wear clothes that hurts often, though found jeans with jersey lining, result!

TroysMammy Wed 05-May-21 20:34:54

I love a rough, board like towel.

AlwaysLatte Wed 05-May-21 20:35:00

I don't use fabric conditioner, and only tumble dry them when it's raining. I like them scratchy!

Grohlsguitar Wed 05-May-21 20:49:23

I always get cardboard stiff towels if I dry them indoors on a clothes horse but I live in a windy suburb and drying outdoors here is nearly as good as a tumble dryer. I think the wind giving them a good shake is what helps.

Twatterati Wed 05-May-21 20:53:55

When I didn't have a tumble drier I used to wait til all my towels needed washing, do a couple of loads and pop to a launderette to dry them! D'you have one near you? Never tried white vinegar but lots of people swear by it, so hope it work for you.

Scotabroad24 Wed 05-May-21 22:39:36

I can't believe no one has mentioned it.... take them inside whilst they're slightly damp. Then iron them with lots of steam. Softens them up lovely. My DM always did this, she ironed everything!

FrogFairy Thu 06-May-21 14:04:35

Soda crystals might help.

username12345T Thu 06-May-21 14:47:51

I'm going to order some white vinegar then. I'll try soda crystals as I always have those. I can't dry them outside as I don't have a garden. I don't have enough towels to warrant taking them to a launderette, but, I'm so desperate that I might try the iron on them as well.

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it.

@minniemomo I'm sorry you're a fellow sufferer. I even have to use a tonne of softener on my bed linen as well otherwise it's too scratchy!

OP’s posts: |
ViperAtTheGatesOfDawn Thu 06-May-21 14:52:34

If you can, and it doesn't hurt too much, give them a good hard as you can shake when they come out of the machine and then periodically repeat that and turn them around as they dry. The more air flow you can create as they dry the better.

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