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Do you chuck out old towels?

22 replies

scampadoodle · 05/11/2007 12:30

I never do, but now some of them - the ones I use most - just don't seem that absorbent any more & I have to change them more frequently (more than twice a year! ) I don't use fabric conditioner & I let them dry naturally ie not tumble-dried. Do towels have a life-span? I thought they kept on going til threadbare...

OP posts:
BettySpaghetti · 05/11/2007 12:33

We have a towel hierarchy here.

As they lose their newness and get a bit thinner or colour fades etc they get relegated to swimming towels, then after that various other uses like to go in the cats basket....eventually they get torn up to become cleaning/DIY rags.

themildmanneredjanitor · 05/11/2007 12:34

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scampadoodle · 05/11/2007 12:37

I definitely have the ones we always use at home, the ones we use for swimming, the ones for the beach, the ones for guests etc. (Haven't got a cat!) It seems really wasteful to replace towels that sort-of do the job but I'm probably being a bit eco-warrior there...

We're going to redo our bathroom soon so perhaps I should treat ourselves to new towels then!

OP posts:
scampadoodle · 05/11/2007 12:39

I wash them on 60, MMJ. Ironically the swimming towels seem to have more the texture I like than our bath towels - perhaps I should wash them in chlorine

OP posts:
laura032004 · 05/11/2007 18:36

Perhaps they've got a build-up of washing powder in them. Try a wash without washing powder, or a rinse with white vinegar. I've had all of my towels for years, but must have 20 regularly used towels, so they don't get used that regularly IYKWIM I also have another 20 or so, which never get used, but which I can't bear to throw away (I only use white ones, these are all coloured).

beeper · 05/11/2007 23:48

Don't you cut them up and use them for 'lady towels'.

Skribble · 05/11/2007 23:51

My worst ones live under the kitchen sink for emergencies like spillages and leaks from washing machines etc. I still have a pile of 10 yr old terry square nappies that I use as hand towels and emergency mopper uppers.

KerryMumKABOOM · 05/11/2007 23:52

This reply has been deleted

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KnockKnockKaloosThere · 06/11/2007 00:20

I think there is a lot to be said for towel quality. "Buy a bargain bin it quick" sort of thing

I have had 4 sets (2 at a time) of Christy towels .. in `5 years. Only changed as new bathroom changed colours. Bought some Ikea towels with loops for use in the kitchen and they are like cardboard and rough, but they all get washed the same. Diney towels are dreadful too.... I have to have soft semifluffy ones for the DCs swimming, I have helped out in the changing rooms and the state of some of the towels was a disgrace, I would have binned such towels years ago. lol - perhaps I'm a swimming towel snob

KnockKnockKaloosThere · 06/11/2007 00:21

15 years not 5

KnockKnockKaloosThere · 06/11/2007 00:21


  • I just knew I should have previewed this
dd666 · 06/11/2007 00:30

i use our threadbear ones around house drying dog when wet dp drying car before he waxes it etc using the to protect bulbs from frost in winter!
dd's baby towels with hoods are now used when iv washed my hair

wrinklytum · 06/11/2007 00:33

Cut old ones up and use them as cleaning rags.Older ones become swimming towels until they develop holes....Knock would be mortified by their threadbare state!!!

PenelopePitstops · 06/11/2007 00:37

cut up old ones for kitchen/ loo towels. also diy rags and swimming/beach towel hierachy

expatinscotland · 06/11/2007 00:57

no, never! i keep them for all kinds of purposes.

plus, they're always good to have to hand when a vomitting bug comes.

Othersideofthechannel · 06/11/2007 06:41

And once you've recycled them as suggested by others until they are full of holes, they can be composted (if 100 per cent cotton)

MuffinMclay · 06/11/2007 10:13

I don't throw them out, but they get relegated from the airing cupboard to a kitchen cupboard where they are used for drying the dog, mopping up spillages, for messy diy jobs etc. They only get thrown out when they are full of holes.

mintydixcharrington · 06/11/2007 10:22

scampadoodle if you tumble dry them rather than let them dry naturally they will be much more absorbent
it fluffs up the pile, so there is more surface area to dry

not tumble drying your towels is your problem

Yummers · 06/11/2007 10:31

i quite like the fact that most of our towels are old and random and aquired/ accumumlated as opposed to new, matching and fluffy. it seems like 2 fingers up to the commercialisation of everything.

silversparkler · 06/11/2007 11:04

If you want to get rid (clear cupboards etc..) then please take them to your local RSPCA, (along with old bedding, duvets,blankets,pillows) who use them eagerly for the cats and dogs kennels. All the more important at this time of year.

seeker · 06/11/2007 11:54

The wonderful linen sheets I use for guests were a wedding present to my mother in 1940. My dp's favourite towel is an enormous green one that was my fathers - and he died in 1984. I regularly use table napkins that were my grandmothers. I used a baby shawl for both of mine that my mother embroidered when she was expecting my brother - and he's 62! I say PAH! to consumerism!

cazboldy · 06/11/2007 11:56

no, use them on the horses, or cut them up and use them for cleaning.

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