Home » How to Wash Towels - GUS's Towel Care Guide:

How to Wash Towels

Whether you use your towels to wipe hands, dry-off or lay on in the sand, we know that towels definitely get a daily work-out. Good laundry practices will help keep your towels looking fresher and lasting longer. Check out these towel care tips from GUS:

Wash Before you Use - If your towels never seem to look as good the day you bought them here's why: Towel manufacturers have a sly little secret; to get their towels to seem extra fluffy in the stores, they coat them in special fabric softener that gives the fibers a super plush feel to the touch. The downside to this marketing effort is that the softener they use inhibits the towels ability to absorb. That's why it is essential to wash, at least once, all new towels before you use them.

GUS advises using a mild laundry detergent and washing towels in warm water (only white towels should be washed in hot water). Also add ½ to 1 cup of white vinegar to this first wash cycle after the washing bin has filled with water (pour the vinegar into the water and not directly on the towels). The vinegar works to set deep tones dyes and helps prevent fading.

Use Less Soap - As Mae West once said "Too much of a good thing can be taxing." Oddly enough, this rings true for towels too. Stay stingy with soap (mild soap is recommended for luxury towels). Use about half the amount detergent you would normally use.

Skip the Softener - Softeners are a big no-no if you want your towels to be as absorbent as they can be. Fabric softeners may be good for bringing that supple feel back to your favorite clothes, but when it comes to towels, softeners actually prevent the towel fibers from being able to absorb moisture.

Sort and Separate - Divide and conquer your loads of laundry every time you wash. To keep your light colored towels bright and your dark color towels deep, you'll want to avoid combining loads, since towels like to absorb water and color if given the opportunity.

Dry them Out - Really? We shouldn't even have to say this, but in case you haven't figured it out, towels don't dry well left in a heap on the floor or shoved into the bottom of a hamper. Be aware that towels will mildew quickly unless they dry completely, so hang all towels out to dry after each use, unless you plan to launder them immediately.

Keep your Cool - Please don't cook your towels in the dryer. Treat those delicate towel fibers with the same care you give to your hair. Turn the dial on your dryer to a cooler temperature or an intermittent setting to avoid damaging the fibers and any decorative edging.

Stock-up with Extras - Not all towels get the same wear and tear. Consider buying addition towels in the sizes and colors you use the most, so you can alternate when one set is being laundered, you can use the alternate set. Even if you follow all care instructions, every towel has a finite life-span. So, if you have color coordinated you towels to match your walls or tiles perfectly, it might be in your best interest to have a few matching replacement towels.

Select the Right Suds - Not every detergent is created equal. With detergent companies constantly trying to compete with each other with claims of stain fighting, fresh smelling and softening solutions, it's getting harder and harder to navigate the ever expanding choices in laundry soap. Look for a detergent made without non-biodegradable optical brighteners or softeners that will damage your towels' ability to absorb.

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