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7 Easy Ways To Ruin Your Good Towels

A nice, fluffy towel is a luxury, and it will only stay that way if you take proper care of it! Avoid these 7 common mistakes that can quickly ruin your towels.

Having a good set of bath towels is one of life’s little luxuries. Even when I’ve had a rough day, wrapping myself up in a clean, fluffy bath towel after a hot shower can improve my mood considerably! But the unfortunate thing about clean, fluffy bath towels is that they don’t always stay that way.

In fact, people frequently do things that have a negative impact on their towels, whether by shortening their lifespan, or affecting their texture, absorbency, color, or smell. So if you have a set a clean, fluffy towels at home that you treasure, it’s worth learning what these bad habits are so that you can avoid them!

In order to help you protect your investment in your towels, today I’ll be sharing 7 common things people do to harm or even ruin their towels. Even if all you do is avoid these 7 habits listed below, you can be certain that your towels will stay nicer, longer!

Related: 7 Costly Storage Mistakes And How To Fix Them

7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Towels

1. Using Too Much Detergent

You should always use the correct amount of detergent when washing your clothes, but it is particularly important for those using HE washers. Because they use less water than standard washers, it is unlikely that the rinse cycle will be able to rinse out all of the detergent from your towels if you’ve added too much of it.

That remaining detergent residue can form a buildup, making your towels less absorbent and harder to clean. Keep your towels clean and residue-free, make sure to use only the recommended amount of detergent for your load size and washer type.

2. Using Fabric Softener

Just like detergent, fabric softener can also leave a residue on your towels. It will coat the fibers with a waxy film, making them less absorbent over time. Instead of using fabric softener to keep your towels soft and fluffy, I recommend adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle instead. Vinegar is an excellent homemade fabric softener, and it prevents buildup and controls odor too!

Related: How To Make A Scented Vinegar Fabric Softener Rinse

And when your dry your towels, dryer balls can help cut down on static just like dryer sheets, but without leaving a residue behind.

3. Removing Your Makeup

Makeup is thick, highly pigmented, and tough to remove from fabric. Your washer will likely struggle to wash it out entirely from your towels, so it can quickly wear your towel out.

If you prefer to remove your makeup with a towel rather than something disposable, just make sure to rinse your towel well with warm water after each use. This extra step should help get your towel cleaner in the wash.

4. Washing Them In Hot Water

While washing towels in hot water is good for cleanliness, it’s also a quick way to fade the color of your towels. Use warm or cool water for most washes to keep your towels looking newer, longer.

(I will note that this isn’t really an issue with white towels. Feel free to wash those in hot whatever as often as you like!)

5. Hanging Them On Hooks

Hanging your towel to dry on a hook leaves folds in the towel, and those folds can prevent the towel from drying completely. This creates the perfect environment for mildew to grow, and no one wants that!

If you can, hang your towel on a towel bar to dry instead. The flatter the towel is as it dries, the more likely it will be to dry completely. (Don’t have a towel bar? Hang your towel over your shower curtain rod!)

6. Using Only One Set

The more you use and wash your towels, the quicker you’ll wear them out. Consider using two sets of towels instead of just one. That way, you can wash one while you use the other, giving each set a chance to “rest” in between and helping both sets of towels last longer!

7. Wiping Products On Them

Certain beauty and personal care products like whitening toothpaste and acne treatments contain ingredients that can bleach and ruin your towels. And not only that, but your towels can transfer those bleaching agents to other items in the wash!

To keep your towels looking nice and to avoid any laundry transfer catastrophes, keep these products away from your towels.

Do you have a favorite brand or style of towels?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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