How to Care for Your New Towels

Laundry Sign American Towels

Tips for Caring for your New Towels

Good-quality bath towels will last for at least 10 years with the proper care. You should always check the label on any of your towels for particular care instructions before proceeding with washing and drying them.

Wash your new towels before using

Always wash and dry your bath towels before using them for the first time. Most new towels are coated with silicone or other finishes that will block absorbency. The reason this coating is applied to towels is that it gives them that extra-fluffy look and feel at the store. Washing your new towels will remove these finishes and help with maximum absorbency. Note that is not uncommon to wash your towels a few times before they are fully absorbent and lint-free. It's perfectly okay and normal. Your new towels will definitely get softer, more absorbent and less linty after washing them.  

Can you wash towels with your clothes?

Washing towels with clothes can transfer germs and bacteria between the items in the wash. For sanitary reasons, we suggest that you wash bath towels separately from clothing items. Putting towels in their own load also makes it easier to adjust what setting to wash towels based on color. It's also easier to dry towels in the same load since damp towels dry slower than most clothes.

How often do I need to wash my towels?

Every three to four days of use. The best way to wash colored towels is in warm water and color-safe bleach, if necessary. For white towels, use hot water and non-chlorine bleach as needed. White towels should be washed separately or with other white items to avoid subtle discoloration over time.

White Vinegar for washing Bath TowelsWashing Towels with Vinegar

To prevent colors from bleeding, we suggest you wash colored towels with similar shades in warm water for the first several washes. You only need about half the recommended amount of detergent while washing towels and add 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the water during the rinse cycle. The vinegar will help to set the colors and remove excess detergent residue.

Using fabric softener? 

Use fabric softener according to directions, but we suggest that you add it only every three or four washes. Waxy buildup from softeners can deteriorate the towel fibers over time and reduce their absorbency. No one wants a towel that's not fluffy, so be careful when using fabric softener with towels.

Give them a shake, please

Give your towels a shake when taking them out of the washer. This will help fluff the terry loops that aid absorbency. Don't iron terry cloth towels, as it may reduce absorbency. Shaking your towels will also help prevent them from twisting into a ball in the dryer, shortening the drying time.

Drying your towels

Ensure that towels are dry when you remove them from the dryer, keeping in mind that clothing dries quicker than towels. Even slightly damp towels can quickly mildew. The best dryer setting for towels is the regular or automatic setting that you use for other durable fabrics. This will use the highest heat and be most efficient in getting the job done. Avoid over-drying; it can destroy the integrity of the individual cotton fibers.

Folding towels

Fold bath and hand towels in thirds for the best use of shelf space. Fold the towel in half, with open ends to the left, then fold in half again. Fold up the bottom third of the towel, then fold the top third down. When storing, face the outer edge of the towel to the front to make it easy to grab a single towel.

Oh yeah, Why do my old bath towels smell sour? 

If your towels smell sour, the likelihood is errr..mildew. I know, I know, it's not what you wanted to hear, but fear not! Your towels can smell fresh again! 

Here's what you do to eliminate bad smelling towels...

1. Wash your towels separately from your clothes. They just should not be washed together. 

2. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. 

3. Do another wash cycle with just 1/2 cup of baking soda added to the wash cycle. 

4. Dry your towels thoroughly. If you can line dry them outside, that works really well. If you can't get a dryer ball and dry them in your dryer. The dryer ball will help get every bit of your towels dry and will also help eliminate static. Our dryer balls are certainly up for the task...

5. Smell. The bad towel smell should be eliminated. If not, repeat the process. And, remember, you want your towels to dry as quickly as possible so hang them up after use. 

Some final notes on absorbency

We've taken the time to monitor the absorbency of all our American made towels from the first wash to the point of maximum absorbency and softness. Our tests show that your towel should reach its optimal absorbency after 4 washes, using either 1 laundry pod per regular wash or the recommended amount of liquid or powdered laundry detergent. Just like your favorite pair of jeans or t-shirt, your cotton towels will continue to get softer with time. Enjoy your American made towels!