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Hard towels

(72 Posts)
Parky Mon 21-Sep-20 09:56:57

I am now living in an area with hard water and my towels, new a few months ago, are like sandpaper. Have tried fabric softener to no avail. I don't have a tumble dryer which I think helps and dry my washing in the garden.

Any tips would be much appreciated.

trustgone4sure Mon 21-Sep-20 10:02:20

I live in a hard water area and have no problem with hard towels,unless i dry them outside,maybe you are putting too much soap powder in your wash.

FannyCornforth Mon 21-Sep-20 10:03:17

You aren't supposed to use fabric conditioner on towels.
Mine are all crispy too due to fabric conditioner, so they are currently having a detox.
I think that adding bicarbonate soda is supposed to help too.

Calendargirl Mon 21-Sep-20 10:03:53

I don’t have a tumble drier either, my washing is always dried outdoors. Also in a hard water area.

Towels end up stiff and board like, but hey ho, we are used to it. Probably acts as a natural skin buffer!

Spangler Mon 21-Sep-20 10:07:35

Water described as "hard" is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not a health risk, but a nuisance because of mineral buildup on fixtures and poor soap and/or detergent performance. A Calgon tablet in the washing machine will not only "soften" the water, it will prevent limescale accumulating on the washing machine. Unfortunately Calgon costs a fiver a box.

Megs36 Mon 21-Sep-20 10:23:26

Hello all, I too have this problem, bit like being rubbed down with sandpaper 👵🏻Used to always keep a couple of newer(softer) towels for visitors but now we can’t have any I’ve just washed them as usual and now just as ‘crispy’ Come the time we can have visitors I’ll have to buy some new ones 🤗

Parky Mon 21-Sep-20 10:36:18

Sounds as if we all have the same problem. Wonder what hotels do.

Sparklefizz Mon 21-Sep-20 10:39:34

I expect hotels tumble dry their towels. Mine are hard and stiff, even the newer ones. I use Sainsbury's own version of Calgon, which may help my w/machine but the towels are no different.

Dee1012 Mon 21-Sep-20 10:43:14

I use distilled white vinegar...about half a mug every few weeks. It really seems to help.

Juliet27 Mon 21-Sep-20 10:43:39

I think towels dry you far better if they're 'rough' from being dried outside and provide exfoliation at the same time!

Sparklefizz Mon 21-Sep-20 10:46:52


I use distilled white vinegar...about half a mug every few weeks. It really seems to help.

Does it make everything smell like a chip shop though?

Oopsminty Mon 21-Sep-20 10:48:44

Tumble drier is the key

Cabbie21 Mon 21-Sep-20 10:52:31

Same problem here. I don't find white vinegar helps with softening, though it does get rid of the black deposits in the machine that you get with fabric conditioner.

Franbern Mon 21-Sep-20 11:00:32

Do NOT use fabric conditioner, this will actually end up making towels rougher. There are lots of supermarket own (much cheaper, but just as good), alternatives to Calgon.

tiredoldwoman Mon 21-Sep-20 11:01:17

I love a hard rough towel ! I'm mean with washing powder only use less than half the advised dose but sometimes add a glug of vinegar as a luxury !
I've got increasing red veins on my mean face - too much rough ! smile

PinkCakes Mon 21-Sep-20 11:13:23

I prefer towels to be rough. They are better for drying me and act as a good exfoliator.

midgey Mon 21-Sep-20 11:19:20

My husband hated hard towels. Last winter as he came out of the shower he said...’ I bloody love winter.’! Nice soft towels from the tumbler grin?

vegansrock Mon 21-Sep-20 11:34:33

A water softener or tumble drier the only really effective options.

Fennel Mon 21-Sep-20 13:09:04

midgey "I love winter."
People used to think that leaving washed towels/nappies out on the line on a frosty night made them very soft.
I wonder if the quality of the cotton used these days is inferior?

Parky Mon 21-Sep-20 13:21:41

Think it's time I take towels to daughter to use her tumble dryer!

Greeneyedgirl Mon 21-Sep-20 13:23:26

All my towels go hard, much more quickly than they used to. Nothing helps, and I don’t want to waste money, and the environment, tumble drying. I have tried vinegar, soda crystals, and hot washing without detergent. I am not in a hard water area and use very little detergent normally.

Marmight Mon 21-Sep-20 13:24:27

I invested in a water softener when I relocated to a ‘hard’ water area!

Millie22 Mon 21-Sep-20 13:34:24

Do what Mrs Hinch does

NonnaW Mon 21-Sep-20 14:13:06

We have a water softener but the towels are still hard

SuzannahM Mon 21-Sep-20 14:17:42

We have very hard water and my towels are fine - not what you would call fluffy but not hard.

I never use fabric conditioner on anything - it coats the clothes making it difficult to remove stains and smells, and to me most seem to have a very strong chemical scent.

I've reduced the amount of washing liquid I use and add in two spoons of soda crystals instead - softens the water. For rinsing I fill the fabric conditioner bit with distilled white vinegar. Any smell of vinegar disappears within minutes - my OH hates the smell of it and he never even noticed when I started using it. Soda crystals and vinegar are also cheap, especially in bulk from the internet.

Much kinder to the environment too, rather than chucking all that other stuff into the water system.