Gransnet forums

House and home

How do I launder towels so they are soft?

(34 Posts)
JanetG Mon 25-Jan-21 10:24:00

My towels tend to dry like cardboard! We have a newish washing machine which is cleaned properly, and use powder and softener, but still have rough towels!

blueflinders Mon 25-Jan-21 17:09:50

Me too Luckygirl! I didn’t have to buy new towels (again) and I can wash them on 40 degrees!

Luckygirl Mon 25-Jan-21 14:18:21

I am trying to save the planet single-handed here! 40 degrees it is for me!

blueflinders Mon 25-Jan-21 13:59:36

Yes Luckygirl - 90 degrees!
My towels were hard and scratchy and although like others, it feels like an exfoliation, I felt that they must have a build up of either shed skin or the excess skin softener from my shower cream. The hot wash seemed to melt or dissolve the build up and now they are lovely and soft again - otherwise I would have had to buy new ones (nothing to lose in other words). Quick tumble on a low setting as I felt the hot cotton setting made them hard and a small amount of fabric conditioner to make them smell nice. They are grey by the way and retained their colour! Try it and feed back if it worked for you.

sodapop Mon 25-Jan-21 12:31:16

I thought you were not supposed to use fabric conditioner with towels as it affects the absorbency. I tumble dry mine when they are almost dry. No room in my kitchen either grannysyb So I have one in the barn. Some people put them in the bathroom.

grannysyb Mon 25-Jan-21 11:56:57

I don't have room for a tumble dryer in my small kitchen, so always have rather rough towels!

Laughterlines Mon 25-Jan-21 11:22:02

My mum used to always line dry towels and keep turning them and giving them a good shake. She loved frosty weather for whites as she said if the washing froze on the line it bleached and softened it. We had no tumble drier and her towels were always soft. Me, I use fabric conditioner.

EllanVannin Mon 25-Jan-21 11:18:05

I've got some Horrocks's towels ( bath sheets ) which are a few years old ( bought at Lewis's, Liverpool ) and they've done really well. Probably because they're not an " everyday use " towel, but they have retained their softness and are also good at drying.
They're washed the same as the others in a 60 wash and I use conditioner.

Unless you like a rough towel, like a few of my hand towels, they need replacing. They've been washed to death grin

My mum always washed new towels before use ?

maddyone Mon 25-Jan-21 11:16:25

Use towels from a very famous store, used to call it God’s own store. They are the softest and maintain their softness over years.

maddyone Mon 25-Jan-21 11:14:49

Yep, as others have said, no conditioner, tumble dry. In the summer I line dry, but finish off in the tumble dryer.

BigBertha1 Mon 25-Jan-21 11:10:39

Tumble dry no question. No fabric conditioner either - yukky smell as well as affects absorbency.

GagaJo Mon 25-Jan-21 11:09:50

I don't tumble dry anything unless it is urgently needed. I don't like fabric softener either.

I find towels are only rough for the first use, but are OK after that.

midgey Mon 25-Jan-21 11:04:45

My husband loved soft towels, I prefer to line dry if possible. He would often say how he...’bloody loved winter’! The only time I use the dryer!

Septimia Mon 25-Jan-21 11:03:05

No tumble dryer. Any alternative suggestions?

Luckygirl Mon 25-Jan-21 11:01:36

Two 90 degree wash cycles! - gosh!

Mine go through one 40 degree cycle and that's it.

tanith Mon 25-Jan-21 11:00:36

I prefer a rough towel too much more absorbent.

Ramblingrose22 Mon 25-Jan-21 10:52:12

I am with Luckygirl.

A rough towel rubbed over the skin gets rid of dead skin cells beautifully and the water absorbed by the towel softens it up.

No need to increase your electricity bill.

vampirequeen Mon 25-Jan-21 10:52:08

I love a hard, scratchy towel. I hate fluffy.

blueflinders Mon 25-Jan-21 10:50:27

My towels kept going hard before they were otherwise ready for replacement and I have gone through so many decent quality but hard scratchy towels. I read about the white vinegar wash and also that towels get a build up of skin cells being rubbed on them as well as skin softening shower creams being left on them.
My solution, after a couple of 90 degree washes (first one with 2 cups of white vinegar) and using washing powder only, they have returned to softness (after tumble drying on not too hot a setting) and I feel I have washed the build up of fats from them and now use only washing powder and a small amount of fabric conditioner on a 60 or 40 degree wash.
This really works and saves the towels!

Kamiso Mon 25-Jan-21 10:50:15

I prefer a rough towel as well. They seem more absorbent. If I want a soft towel for a certain visitor, the ideal thing is to line dry for a few hours then pop in the tumble dryer to finish off.

I’ve got a washer dryer so can only dry in small quantities.

choughdancer Mon 25-Jan-21 10:46:36

Use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner; I promise it doesn't leave the towels vinegary! I agree about tumble drying, but I save money by letting them dry first, then putting them in the tumble dryer (with a damp cloth if they are completely dry) and running it for a short time.

Tangerine Mon 25-Jan-21 10:46:06

Tumble dryer. If you don't like using the tumble dryer too much, dry the towels on the line first and then use the dryer for a few minutes.

I do this with other clothing too as it means there isn't so much to iron!

timetogo2016 Mon 25-Jan-21 10:44:11

Same here luckygirl.
They dry you quicker too.
Dh puts his in the tumle for 10 min`s.

Franbern Mon 25-Jan-21 10:39:13

As others have said.
1. Do NÓT use Fabric Condition
2. Tumble dry

Luckygirl Mon 25-Jan-21 10:36:17

Nothing I like better than a rough towel! grin

Pittcity Mon 25-Jan-21 10:35:27

No conditioner, I use white vinegar instead. Tumble dryer is only way to keep them soft.