Monday, September 30, 2013

How To Make Sure Your Towels Stay Super Absorbent

This towel was being abused. So I stole it. 
As expected, there were many, many things that were slowly driving my OCD-fueled brain slightly crazy while on vacation. The number one nuisance though? Towels.

From my mother's house to my mother-in-laws house and every stop in between, towels across the state of Wisconsin are being brutally treated all in the name of "fabric softener" and "detergent." 

I had no idea that this was such a widespread problem until I casually stepped out of my first shower and attempted to dry myself. Attempted being the key word. I think all the towel really managed to do was move the water droplets around my body enough times that I eventually air dried. 

"Mom, what the heck did you do to the towels?"

Sigh. Sadly, this story repeated itself so many times over the course of my five-week stint in Wisconsin that I vowed to take action. I had to do something to help. I myself have quite an arsenal of nice, fluffy, absorbent towels, purchased one by one over the course of several months. They stay fluffy. They stay absorbent. 

Here's how to maintain that new-towel freshness.

  1. Wash your towels separate from the rest of the laundry with a detergent that will not leave a film. A quick guide to see which detergents will be okay for your towels is to see which detergents are suitable for washing cloth diapers. My absolute favorite detergent is Crunchy Clean, which I use for all my clothes and cloth diapers, but here's a good list to see if your detergent is suitable for washing towels. 
  2. Do not use fabric softener/dryer sheets.
  3. Avoid the towel shrinkage by washing in cold water, and drying on a low heat. Yes, it cleans just as well as hot water. 
  4. Don't wear the towels out in the washer and dryer so much. Use them a couple of times before washing them. It's okay. Really.
  5. If you really need some type of "fabric softener," consider a woolen dryer ball. (See more info)
If you've all ready sinned against your towels, there is help. Simply strip your towels. 
  1. Gather all your towels together. 
  2. Apologize to your towels.
  3. Wash them all on one hot cycle with 1 cup of vinegar.
  4. When that's finished, wash them again with 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  5. Dry as normal. 

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