How to Clean A Towel? Complete Guide

how to clean a towel

How to Clean A Towel? Complete Guide

Towels are incredibly valuable, so it is important to know how to clean a towel properly so that they last and stay soft and fluffy as long as possible. You should know several things before you wash towels to ensure the towels stay plush and last longer. (1)

So, you need to look and feel the best, even the several washes. Even though it may seem easy to toss them in the washer, there is more to discover. With my guide “How to clean a towel,” I will give you some tips on washing the towels.

What Setting to Clean Towel in a Washing Machine?

Depending on the fabric type of your towels, you should wash them in a specific setting. I recommend the temperature setting for white and color towels at 40 degrees if your towel fabric is cotton. Check the towel label and make sure that there are no specific instructions for cleaning the towel. (2)

How to Clean A Towel?

After a long, busy day, it feels wonderful to come home, take a shower, and dry off with a cool, soft towel. It’s normal for towels to lose absorbency with time and acquire a distinct odor since we use them frequently. Furthermore, we tend to wash them the wrong way, causing them to be rough.

You need just two ingredients to clean your dirty towels: white vinegar and baking soda. Because baking soda cleanses and deodorizes naturally, it is an excellent alternative to laundry detergent. It helps remove stubborn odors and stains from clothes.

Among the natural detergents, white vinegar can also be regarded as a powerful option. Because white vinegar is natural and has no artificial coloring or aroma, it is the best type of vinegar for cleaning. Since it contains a high concentration of acetic acid, it is a great cleaning product. With this acid, you can degrease, disinfect, give shine, eliminate odors, and maintain softness.

Here’s the recipe to clean a towel: 1 cup of white vinegar; half a cup of baking soda.


  • Put hot water and vinegar in the washing machine to clean your towels.
  • Fill up the washing machine again with hot water and add baking soda this time.
  • Let the towels air dry for one more cycle, and then run the machine for one more cycle.
  • When it comes to washing machines that do not have hot water options, you’ll have to do it yourself.
  • Soak your towels for 30 minutes in hot water with vinegar and baking soda.
  • When the 30 minutes are up, scrub them, then let them soak for another 30 minutes.
  • After washing, you can rinse with cold water and leave it to dry.

How to Clean Stinky Towels?

Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy taking a hot shower and grabbing a fresh, scented towel to dry their body? As a result of using them for a few days, towels begin to smell funky and humid.

The humidity in bathrooms makes it difficult for towels to dry after a shower and promotes the buildup of bacteria and grime. To ensure that your towels will be completely dry, place them in a dry, airy place, preferably near the sun. By doing so, you can prevent the proliferation of fungus and bacteria that cause odors.

Lemon Juice

Lemons, due to their high citric content, are excellent whiteners and disinfectants for all types of clothing. Your towels will no longer smell foul due to the acidic smell of this fruit.

You will need four cups of hot water and half a cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed; Put the hot water in a bucket, add the lemon juice, and let your towels soak for 40 minutes. After this period, put the towels in your washing machine and do a regular washing cycle.

How to Keep Towels Soft?

Are your towels scratchy and rough and not comfortable on your skin anymore? Well, I’m going to show you how you can rehabilitate towels so they will be soft and fluffy again. Usually, what happens is people put in too much detergent, and the detergent gets all built up hung up in the fibers, and so you need to get rid of all that residue.

The one more thing you need to remember is never over-dry your towels. Sometimes people put them in for so long, and they have been baked so long after drying. Let’s have a look! It can damage the threads sp; here’s what you want to do to rehabilitate your towels, and they are soft and fluffy.

  • Cut back on detergent
  • Wash in a warm water
  • Replace fabric softener with vinegar
  • Use baking soda
  • Lighten your load

#1 Cut Back on Detergent

When soapy residue builds up on towels, they become stiff. You can make your rinse cycle easier by using a little less detergent than suggested.

#2 Wash in A Warm Water

Using warm water (around body temperature) absorbs the detergent better, leaving less residue on your towels. Additionally, you can let detergent dissolve in the washer before adding towels – start the wash cycle, add soap, and wait for a minute.

#3 Replace Fabric Softener With Vinegar

Silicone in fabric softeners repels water, so towels won’t get as clean as they could. Using about a cup of white vinegar every six weeks, you can soften your towels and remove the soapy residue that makes them feel rough. This will restore their softness and absorbency. If you want to rewash the towels, use vinegar instead of soap.

#4 Use Baking Soda

Add half a cup of baking soda to your regular amount of detergent. Towels will become softer when the fibers are loosened, and the chemicals and grime are removed. Furthermore, baking soda removes musty odors naturally – such as those created by damp towels lying around in a gym bag.

#5 Lighten Your Load

Put no more than a few towels in your washer at a time. As well as straining the machine, you won’t have to rinse out your towels, dirt, and detergent thoroughly. You won’t be able to fluff the fabric if you overload the dryer properly.

Thus, you’ll get stiff, matted towels rather than fluffy, soft ones. Typically, two or three bath towels are enough for most standard machines, along with hand towels.


Why Do My Clean Towels Stink?

When towels are put away wet, they develop a sour and smelly odor. A source of towel odor and loss of softness and absorbency comes from detergent and fabric softener buildup.

How Do You Get Bacteria Out of Towels?

When you wipe your hands after washing them or dry your body after bathing, is that enough to keep them clean? The dampness, warmth, and absorbency of towels make them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria on your natural skin are transferred onto a towel every time you use it.

Can You Wash Towels With Clothes?

You should always wash bath towels separately from your clothing for sanitary reasons. In the washing machine, you can transfer germs and bacteria between clothes and towels. In addition, you can dry towels in the same load since damp towels dry more slowly than most clothes.

Do You Wash Towels in Hot or Cold Water?

In order to remove mold and bacteria from towels, wash them in warm water. If you are hand washing colored towels, use cold water while using hot water for white towels. Nevertheless, hot water can shorten the life of your towels by weakening fibers, fading colors, and causing shrinkage.

In Conclusion

Thus, you can clean your towels by following the above earlier mentioned steps. These steps are more manageable and may prevent your towels from odor and stinky smell. More additionally, I have also discussed how to keep towels soft and fluffy for a long time. I hope this guide is beneficial for you to get rid of the bacteria in your towels and stay smooth.

Read Also: What is the Best Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution?

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.