how to wash towels

how to wash towels


After 5 years of having 3 sets of towels for my Master bath, I finally bought new ones.  Now before YOU say “Ewwwwww 5 years gross!” Let ME just say, nobody ever taught me about the lifespan of a towel.  Nor did anyone teach me how to wash my towels properly either.  Knowing when to replace towels is such an “Adult” thing to do and let’s face it, before Google everyone was probabaly flying by the seat of their pants.  

When we first got married, we had Walmart towels because that’s what we could afford. Slowly we moved up to Target towels, then Bed Bath & Beyond one’s then Pottery Barn & my new purchase is from Frontgate.   I feel it’s safe to say the more expensive the towel the higher the “probability” of it lasting longer BUT i’d like to add, it’s the way you care for said towels that also determines their longevity. 



Keeping that theory in mind, Walmart towels from the 90’s weren’t made well & had to be replaced every 2 years which is hella good considering they were about $7 per bath towel.  In true transparency, I was really bad at laundry in our early years of marriage. As in throw everything in one load kind of bad. On the bright side, our Walmart towels lasted 2 whole years even with my reckless behavior so massive props to me. 

 While I know that sounds ridiculous, let me say over the years I’ve learned a few tricks because with age comes wisdom. I’d like to think that’s what kept our last set of Pottery barn towels alive so damn long.  


Let me share with you how I care for our towels and trust me it’s easy because 

1- You know damn well I’m lazy

2- I’m of the strong belief that caring for towels shouldn’t be rocket science


I have mainly white towels but these tips are great for ALL towels no matter the color or brand.

Here’s how to wash towels properly

  • Use the gentle cycle with cold water & change the rinse & spin to high
  • Don’t overfill your washer tub. Towels should come half way up the tub & not more to ensure proper washing.
  • Wash towels with mild detergent. Recently I’ve switched to Clean Mama Super Laundry Powder  and really love how it works and smells.
  • Instead of liquid fabric softener, use WHITE vinegar. I pour it into in the area I normally pour my liquid softener. 
  • No bleach
  • Tumble Dry low. I use a dryer ball with lavender essential oils instead of dryer sheets.

The benefits of using Vinegar is:

  • Less chemicals in your clothing and therefore on your body
  • White Vinegar costs less
  • It won’t affect the absorbency of fabrics which often happens when towels are washed repeatedly with fabric softeners. 
  • Vinegar also removes even the toughest of odors

The only downside is that it doesn’t leave your towels with that strong scents we’ve grown to love by using store bought detergents.  I’m totally fine with that since I’m trying to cut back on the amount of chemicals we use in our home. 

That’s it in a nutshell! Now for those of you asking, as my hubby did, about when to replace towels, here’s my answer “When you’re drying your skin & being exfoliated at the same time, that’s when you know it’s time to buy new towels”  

Good luck with your new towel routine!  



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