Hotel housekeepers know how to keep white towels looking as good as new for ages. You don’t have to keep buying new white towels to get that spa or five-star hotel feel. Just treat them right, and they’ll last you forever! Here’s what professional housekeepers can advise you.
The Importance of Clean Towels
The human body constantly produces sweat, salt, sebum, and skin cells, much of which can be transferred to towels. The bathroom, with its dark and damp conditions, is an ideal habitat for microbes and other organisms, meaning your towels are especially prone to bacterial contamination. Besides, rubbing yourself with a dirty towel isn’t good for your skin’s health, as you might guess. It can put you at risk for acne, infection, and breakouts. No one wants that.
How Often Should You Clean Your Towels
However, before you get to the right techniques to wash your white towels, you should also know how often to wash them. Under normal circumstances (the towel has been left to dry properly), a regular bath towel can be used 3 to 4 times before it needs to be washed, while a hand towel should be washed every two days. Even if you can’t visibly see it, a towel can have a number of germs and bacteria accumulated on it because water can’t wash all of it off.
How to Wash White Towels Properly, According to Hotel Housekeepers
The first thing to do is to separate white towels from coloured ones. White towels should be washed separately in hot water with a mild detergent. Bleach should be added to the cycle to keep them bright. It’s important to check the label on the towels before washing them, as some fabrics aren’t colourfast and may bleed when washed with bleach. After washing, the towels should be dried on a low heat setting in the dryer to avoid shrinking or colour fading. The towels should be folded neatly and put in a designated area for easy access by guests.
To wash a towel properly, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of detergent for a large load
- ¼ cup of bleach
- ¼ cup of fabric softener or white vinegar
- ½ cup of baking soda
- Wool laundry balls
- Essential oils (optional)
The steps to follow:
- Sort your towels and wash white towels separately from coloured towels. Washing them together will lead to subtle discolouration over time.
- Wash white towels with hot water, detergent, and non-chlorine bleach, such as sodium percarbonate, according to the label instructions. White towels stay brighter if they’re washed in hot water. Be careful about overheating, which can cause stiffness.
- Use fabric softener to soften the towels. However, only add it to every third or fourth wash to prevent buildup. For a more natural alternative, add a quarter cup of white vinegar.
- If your towels have a bad odour, wash the towels with half a cup of baking soda without detergent first and then rewash them with detergent.
- Once the towels are washed, shake and place them into the dryer, adding the wool balls. If you want to add a light scent, add one or two drops of essential oil to the wool laundry balls. They’re a natural alternative to dryer sheets that help fluff the towels and dry them faster.
- Make sure the towels have dried completely before you remove them from the dryer. Towels take longer to dry than clothes, so even a bit of remaining moisture can result in bad odours.
Recipe for a Homemade Fabric Softener
Sometimes homemade stuff works just as well as store-bought. You can totally make your own fabric softener with just a few ingredients that everyone has lying around the house. Here’s how!
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 2 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 15-20 drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)
Making your own fabric softener step-by-step:
- In a big bowl, mix the white vinegar, water, and baking soda. Stir until the baking soda’s fully dissolved.
- Add the essential oil to the mixture and stir until it’s blended.
- Fill a spray bottle with the fabric softener and shake well before each use.
- Spray the fabric softener onto the towels and leave for 10-15 minutes before washing.
- Wash the towels as usual and enjoy the soft and fragrant results!
Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Towel Care
There are, of course, like any other household task, things you should and shouldn’t do when cleaning your towels.
- Wash new towels before you use them for the first time to remove any chemicals manufacturers may have used to make them fluffy and soft.
- Hang up your towels after each use to help them dry properly and prevent odours. By doing this, you’ll prevent bacterial growth and lengthen the time between washings.
- Dry your towels on low heat to prevent overheating, which can tighten the fibres, making them stiffer and less absorbent.
- Pre-treat any stains before washing.
- Always use the correct water temperature.
- Wash colours separately from whites.
- Hang towels to dry after washing.
- Use the right detergent and fabric softener.
- Don’t toss wet or damp towels into the laundry basket because it can cause them to develop a bad odour.
- Don’t overload the washer with towels because they may not wash and rinse properly if it’s packed in.
- Don’t use more than two tablespoons of detergent because it may cause a buildup that limits their absorbency. Instead, wash your towels after a few uses in warm water with mild soap.
- Don’t use too much detergent.
- Don’t overload the washing machine.
- Don’t dry towels in direct sunlight.
- Don’t use fabric softener on towels more than once a month.
With these instructions, you will be able to keep your towels fresh, clean, and hygienic. Follow them, and your towels will stay white for longer, looking and feeling their best. Don’t forget to hang them after use, and don’t use fabric softeners. This’ll keep them fluffy and soft, plus prevent fraying. Make sure to air dry them instead of throwing them in the dryer – this will help maintain the fabric and extend the life of your towels.