The traditional towel you will pick up at your local department store is likely a cotton terry weave terry refers to the loop structure in the towel it’s a cotton material and it is designed to suck in moisture and feel plush on your skin but we all know that over time thick absorbent terry towels become not so and they actually have two key issues first they smell and second they feel scratchy these are both solvable problems as long as we know what we’re dealing with we have a solution so now i’m going to share with you three ways that you can get your towels smelling and feeling great.
Why Terry Stinks: The reason why terry towels get smelly is because generally towels are made from cotton and cotton is a natural fiber meaning that it is bacteria prone bacteria causes odors if there is a moist environment like a bathroom after a shower and a towel is not 101% dry bacteria is going to start to grow your towels are going to start to get funky that means when you hop out of the shower you want to make sure your overhead exhaust fan is on and that your towel is hung to dry and fully stretched out if you don’t have a towel bar if you are just relying upon a hook a hook is not good enough air is not going to circulate and reach the towel the way it needs to use your towel bar or some other structure that can help to dry the towel quickly then you can place it on the hook.
Another tricky situation is taking your towels out of the dryer at the right time because if your towels aren’t dry enough they are going to be folded up put into your linen closet and they will start to get musty or stinky so the issue is sometimes you can take a towel out and it feels dry but it is still retaining moisture and that’s because towels are so thick and absorbent they can be quite tricky and if you want a little tip or a way to figure out if your towels are fully dry you can actually hold them up to your mouth and suck in quickly I know it sounds strange but it works you’ll be able to detect whether there’s moisture there or not you want your towels bone dry out of the dryer and if they’re not they’re going to smell.
If you line dry your towels whether outdoors or indoors you might notice that they come out looking a little flat and they don’t feel soft and fluffy rather they’re a little bit scratchy and uncomfortable what you can do is take your towel fibers this takes a little bit of extra work but it does make a difference and just quickly rub them together to kind of fluff the mat up again or you can get yourself a soft bristle brush and just give it a quick sweep if you have a steamer a steamer can work too giving a couple quick passes over the towel to kind of fluff up the nap is a great option as well.
Dosing Issues: If you think about a towel it’s unlike any other item you’re putting into the washing machine it is thick it’s heavy and it’s large and it is designed to absorb so what’s going to happen when it goes into your washing machine it’s going to absorb all the water and all the detergents and all the fabric softener if that’s what you’re putting in as well towels actually don’t need a lot to get clean and what happens is you kind of get into this cycle where you think oh my towels are smelly i’ll add more detergent to get out the smell that’s actually the wrong thing to do and you’re just going down the wrong path so what you need to do instead is make sure that you are always properly dosing the amount of detergent for your load and that you’re not over filling your load because if you’re putting too many towels in the machine especially if it’s a high efficiency machine the machine is not going to be able to spin and get the small amount of water that it is designed to use efficiently distributed among all of the items in the washing machine and we just have to have a conversation about fabric softener you’ve probably never seen me talk about fabric softener because I just don’t believe in it and what I find frustrating is when I see commercials of towels stacked up one set beside the other and they’re like this one uses fabric softener this one doesn’t I don’t buy it for one second towels are actually so absorbent that fabric softener which is a waxy coating to condition your fabrics loosen their fibers and make them feel softer actually gets absorbed right into the towel so when you watch tick-tock videos of people fabric stripping or laundry stripping rather what they’re getting rid of is all of that built up detergent and fabric softener. Fabric softener is doing you no favors if you actually want to have soft fluffy towels use vinegar instead of fabric softener and make sure that you’re using dryer balls.
How to fix Towel Stank: What you’re going to do first to release some of that detergent buildup over time is you’re going to do a hot vinegar cycle now you don’t have to go to the extreme and do laundry stripping i’ve never done it because I don’t have time for it I don’t want to do it and I can get the same thing done in my washing machine so what you’ll do is you’ll add depending on how many towels you’re going to do at a time one to two cups of plain white vinegar inexpensive and easy you’re not putting any detergent in there rather you’re just using vinegar then you’re going to run your cycle through on the hottest possible setting your machine has when that is done you’re going to finish it up by doing the exact same thing but this time you’re going to use a cup of baking soda now what vinegar can do is break down some of the detergent and the soap that’s stuck in there and baking soda is going to help to freshen things up and deodorize so at the end you’ll put your towels into the dryer and they should come out fluffy and smelling clean, now if your towels are in really bad shape you might have to do this again but once you’ve done that you’ve essentially hit the reset button and your towels are going to be in much better condition also keep in mind that towels do have a lifespan so at about seven to ten years you might want to consider taking your used towels to a pet shelter who absolutely love receiving them and treating yourself to a new set.
Terry Towel Alternative: Now you might be asking yourself if everyone knows how prevalent these terry towel issues are why hasn’t a better solution surface and i’m here to tell you that actually it has there is a better solution it’s the same reason why people aren’t working out in thick heavy cotton t-shirts and sweatpants anymore they’re wearing technical fibers that wick moisture the answer is microfiber and i’m going to tell you why microfiber is designed differently than terry for several reasons first of all it’s not a natural fiber like cotton so it won’t harbor bacteria meaning microfiber towels don’t actually smell and if you look at the actual weave a microfiber towel like this one this is a maker’s microfiber towel is a waffle weave which is designed to efficiently absorb moisture and release it quickly meaning that it dries you quickly and then it dries itself quickly unlike terry which is very thick and absorbent and takes a long time to dry we have these towels in our home of course because there are rounded towels and anytime someone uses them whether after they’re drying their hands or if they’re swimming in our pool they swear that this is superior and if you think that microfiber feels uncomfortable on the skin you just haven’t tried a microfiber towel yet because they don’t feel like a microfiber cleaning cloth they actually feel quite soft and smooth they’re just heavy enough to feel luxurious but they’re not too heavy that they take too long to dry. So now you know everything you need to know about having clean fresh smelling towels for life and my hope and intention for you that I am putting out into the universe is that you never encounter a smelly towel again.
Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time.
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