There are few things better than a new set of luxury towels. Whether stacked up in a linen closet or hung on a towel bar, they’re practically sparkling with their soft newness. The question is, how to keep those towels as fresh as they day you bought them?
Here we have the answers with expert advice from Matouk Senior Customer Service Representative, John Otero.
What should you look for when purchasing towels?
It’s about the texture. The feel of the product tells a lot about the quality. If a towel is very flimsy, it's not a good towel; if it has a lot of substance to it, you can really feel the quality. The higher the grams of cotton per square meter, the denser the fibers become, making the towel softer and more absorbent. Look for towels made from 100% cotton.
What other elements factor into quality (and price)?
Gram weight, like thread count in bedding, is just one metric to measure towels by. We also consider fiber content, yarn construction (i.e. low twist, zero twist, traditional twisted yarns) towel construction (whether it has a dobby, a piped edge, any embellishment, etc.), and size.
What's the first thing you should do when bringing home a new set of towels?
Wash and dry the towels before using. You want to remove any residue from the finishing process that might still be on the towel. A quality towel should get more absorbent and soft as you use and launder it; not less. Inferior towels have many softening agents on them, so they feel soft to the touch, but as those agents wash off, the towel becomes hard and doesn’t absorb well.
What is the best way to wash towels to ensure longevity and quality?
Start by separating your white towels from the colored ones, washing them together will lead to subtle discoloration over time.
Wash your white towels using the Delicate and Warm Water settings on your washing machine. Add a non-chlorine, natural detergent; I use Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda. Stay away from fabric softener and bleach!
If you're dealing with musty odors, consider adding vinegar during the wash cycle partnered with your laundry detergent. This combination works wonders to clean and sanitize your towels.
Once laundered, shake and place your towels into the dryer on the Warm/Delicate setting. Try adding a few wool balls to the dryer if you have them, and if you'd like to impart a light scent, add in a few drops of essential oils. The wool balls are a natural alternative to dryer sheets and can be used to fluff towels and help them dry faster.
Make sure the towels are completely dry, and then promptly remove them from the dryer. While even a hint of lingering moisture can cause odor, it's important to not overdry your towels, either.
Once you've washed and dried your towels, be sure to store them in a dry location to keep them looking and feeling fresh.
Are there any do's and don'ts when it comes to washing towels?
- Do wash your towels before you use them for the first time.
- Don't toss wet or damp towels into a hamper or laundry basket and let them sit. That's how they develop that musty, mildewy odor.
- Similarly, don't leave your wet towels sitting in the washing machine as that can cause the same odor.
- Don't overload your washing machine with towels. The heaviness of the load can take a toll on your machine; plus the towels may not wash and rinse properly if everything is packed in too tight.
What is the best way to remove stains from towels?
Use equal parts baking soda and vinegear; 1 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon to form a paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and let it sit for a little while. Then wash in your preferred washing cycle. This method has helped a lot of our customers.
What is the biggest misconception people make when laundering towels?
Washing towels with fabric softener. Using softener will actually make your towels less absorbent.