How to Wash Towels

Caring for towels can be tricky. After many washes, they stop smelling clean and lose their fluffiness. Towels shouldn't be laundered like ordinary laundry. Even brand new towels need special treatment in the wash. Here are some dos and don'ts for how to wash towels.

First, the dos:


  • Soak new towels overnight in several gallons (liters) of water mixed with a cup of ammonia. The next day, wash the towels in cold water with a cup of distilled vinegar and a cup of laundry detergent [source: ERC Wipe].
  • Run new towels through the dryer's spin cycle several times to get rid of excess lint. Clean out the lint trap after each cycle.
  • Wash microfiber towels in cold water [source: Doctor Joe].
  • Air dry microfiber towels when possible and use only the coolest dryer setting if you can't air dry them.
  • Add a cup of distilled vinegar to your load of towels once every few washes to help get rid of musty smells and wax buildup [source: ERC Wipe].
  • Add a half-cup of baking soda to a load of towels to restore fluffiness [source: Good Morning America].

Now, for the don'ts:

  • Never use bleach or fabric softener when washing towels [source: Doctor Joe, ERC Wipe].
  • Don't wash old towels with new towels [source: ERC Wipe].
  • Don't wash different colored towels together.
  • Don't wash different types of towels together.
  • Don't wash towels with other laundry items.
  • Never overload the washing machine or dryer [source: Doctor Joe].