Handle your towels

Take care of your towels – As seen on 3TV / Phoenix – Good Morning Arizona – Monday, February 17, 2020 – 8:45 a.m.

I am constantly asked if I should keep towels clean and odorless. Here are some tricks and tips to keep them clean and smell fresh.

Always sort correctly first. Never wash your dark and light towels together. Light fluff is embedded in the dark towels and dark colors slowly bleed into the light towels.

KICK IT UP: First of all, it is important to always wash the towels in the hottest water. This is not the time to use the cold wash cycle. You want your towels to be clean and germ-free. Remember, when you dry with a towel, the dry skin is peeled off, which is then trapped in the towel. Add half a cup of washing soda to a full load of towels to improve your regular detergent.

PREPARE: It is a good idea to pre-soak heavily soiled towels. Soak them in hot water and half a cup of Twenty Mule Team Borax and this not only loosens the dirt, but also helps with persistent smells.

DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER: Do not use liquid plasticizer or dryer plasticizer sheets. Your towels may seem soft and loose, but in fact the fibers are coated, making them less absorbent and smelling. Use half a cup of white vinegar instead. Pour it into the fabric softener dispenser or into the rinse cycle. The vinegar smell disappears when it is dry. If you have done this a few times, you will be amazed at how beautiful and soft the towels are and how well they dry. If you already have this problem, follow the tips on non-absorbent towels to get a fresh start.

DARK TOWEL FADING: If you use dark towels and these fade, when you buy the new towels, put the old and new ones in the washing machine and let them soak for a few hours. The dye is transferred from the new towels to the old ones. For this to work, the towels must be in the same color family.

NEW TOWELS: They are sized to prevent them from drying well. Wash them in warm water and your normal detergent before use and use white vinegar to soften them.

NON-ABSORBENT TOWELS: If your towels no longer absorb water when they dry or simply slide over your body, wash them in hot water several times and do NOT use detergent or fabric softener. You can also soak them overnight in a washing machine with hot water and ¼ cup of epsom salt (available from drug stores). Let the washing machine drain the next day and then wash it in hot water and detergent.

WHAT STINKS! If your towels develop that dirty sock smell, buy Smelly Towel. It is a natural product that removes the unpleasant smell from your towels. Visit smellywasher.com to find or order a dealer. I do it once a month. One bottle is enough for one year.

If you remove one thing from this information, you should NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER – liquid or dryer sheets on towels. It's the best way to ruin it.

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