Washing Tips

How to Wash Towels – 8 Rules to Follow While Washing Towels to Keep Them Soft & Cuddly

When you buy a new towel, the first thing you go for is the fluffy plush of the towel, its durability, and how quickly the towel can absorb water. According to Cotton Incorporated Supply Chain, one of the top purchase drivers of towels is “softness” – 63% of consumers look for softness when purchasing a towel. But no matter how high the towel’s quality or how expensive they are, all towels lose some of their plush after the first wash.


Hard water and friction also break down the fabric. Over time, the cycle of use and wash wears off all the plush of the towels making them hard and uncomfortable to use. This also affects the absorbency level of the towel.


This makes the purchasing of towels seem less profitable considering that it is purchased for their softness and absorbency level which is lost partially after the first wash and is almost lost after a few washes.


What if we told you that the secret to forever soft towels lies in how to wash towels and it’s not even expensive or time-consuming? We know doing laundry is a lethargic chore but doing it right, makes a world of a difference.


Today, we will share with you a few tricks on how to wash towels and keep them soft, wash after wash. No more rubbing crispy hard towels over the skin that feel more like a scrub than an actual towel.

Gray soft plush towel on a white background

How to Wash Towels & Keep Them Soft

1. Use warm water

Warm water is perfect for washing towels in many ways. It removes oil build-ups from the towel that are not removable with cold water. It absorbs the detergent way better than cold water which means no residue is left behind on the towels. And, it helps loosen the fabric fibers, removing all dust and dirt in the fibers. 

2. Presoak the towels in warm water

Since warm water cleans the towels naturally, it makes more sense to presoak the towels in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, before washing them. This soaking time gives the towel enough time to remove oil build-ups, dirt, and dust from the towel.

3. Break down large loads into smaller loads

A larger load of towels means more detergent, less water capacity, and lesser room for the towels to freely move in the wash cycle. Instead of going in for a one-time large load, break the load into two smaller loads – less detergent, more water, and more washing space. 

4. Reduce the quantity of detergent

There is a common misconception about the amount of detergent for washing clothes – more detergent means better cleaning. That’s not true and definitely not true when we speak about washing towels. Using more detergent than the prescribed quantity, leaves detergent residue behind as the water cannot remove it all within the set cycle of rinse. When washing towels, reduce the quantity of detergent so there is no residue left behind.

5. Invest in dryer balls

Dryer balls prevent the clothes from clumping in the washing machine. Using dryer balls while washing towels will not only prevent clumping, but it will also help the towels return back to their plushy, cuddly, and soft form. If you are not sure about using dryer balls, you can use tennis balls as your go-to hack for towels.

6. Cut back on fabric softeners

While fabric softeners are one of the first things that come to mind when washing towels as they make them soft, it’s essential to understand that excess fabric softener means more residue on towels. Cut back on the quantity of fabric softeners while washing towels to wash off all the residue from the towels in the water cycle.

7. Juggle between tumble drying and air drying

Tumble drying gives towels the fluff that they deserve but at the same time, heat from the tumble dryer damages the integrity of the towel fibers. The best way to gain benefits from a tumble dryer without losing fiber integrity is to juggle between tumble drying and air drying. Air dry the towels partially on a line and toss them in the tumble dryer with a lower drying time for the final drying. This will expose the towels to lesser heat and also give the towels their natural fluff.

8. Give them a final wake-up shake

Jokes apart, when your towels are dry – air dried, tumble dried or both, give them a good shake. This may sound petty but it is highly effective in making the towels super fluffy and soft. The final shake loosens the fibers of the towel, allowing your towel fiber to return to its original softness and fluffiness.

Pearl white towel photographed on a white background with black pinecones flowers..

Quick Walkthrough on How to Wash Towels & Keep Them Soft After Washing

  • Use warm water for washing towels.
  • Presoak towels in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Go for smaller loads instead of one big load.
  • Use a lesser quantity of detergent to avoid residue buildup.
  • Toss in some dryer balls or tennis balls to prevent clamping.
  • Go light on fabric softeners for a residue-free wash.
  • Allow towels to partially air dry then toss them in the tumble dryer for final drying.
  • Give the towels a good shake to loosen fibers for a super fluff.

These simple and easy-to-do tips on how to wash towels will give you clean, fresh, and plush towels no matter how many times you wash them. They will last longer, provide absolute absorbency and feel as soft as new, wash after wash.


Your towels do more than they get credit for. Give them the wash that they deserve. Make sure your washing machine is clean before tossing them into it – invest in a good washing machine cleaner NOW!