How to Wash Towels With Vinegar (and Why you Should)
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Are you tired of using scratchy, lifeless, smelly towels? Look no further than your kitchen pantry for a natural solution to this stinky problem. White Vinegar is the star of the show here. When used properly, vinegar can remove bacteria, mold, and detergent residue, leaving your towels feeling fresh and fluffy.
In this article, we’ll explore how to wash towels with vinegar, and why you should. Say goodbye to stiff towels and hello to a new level of freshness and softness. And don’t worry – your towels will NOT smell like vinegar.
How to Wash Towels with Vinegar
Follow these steps depending on what kind of washer you have and repeat every 6 weeks or so.
- Front Loader Machine: If you have a front loader, or HE machine, you will put the vinegar in the softener dispenser. Add a 1/2- 1 cup. Putting vinegar in the softener dispenser will release the vinegar in the rinse cycle. Wash towels in warm or hot water and do not use detergent. To up the cleaning power, add a cup of baking soda directly to the drum with the towels. After the wash is complete, remove towels, give them a good shake and dry them on a high heat or ‘towels’ setting on your dryer.
- Top Loader Machine: If you have a top loader, you will put the vinegar directly into the drum after it’s filled with water. Add a 1/2- 1 cup. Wash towels in warm or hot water and do not use detergent. To up the cleaning power, add a cup of baking soda directly to the drum with the towels after adding the vinegar. After the wash is complete, remove towels, give them a good shake and dry them on a high heat or ‘towels’ setting on your dryer.
More Tips for For Washing Towels in Vinegar
- Don’t use Fabric Softener: Fabric Softeners actually coat towels in a residue that hinders absorbency and breaks down fibers. This in turn creates stiff towels. I guess that teddy bear from the Downy commercial likes stiff towels.
- Don’t mix clothes and towels. Ok, I’m guilty of this one. But technically, you should wash towels separately. As gross as it is, those towels have a lot of grossness and skin cells on them after using them and why do we want that transferring to our clothes? Plus, towels take longer to dry.
- Always Wash Brand New Towels: Did you just buy new towels? You should always wash new towels before using them. Towels can have chemicals on them from manufacturing that should be washed away.
- Wash Towels Weekly (or More!): Most of us aren’t living at the Ritz, and we don’t need to be washing our towels every day. That being said, you should absolutely be washing them weekly or just under. Go ahead and treat yourself to a fresh towel every 5 days or so.
- Dry Towels Immediately: Take towels out of the washer as soon as possible after they are done washing. Leaving wet towels in the washer is a disaster scenario for mildew and musty odors. Let’s not start this cycle again. Shake the towels out, and put them in the dryer on a high heat or ‘Towels’ setting if you have it. Do not use Dryer Sheets.
- Turkish Towels – this method also works on Turkish Towels! When you first buy Turkish towels, you should soak them to allow the fibers to bloom. You can then periodically use this vinegar wash to help remove detergent residue. These towels dry quickly, so it’s best to dry on low to medium heat.
Benefits of Vinegar in Laundry
Kills Bacteria and Mold: Vinegar is effective at killing bacteria and mold on your towels. This is especially important for people with sensitive skin or allergies, as mildew and bacteria buildup on towels can exacerbate existing conditions, like allergies and eczema.
Removes Detergent Residue: The acidic properties of vinegar break down any leftover detergent residue that can make your towels feel stiff and less absorbent. This is particularly important if you have hard water or use a lot of detergent (and actually, many of us use too much), as these factors can make it difficult for your towels to fully rinse clean.
Brings softness back to towels: By removing all this detergent residue with vinegar, your towels will go back to being springy, soft and more absorbant.
Cheap and Natural: Vinegar is a cheap, safe and natural alternative to expensive laundry products. Unlike commercial fabric softeners, vinegar is an eco-friendly and economical solution that won’t harm the environment. By using vinegar regularly, you can save money on laundry products and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
Want to keep going? Try my two ingredient stainless steel cleaner and oven racks cleaning method.