Once you have purchased a brand new towel, you have surely noticed just how water repellent the towel fabric can be. This is the opposite of what you would expect from a towel which is supposed to absorb water very well. If this has happened to you before, you may have noticed that washing the towel a few times in a washing machine often makes the towel more and more absorbent.
If you don’t want to have to wash your towels several times before it starts to feel like a good and functional towel again, there are few things that you can do. Whether you have purchased cheap towels or expensive ones, the following tips should help you break them in faster, and make them more absorbent and better to use.
- Do an initial wash with hot water before use
Washing the towels with very hot water will do the important service of washing away any dye as well as other chemicals or soaps like fabric softener used during the manufacturing process. As you do this initial wash with hot water, ensure that you don’t wash the towel with other fabrics because you could damage the other fabrics that you wash the towels with.
- Use some white vinegar in the rinse cycle
Another thing that you could do to break in the towel and make it more absorbent is to wash the towel with some vinegar during the rinse cycle. Vinegar, which is acidic, is helpful because it reacts with alkaline or base compounds left in the towel fabric during the manufacture process that would:
- Make the fabric less absorbent because it won’t be able to absorb water as it should
- Prevent soaps and detergents from bonding with dirt in the fabric properly to get rid of any dirt
If you use vinegar, use it diluted to avoid any damage to the towel (especially extreme loss of color). With the same logic, do a separate wash with baking soda, which is an alkali, to get rid of any acidic compounds left in the fabric during the manufacturing process. Under no circumstances should you use the baking soda and the vinegar at the same time.
- Avoid using fabric softener of any kind
If you want to make your towels more absorbent, you should avoid using normal fabric softener. This is because the fabric softener usually contains oils that will make the towel hydrophobic or less water absorbent.
If you have to use a fabric softener because you just can’t do without the extremely soft feel of a towel that has been washed with fabric softener, use some amidoamine softeners or some vinegar, which is also known to soften fabrics.
If you have used the fabric softener already, you can strip off the oils from the fabric softener by using the vinegar and baking soda techniques described above to strip the towel fabric off of any oils. All you have to do is use half a cup of baking soda and then in a separate wash, half a cup of vinegar.