Angela Patrone fixes stiff towels with white vinegar
Towels typically end up feeling stiff and rough as a result of sung fabric conditioner and after a build up of laundry detergent. To bring towels back to life, they need to be stripped of the residue left on them. To do this, a cleaning expert has detailed how on the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips and Trick Facebook page.
Susan Bull wrote: “I have been cleaning houses for over 20 years. I started clean vacation rentals about five years ago. We go through lots of sheets and lots of towels. A lot of you have been asking about making towels fluffy again. Here is what I do.
“First, load your washer with towels (clean or dirty, doesn’t matter) and set your washer’s temperature to hot water or the sanitise cycle.
“Then add a cup of white vinegar by pouring it in the area where you normally pour the laundry soap. If your washer doesn’t have a special place to pour the laundry soap, just add it to the drum before adding the towels.”
Susan urged households to “avoid” adding fabric softener or laundry soap, but continue to run the wash, rinse and spin cycle like on any other wash.
Fabric softeners contain silicon that will make towels water repellent, so they won’t get as good a wash.
The expert added: “Don’t use [tumble] dryer sheets. The vinegar is amazing as it’s a natural softener.”
When the towels are done, Susan recommends running the load again, but this time adding a cup of baking soda to the load the same way vinegar was added.
She said: “The baking soda and vinegar will strip the residue from the towels, leaving them fluffy and absorbent again.
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“Once again, don’t add fabric softener or laundry soap. Then run the wash, rinse and spin cycle as you normally would, this time with hot water or on the sanitise mode.” If households do not have this setting on their washing machine a hot wash will suffice.
Once the cycle is over, shake the towels out and hand them up either outside or in a well-ventilated room to dry. For those who do want to use their tumble dryer “don’t overfill” the appliance and dry the towels using the high heat option.
If there are some towels that are really coated with residue, these steps may need to be repeated “one more time”.
Susan advised: “To keep your towels fresh, give your towels this treatment once a month or whenever they start to feel crunchy.
“We always want to use nice smells and believe the wonderfully edited commercials. Less is more. Try to use natural smells. Essential oils, just a few drops, and vinegar is a wonderful softener and helps with smells.
“Your towels should not smell like vinegar. I use vinegar with every load of laundry. Just add a few drops of lavender oil.”
Taking to the comments section, many group members were all for this method and even claimed it removes nasty odours from towels.
Carly Foster said: “My towel felt so rough and felt awful, like eggs and wet dog. I ran mine on the whites setting with hot water. I added both baking soda and vinegar. Let it wash, rinse and spin. Then dried it and now it smells amazing.”
Deja Rogers wrote: “Yep to all of this. I ditched harsh detergent a while ago and now use this exact method and clothes are clean and soft.”
Lesley Helm commented: “Best thing ever is to replace softener with white vinegar on all washes. Especially towels and anything with Lycra in.”
Raine Osborne said: “Heard about white vinegar and it works. Put mine on the line and the towels are so soft.”
For those who like the feel and scent left by commercial fabric softeners, use them sparingly, and do a deep cleaning monthly with vinegar to prevent excessive build-up in the fibres.
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