Exposing towels to skin-care products, whitening toothpaste, strong facial cleansers and more could leave permanent stains on them. Especially avoid exposing towels to products that include benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxyl acids, normally found in acne treatments and exfoliators.
Top tip: To make sure you don’t get stubborn make-up stains on your towels, get a small face cloth or hand towel that you only use on your face.
1. You’re not drying them properly. Wet or damp towels should be hung up separately, not two on the same hook or folded over one rail. Dry them properly to avoid mildew, mold and bacterial growth.
Top tip: There’s no need to wash towels after every use, but hanging them in the sun during the day won’t hurt. This will ensure they dry well and air out properly. If using a tumble dryer, make sure to shake them out before throwing them in to increase fluffiness.
2. Speaking of drying, you probably don’t have enough rails. Towels dry better on rails than they do on hooks. The air circulation is better and they’ll dry much faster, leaving no time for bacteria and mildew to get involved. If you only have one rail, it might be time for a visit to the hardware store.
Top tip: If you can afford heated towel rails, go for it, they dry towels in a jiffy, especially in humid conditions. They also make getting out of the shower in winter a little bit easier.
3. You only use one set of towels. The more you use and wash towels, the faster they’ll become thin and dingy, no matter what you do. Have at least two sets of towels to rotate between – when one set goes in the wash, take out the other.
5. You’re using too much detergent and fabric softener. Washing towels every few days is a good idea, but don’t go overboard with detergent and fabric softeners. The leftover residue will harden towels and leave them feeling waxy. What’s more, it’s no good for your skin.
Top tip: Add a teaspoon or two of vinegar instead of softener. The smell won’t stay on the towels and they’ll come out softer than ever.
6. You’re washing towels at the wrong temperature. While white towels do better when washed in warmer temperatures, coloured towels should be washed on a colder cycle. This will prevent fading and colours from running. Always check the recommendations on the labels and don’t mix colours, especially when towels are new.
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