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How to Wash Towels: 7 Steps You Can’t Ignore

The Sauce Boss
Dec 6, 2023
Laundry Tips

Picture this: You step out of the shower feeling fresh and clean. But when you go to dry yourself off, your towel is stiff, scratchy, and maybe even stinky…talk about a vibe kill. You might have your body washing routine down to a science. But many people don't know there’s a better way to wash your towels.

From using the right water temperature to choosing the right dryer setting, there’s a lot more that goes into cleaning towels than throwing them into your washing machine and hoping for the best.

In this article, we’ll show you how to wash towels the right way with seven simple steps. Stick to this guide and your towels will be as fluffy and fresh as a five-star hotel.

1. Separate Your Towels

Start by separating your dirty towels from the rest of your laundry. There are two main reasons for this:

  • Towels can spread lint onto other clothes
  • Towels require heavier wash cycles, warm water, and less fabric softener

You should also separate your white towels from your dark towels. Washing them together may lead to subtle discoloration over time. This is more of an aesthetic preference, but who doesn’t love a bright white towel?

2. Add Laundry Detergent

The best laundry detergent for towels is a mild, HE-compatible, dye-free laundry pod. Laundry pods are more convenient and effective for washing towels since they provide a pre-measured amount of detergent, helping to prevent overuse. (This is especially useful for maintaining the absorbency of towels, as too much detergent can leave a residue that affects their performance.

Second, laundry pods have a higher concentration than liquid formulas, so you get the same cleaning power without the need for a huge dose of detergent.

Last but not least, you need laundry pods that smell as amazing as they perform. That’s where Laundry Sauce Pods come in. Instead of lame scents like “spring breeze,” we developed premium fragrances including French Saffron, Egyptian Rose, and Australian Sandalwood to add a touch of luxury to your daily routine.

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3. Add Fabric Softener (Occasionally)

A soft, fluffy towel is obviously preferable to one that’s stiff and scratchy. An easy way to keep your towels plush is by washing them with liquid fabric softener. This will relax the towel’s fibers, fight static cling, and add a pleasant fragrance.

Speaking of fragrance, our Performance Laundry Fabric Softener will enhance your towels with the same irresistible scents as our detergent pods.

Pro tip: Don’t use fabric softener every time you wash your towels. Instead, add it every third or fourth wash. This will help maintain the towel’s absorbency.

4. Set the Water Temperature to Warm

Cotton towels should be washed with warm or hot water. This will dissolve and remove stains, dirt, oils, and odor-causing bacteria that accumulate on your towels in between washes.

We normally suggest using cool or cold water on laundry day, since it’s more energy-efficient. However, heat is usually a better option for getting rid of gunk on towels. Just make sure you read the care label on your towels beforehand in case there’s a specific wash temperature recommendation.

5. Choose the Heavy-Duty Wash Cycle

For towels, a heavy-duty or bulky cycle should do the trick. These cycles typically provide a longer rinse cycle with more agitation, helping to remove any built-up grime and ensure a thorough clean. Just be sure to check the care instructions on your towels to make sure they can handle a heavy-duty cycle.

6. Shake the Towels Dry

Once the wash cycle is complete, give the wet towels a quick shake-out. This will help fluff the terry loops that make your towel absorbent. If you throw them straight into the dryer all bunched up, they might take longer to dry and could retain stubborn creases.

7. Tumble Dry On Medium Heat with Dryer Balls

Toss your clean towels in the dryer using the tumble setting and medium heat. The tumble setting is great for fluffing the fibers of your towels. Meanwhile, medium heat prevents the fibers from overheating, which can make them stiff and less absorbent.

Don’t forget to toss in a few wool dryer balls before starting the cycle. These create separation between the towels to increase airflow (which decreases drying time). Not to mention wool dryer balls stop static cling, reduce wrinkles, and prevent lint buildup.

Grab a six-pack of XL wool dryer balls and see the difference for yourself!

Common Questions About Washing Towels

Now that you know how to wash your towels like a pro, let’s cover some common questions.

How Often Should You Wash Towels?

Bath towels should be washed after three or four uses, or at least once a week. Pool and beach towels should be washed after every use. Hand towels should be replaced every couple of days if you use them regularly.

Can You Wash Towels With Clothes?

Towels should be washed separately from clothes since they require different water temperatures and wash cycles. Towels can also deposit unwanted lint onto the rest of your clothes.

How Do You Remove Musty Odors From Towels?

Musty smells come from mold or mildew which can grow on damp towels. If you catch a whiff of mildew, run a hot wash cycle with a cup of white vinegar and baking soda to neutralize the odor.

Pro tip: Check out our ultimate guide to get mildew smell out of clothes. 

How Do You Keep Towels Clean Longer?

Here are a few handy tips to keep towels fresh between washes:

  • Hang them after each use and let them dry before tossing them in your hamper
  • Wash your towels after 3-4 uses, or at least weekly
  • Don’t overload your washer—this can prevent them from getting fully clean

Should You Wash New Towels After Buying Them?

It’s always a smart idea to wash new towels—here’s why:

  • Remove additives from the manufacturing process, including dyes, chemicals, and finishing agents
  • Eliminate dust and allergens
  • Kill germs from people touching them
  • Eliminate odors from the manufacturing or packaging process

Treat Your Towels to Laundry Sauce

Isn’t it ironic that we pay up for the best-smelling soaps and body washes, but settle for towels that smell sterile and lifeless? You deserve to dry off with a towel that smells as luxurious as it feels—that’s why we made Laundry Sauce: The world’s best-smelling laundry detergent.

Whether you crave the warm mystique of Australian Sandalwood or the crisp, soothing notes of Indonesian Patchouli, these premium laundry pods turn your everyday routine into a sensual experience.

Not sure which scent suits you best? Take this quick quiz and find out!

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