How to wash towels with vinegar – according to cleaning pros |
Bath towels get a lot of use, so it pays to learn how to make them look and feel good. This means soft, luxurious, hotel-style towels every time you step out of the shower. And You don’t have to replace them sooner than necessary.
Wash towels with white vinegar occasionally for a deep clean that doesn’t require quite as much labor as stripping laundry.
Vinegar is a way to soften towels that are stiff to the touch, and it removes odors and bacteria. So how do you do it right?
How to wash towels at home with vinegar
Towels are far less fiddly to wash than smaller garments like children’s clothing, but as they’re usually made from the natural material cotton, they’re susceptible to bacteria, especially if stored slightly damp or rather left hanging on a towel rail. A hot vinegar cycle will keep towels fresh.
There’s no hard and fast rule on how much vinegar to use, but home and lifestyle blogger Rene Lategan does (opens in new tab) says you can estimate the amount based on how big your machine is and how many towels you wash per cycle. “One cup for every two large towels works well,” she says.
Put it either in the fabric softener dispenser of your machine or directly in the drum. Set your machine to the hottest wash possible and let the vinegar soak in – no need to rinse afterwards.
A second step is to do the exact same process but with baking soda before putting the towels in the dryer or letting them air dry to save some money on energy bills and give your dryer a break.
White vinegar is inexpensive and has a disinfecting effect due to the acetic acid content, which can break down bacteria and viruses. This not only cleans deeply but also removes odors, so it’s a good option for older towels that seem to have a faint, lingering damp odor even when freshly cleaned. Vinegar also removes dirt and oils, improves the cleaning power of your detergent and doesn’t have the water-repellent effect of fabric softeners.
This powerful, natural detergent can also break down build-up of detergent or fabric softener that can leave towels feeling rough and scratchy. Similar to cleaning with lemon juice, white vinegar can also make dull towels look lighter, allowing you to keep a crisp white color for longer.
“Putting vinegar in the washing machine can be a useful way to clean and freshen up towels and other fabrics,” agrees Home blogger Jenna Kate (opens in new tab). “You can have softer, cleaner, and fresher-smelling clothes and linens by introducing vinegar into your laundry routine.”
Jenna Shaughnessy runs the home blog Jenna Kate at Home, where she helps readers create a home that looks good, feels good, and works well. On the website, Jenna shares home decor ideas, DIY projects, and recipes.
How often to wash towels with vinegar
Wash towels with vinegar about every month to keep them as soft as the day you bought them. This also helps if you’ve noticed that your usual bath towels feel less absorbent as it penetrates the fibers and helps remove soap scum.
If all this sounds too time-consuming, microfiber bath towels on Amazon (opens in new tab)dries much faster than traditional cotton towels with a terrycloth weave and therefore do not harbor as many germs and develop a musty smell as easily.
frequently asked Questions
Can you use vinegar and detergent together?
It’s possible to use detergent and vinegar together when reviving towels, but you may find that a cup of vinegar does the job on its own, making cleaning with vinegar an inexpensive and eco-friendly laundry technique to have up your sleeve should. It’s a great way to live more sustainably at home and use less detergent.
Rene Lategan points out that vinegar causes some detergents to create more suds, so don’t be alarmed if your load foams more than usual when you combine them.
Washing towels with vinegar regularly is super easy, banishes nasty odors and keeps them soft. Remember that towels, just like anything else, have a lifespan and when it’s time to replace them, donate old towels to an animal shelter and follow our towel buying rules to get the best receive.