Regarding household chores, there’s always something new to learn. And one task that often leaves people scratching their heads is properly washing new towels in a front loader. With different fabrics, colors, and textures, it’s important to know the best practices for keeping your towels fresh, fluffy, and absorbent.
I will explore some tips and tricks for washing new towels in a front loader so you can enjoy the luxurious feeling of a soft, clean towel every time. Besides the core topic, I will also share some of my knowledge and personal experience. Regarding relevant matters. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to maintaining towel perfection!
What Is a Front-Loader Washing Machine?
A front-loader washing machine is a type of washing machine that loads clothes through a door located on the front of the machine. It is also known as a front-loading washer. There are two types of washing machines in terms of loading; front loading and top loading.
The front-loading washing machines are better for many reasons. I also own a front-loading washer, and I adore it. On the other hand, top-loading washing machines have a lid on the top. You place the clothes through that lid. Front loaders are popular due to their efficiency, performance, and energy-saving features.
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Why Should You Wash New Towels?
You must have heard the thing about washing new towels. You are very likely to wonder, “Why wash new towels? They are new!” I thought that, too, and then I did some research. I found many good reasons to never use new towels without washing them.
New towels sometimes come with a layer of sticky fabric softener. This softener enhances the appearance and texture of the towel on store shelves but, unfortunately, reduces its absorbency. That’s not ideal for drying purposes. For me, this reason alone is enough to wash new towels.
Besides, new towels shed excess fluff. It can leave lint all over your body. You can mitigate this issue by washing them before using them and enjoying a lint-free experience.
However, check the care label before washing your towels for specific instructions. Towel washing is unlike regular clothes washing, so you must approach cautiously to keep your towels fluffy and absorbent. Followings are some more reasons why you should wash new towels before using:
Improved Absorbency: Washing new towels loosens the fibers and enhances their absorbency. It ensures that they dry you effectively after each use.
Color Fastness: If there’s any excessive color bleeding, you’ll notice it during the first wash. It will give you a heads-up about color fastness, and you can wash them separately from other items to prevent staining.
Preserving Quality: New towels are often made from high-quality materials with long fibers. Washing them gently before the first use helps maintain their quality and softness.
Enhanced Comfort: Washing new towels with a gentle detergent can make them softer, fluffier, and more comfortable. It will give you a more luxurious experience.
Hygiene: While new towels are generally clean, washing them before use ensures they are free from any potential contaminants during packaging, transportation, or handling in stores.
Fiber Activation: New towels might initially feel stiff due to how they are packaged and stored. Washing them activates the fibers, making them more supple and pleasant.
How to Wash New Towels in the Front Loader? Step by Step
Washing new towels before using them isn’t rocket science. It’s very simple and the result can be amazing if you follow the simple rules. Let’s take a look how to wash new towels in a front loading washing machine:
Step 1: Don’t Forget to Read the Instructions
Just as I said before, reading washing instructions is essential. Different towels are made from different types of fabrics. Various fabrics have differing wash techniques and temperatures. Cutting corners may be tempting, but overlooking important information can be dreadful for your towels.
Different towel materials require different washing temperatures. So double check the label for washing guidelines for your newly naught towels to ensure that your towels stay in tip-top condition.
Step 2: Group the Towels Separately
The secret to maintaining your towels’ vibrant color and luxurious texture is to wash them separately. Actually, this isn’t a secret; everyone knows it, and many choose to ignore it. But if you want the best for your new towels, don’t wash anything with velcro and zippers together with your towels.
They can damage your towels by tugging, tearing, and fraying the delicate fibers. It’s imperative to only wash your towels with other towels. The best thing you can do is wash only your new towels together and leave the old ones for the next wash. Also, don’t mix towels of different colors.
Step 3: Add the Right Amount of Detergent and Use Low-Heat Settings
The amount of detergent you use to wash your towels is crucial. Using too much detergent can make your towels less absorbent. I always use one-third of the usual amount of detergent when washing my towels and strictly follow the directions on the bottle.
Leftover detergent not only affects absorbency but also can contribute to mold and mildew growth and impact the performance of your washing machine. Additionally, it is crucial to be mindful of the temperature settings. Beware of the water temperature, and never use fabric softener.
Step 4: Add Vinegar and Run a Regular Cycle
Vinegar does the magic for towels. Vinegar and baking soda are two holy grails for washing towels. Just add half to one cup of distilled white vinegar to the towels and run a cycle. Some washing machines have designated wash cycles for specific materials, like vinegar.
If your front loader has one of those, use that. There are three main reasons why I use vinegar in this process. Firstly, it effectively eliminates any accumulated germs on the towel. Secondly, it helps remove the chemical coating discussed earlier. And finally, it helps seal the color and prevent fading.
Step 5: Add Baking Soda and Run Another Cycle
Baking soda is the second best thing to wash your towels, as I have already told you above. After the vinegar cycle, add about half cup of baking soda to the towels and run another cycle. You might wonder why you can’t add vinegar and baking soda in the same cycle. The reason is simple chemistry; the vinegar and the baking soda will react and neutralize each other. You will be deprived of the benefits of both vinegar and baking soda.
How to Dry New Towels
Not only washing, drying new towels takes some knowledge. Proper drying is equally important as washing. Faulty drying technique can affect the quality of your towels. Here is how to dry new towels:
Step 1: Get Rid of Excess Water
Before you begin the drying process, removing any excess water from your new towels is essential. It is crucial not only for towels but also for any cloth. Getting rid of excess water quickens the drying process and eliminates the chances of tangling. You can get rid of excess water by shaking the towel rigorously.
You might be tempted to wring the towel, but please don’t do that. I used to do that, but I stopped doing it since I learned it deteriorates the towel’s lifespan. You can also Pat dry with a separate towel. Make sure the other towel is dry and made of the same type of fabric.
Step 2: Line Dry Outside
Tumble drying is quick and convenient, but nothing can beat the utility of drying under sunlight and natural air. A study found that after only 20 cycles of washing and tumble drying, clothes lose 50% of their tensile strength.
It makes the cloth twice as prone to tearing. Natural line drying prevents the fibers from weakening and snapping. If you have a backyard, hang a line and dry the towels on a lovely sunny day. You can do the same on your balconies if you live in an apartment. You can even line dry in your room if there’s enough ventilation.
Step 3: Machine Dry on Low Heat
The last step to dry your towels is tumble drying. The best practice is to mix up drying methods; line dry first, then tumble dry, and lastly, line dry again. Put the towels in the dryer with tennis balls and dry for 20 minutes.
One tiny but important detail to remember is to leave some moisture in the towel when putting them in the dryer. Don’t let the towels dry completely on the clothesline because if you do that, the heat from the dryer will damage the fibers because there’s no moisture to dry out. After 20 minutes, line dry them again until the towels are completely dry.
Things to Avoid When Drying New Towels After Washing
Drying new towels has some rules. What’s more important than following the techniques is avoiding some common faulty practices when drying towels. Here are those:
High heat: Avoid using excessive heat in the dryer. It can damage the fibers and cause the towels to become rough and less absorbent. Use a low to medium heat setting instead.
Over-drying: Don’t leave the towels in the dryer for too long, as it can make them stiff and prone to wrinkles. Remove them from the dryer as soon as they are fully dry.
Dryer Sheets: New towels are designed to be absorbent. Dryer sheets are suitable for other clothes, but they are bad for towels for the same reasons why fabric softeners are harmful for towels. They contain oils that can coat the towel and impact its absorbency. You can use tennis balls instead.
Towels With Other Garments: Washing towels with other clothes is terrible. You might think, “Okay, but what about drying with other clothes?” It’s the same deal here. Refrain from mixing your towels with other clothes in the dryer. It can cause lint transfer, and the rough surface of other clothes can damage your towels.
Fabric Softener in the Washing Machine: As with the dryer, avoid using fabric softeners in the washing machine too. These products can leave a residue on the towels, affecting their absorbency.
Hanging Towels in Direct Sunlight: While it’s okay to dry towels outdoors but avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, especially dark-colored or black towels. If your towels are white, then it’s okay to dry them under direct sunlight. Sunlight can fade the colors and weaken the fibers.
How to Store New Towels After You Wash Them?
After drying your towels, it’s time to put them away. Whether you want to showcase them in your bathroom or store them in your linen closet, the key is to retain the fluffiness of your towels. After all, functionality over aesthetics. If you want to showcase the towels in the shower, fold them in thirds lengthwise.
It will hide the edges and give them a neat appearance. Then, hang the folded towel over a towel rod to display it beautifully. There are different types of towel racks. Some towel racks come with and some towel racks don’t require screws to hang them. No matter which one you use, the folded towels in the rack will enhance the aesthetics of your shower.
If you prefer to store towels in your linen closet, fold the towel in half lengthwise. Then, fold it one-third down from the top to create a smaller section. Fold this smaller section onto the bottom third, forming a rectangle shape. Finally, to prevent moisture buildup and ensure you place the folded towels in dry storage space.
How to Make Sure Your New Towels Stay New?
Everyone buys new towels but that’s not the end. You have to follow some techniques to keep your new towels new. Let’s have a look how you can make sure your new towels stay good as new:
Wash Before First Use: Wash your new towels separately to remove any manufacturing residues and improve their absorbency.
Avoid Hanging in Direct Sunlight: While drying towels outside is okay, avoid hanging colored and black towels in direct sunlight for extended periods. It can lead to color fading.
Trim Loose Threads: If you notice any loose threads on the towels, trim them with scissors to prevent further unraveling.
Choose a Gentle Cycle: Use a soft or delicate cycle when washing towels. Harsh cycles can cause friction and pilling, reducing the towel’s softness.
Avoid High Heat: Use a low to medium heat setting in the dryer or, even better, allow the towels to air dry. High heat can damage the fibers and decrease their lifespan.
Avoid Over-Drying: Take towels out of the dryer as soon as they are dry. Over-drying can lead to stiffness and make them prone to wrinkles.
Shake Out and Fold: After drying, give the towels a good shake to fluff up the fibers. Then, fold them neatly and store them in a cool, dry place.
Rotate Usage: To prevent excessive wear on specific towels, rotate their use regularly. This way, they will wear out more evenly.
Wash With Similar Colors: Always wash towels with matching colors to prevent color bleeding or fading. Avoid washing them with clothing items that produce lint.
Use Mild Detergent: Use a gentle, mild detergent free from harsh chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach, which can damage the fibers and reduce absorbency.
Avoid Contact With Harsh Chemicals: Keep towels away from contact with harsh chemicals, such as cleaning products or acne medications, as these can damage the fabric.
Regularly Clean the Washing Machine: Clean your washing machine regularly to remove any detergent buildup or residue that could affect the towels’ cleanliness.
If you’ve read this far, you already know more about washing new towels than 99% of people. Here are some more frequently asked questions and answers to enhance your knowledge regarding the matter:
Can I Use New Towels Directly Without Pre-washing?
It is advisable to pre-wash new towels before using them. New towels usually have a silicone coating that makes them less absorbent. It also ensures that the color does not run or fade. It also helps improve their absorbency and provides a cleaner wash in subsequent cycles.
How Do You Wash New Towels for the First Time?
Before using your new towels, soak them in cold water for 24 hours and then wash them according to the cleaning recommendations. It causes the cotton fibers to open up, giving the towels more absorbency. At the same time, any residual extra color will be removed.
Should I Wash New Towels Twice?
Before using new towels, wash them at least once. Conditioners for softness, chemicals for color saturation, and even trace quantities of formaldehyde are added by manufacturers to assist in decreasing wrinkles. Many experts recommend washing new towels twice to remove additional lint.
Should I Use Detergent to Wash New Towels for the First Time?
Yes, mild detergent is essential when washing new towels for the first time. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach during the initial wash. You can use white vinegar and baking soda for more efficient cleaning.
How Should I Load the Towels Into the Front Loader Washing Machine?
Load the towels loosely into the washing machine to prevent tangling and ensure a thorough wash. Avoid overloading the machine and leave enough space for the towels to move freely during the wash cycle.
What Water Temperature Should I Use to Wash New Towels?
Use warm water (around 40°C/104°F) to wash new towels. Warm water helps to remove any manufacturing residues and prepares the towels for better absorbency. If the water is too hot, it will damage the towel fibers.
Can I Wash New Towels With Other Clothes or Fabrics?
Washing new towels separately during their initial wash is best to prevent lint from transferring onto other clothes or fabrics. It can also damage your newly bought towels and affect their absorbency and softness. After the first wash, you can wash towels with other similar-colored items.
Can I Use Fabric Softener With New Towels in a Front Loader Washing Machine?
Avoid using fabric softener during the initial wash of new towels. Not only in the first wash but don’t use fabric softeners when washing towels at all. While it may make them feel softer temporarily, it can reduce their absorbency over time. Also, refrain from using dryer sheets to dry towels.
Washing new towels in a front loader can ensure longevity and maintain their softness and absorbency. However, you have to follow some simple rules to wash new towels to full effect. If you follow the tips I’ve discussed above, you can enjoy fresh, clean, and luxuriously soft towels whenever you use them.