Everyone loves that feeling of wrapping up in a fluffy towel after a shower or getting into bed with a fresh set of sheets. So, how do you make sure these more durable items stay soft after you wash them? Here are five tips to help you achieve maximum softness. (These tips assume that you are working with cotton, so be sure to check your labels for specific fabric instructions.)
#1: PRE-WASH BEFORE USING
When you first get your towels and sheets, make sure to pre-wash them. This helps remove the chemicals and residue that will make your fabrics stiff.
#2: KEEP YOUR LOAD LIGHT
The heavier your load, the less room your towels and sheets have to shake off unwanted residue. Be sure to wash them separately from other clothes (and separately from each other), and don’t wash too many at once.
#3: DON’T USE TOO MUCH DETERGENT
A large factor in stiff or scratchy fabrics is detergent build-up. Try using less detergent than usual. Some people will even skip detergent altogether, especially when first washing a set of towels and sheets.
#4: WASH IN WARM WATER
The cycle you choose makes a huge difference for any load. Warm water helps break up any detergent build-up or residue, without being too harsh on your fabrics.
#5: ADD DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR
Distilled white vinegar is a great natural fabric softener, that will help break-up any of that build-up you’re trying to avoid. Add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle or fabric softener dispenser.
#6: SHAKE BEFORE ADDING TO THE DRYER
Especially for towels, giving your items a little shake can help them lose some of the lint, residue, and other particles that lead to stiffness. This also helps them dry faster.
#7: USE WOOL DRYER BALLS
When your items clump up in the dryer, not only does it make them harder to dry, but it also creates lots of little opportunities for that unwanted residue to build up. Throwing a wool dryer ball into your dryer load is an easy way to prevent this. Plus, they’re eco-friendly and can help you save money.