Oct 23, 2014

Soft towels and safe fabric softener.

My husband is an advocate of very fluffy towels. Not the kind with lots of softener, but with lots of surface to dry his tall thin self. So, rather than buying tons of bath sheets, I buy regular old white or colored towels at my local discount store. Sometimes, towels will leave lint on your body, or be so stiff it feels like you are buffing yourself off. Well check this out.  3 simple tips for soft fluffy and safe towels.

First is don't overcrowd your washer

Wash your towels in their own wash cycle for maximum fluffiness. But more importantly, you should avoid filling your washer to the brim with dirty laundry. Different sized washers can handle different amounts, but as a general rule of thumb, shoot for ½ to ¾ full for your towel loads. The lint that ultimately comes off cotton and even bamboo towels will go out with the dirty water.

Second is to dry on medium heat

It’s tempting to use the high heat setting on your dryer, but that actually makes the cotton stiffer. It's kind of a tossup. You might spend slightly more in gas and electricity run longer, but you're also not burning ar a high heat level. . Be sure you dry them completely before pulling them from the dryer to avoid mold and mildew when you've folded and stacked them.

Finally, don't use a lot of fabric softener. 

Too much fabric softener will  absolutey give your towels a waxy sheen that looks gross and feels unpleasant. So while it may seem counterintuitive, you should use fabric softener in moderation. Try cutting the amount you use in half and see what happens.  The best softener I have found is from Seventh Generation.  I buy it on sale at my local Sprouts (a more natural product oriented store than a grocery chain) or at www.amazon.com and when used correctly - not too much - works perfectly.  I blog about vinegar all the time since it's uses are many and the cost nominal.  Soften your towels by adding ¼ cup of vinegar to your washing cycle. 

As an added bonus, I'm including my recipe for fabric softer that you can easily and inexpensively make. Seriously, all of the ones in the stores - other than the natural versions - are full of chemicals.  They're not good for your skin when you sit in your clothes or dry yourself with towels in which they're embedded every day.

Fabric Softener 

Base Ingredient.  Plain White Vinegar ~ Removes soap/detergent residue and reduces static cling. 

Here are some essential oils you can add for fragrance and why they're great. 

  • Lavender Essential Oil ~ It is antibacterial and antiseptic while being a delightful deodorizer. It is a nice rinse for all of your general washing needs because it kills bacteria along the way. 
  • Lemon Essential Oil ~ It is antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal. With its disinfecting properties, it is my choice for washing kitchen linens. It also has mild bleaching capabilities making it a nice choice for whites (I wouldn't recommend using this for darks).
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil ~  While it is antiviral and antiseptic, what makes it great for me, with multiple cats and dogs, is that eucalyptus oil is a deterrent for fleas and ticks. This makes it an excellent choice for pet towels, bedding and sheets and blankets that I use on my bed. If you are washing pet beds, etc., I would include a few extra drops of essential oil directly into your fabric softener receptacle for added strength. Another good choice for pets is orange essential oil since it kills fleas. 

Comment back and let me know what you think!