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Can You Wash Towels in Cold Water?

A collage of different ways of washing towels.

If you still do not know the best way to wash towels so that they are perfect when they are dirty, keep reading because we will explain how to do it and what things to avoid so that they are soft and maintain their drying properties. Stop ruining a super experience and learn how to master the simple art of washing towels. You will notice how soft they are. It will be like having new towels after each cold wash.

Although almost all clothes can be washed in cold water, you need to spend a little time checking the label on your garments, as some fabrics can harbor bad odors, and even mildew, if washed at room temperature. Better pay attention to the manufacturer and take care of the useful life of your clothes.

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Cold Water

A person washing towel on a basin.

A cold wash with just the right amount of liquid or powder with no fabric softener and minimal drying is the key to keeping them perfectly fluffy every time. There are a number of tricks you can use to make them look new. Follow these steps below.

You may be tempted to wash your towels at a high temperature to refresh them, especially if they are damp. However, this expert assures us that it is infinitely better to do it in cold water . Lower temperatures prevent seam shrinkage, help keep colors vivid, and work better on certain stains.

White Vinegar and Soap

Vinegar and other washing tools for removing stain.

Before using them for the first time you should wash them without fabric softener. In fact, many manufacturers recommend not using fabric softener in the first two or three washes. It is not recommended that you use steam irons, as they get wet and strange odors may appear.

To ensure that the towels are disinfected and fluffy, add a little soap and white vinegar to the detergent box. The smell will be removed during washing, but if you don’t want to take any chances, soak the towels in a bowl of water and a little vinegar, then wash them with just soap. Another trick is to pour a small glass of scented ammonia and a squeeze of lemon into the detergent drawer to achieve a perfect finish.

Wash Towels Alone

An old woman feeling laundry towel.

It is convenient that the towels can be easily moved so that they can be cleaned properly, so do not put an excessive load. Also, do not mix them with other clothes , with cold water and with a little soap and softener, to prevent the fibers from caking. Always use a mild detergent that prevents color transfer.

Drying Towels An Art

Towels hanging inside the toilet.

Shake each towel to return it to shape. Shake and spread to recover its shape. Do not store them in the sun : place them in an airy area, but without direct light. Do not exceed the exposure time either to prevent it from hardening. Do not forget that they must always be dry if you want to avoid a bad smell.

Always wait for the towels to be completely dry before throwing them in the laundry basket and hang them up as soon as possible after washing. It is not recommended that you use steam irons , since they get wet and when they remain stored for a long time, strange odors may appear. If you have a dryer , it will help you remove excess moisture and achieve optimal results.

How Should You Wash Towels?

To avoid complications, it is best to put the towels in a smart washing machine and in the dryer for complete cleaning. In addition, you will save much more time carrying out other types of more important tasks. You should follow the recommendations below:

– Use hot water to get out stains, germs and bacteria from towels. Although if the towels are of a more delicate fabric, it will be advisable to use cold water.

– Wash towels separately. It is not convenient to introduce other types of clothes with towels while they are being washed for the first time because they can release thread or lint. In addition, since it is the first wash, other clothes could also fade, so it is better to only introduce the towels.

– Do not overload the washing machine drum. To provide a good cleaning, the towels must have space so that they can be cleaned properly. So you should avoid excessive loading of the drum.

– Do not use softeners . Do not introduce fabric softener during towel washing because it will reduce the absorbency of the towels. At most, you can use it every several washes to prolong the useful life of the towels.

– Extend the towel for proper drying. At the time of drying the towel, it is preferable to extend it completely so that it recovers its shape. In addition, they must be laid in an airy place where the sun does not shine directly. They should not be dried for too long because they will harden.

– Use a dryer if possible . If you have the possibility, put the towels in the dryer to remove any excess moisture. 

– Place the towels separately . When towels are stacked on top of each other or stored in the same drawers, bacteria growth and odor can be encouraged .

On the other hand, if you have questions about how to wash very dirty towels , you should take into account that they can stain any garment that you introduce with them. So it is convenient to wash them alone in the washing machine. This prevents them from staining other towels or clothes and washing will be much more effective. 

How Do You Get Effective Results in the Washing Machine?

A washing machine and a basket full of laundry.

Likewise, when you have any doubts about how to wash white towels, you should simply use some type of bleach and select a 40º cycle in the washing machine. You can use a mixture of baking soda with hot water, only because it manages to remove stains and disinfect them completely. 

In the case of having humidity problems, you need to know how to wash bath towels or how to wash towels that smell bad. When towels are not properly dried, bacteria and mold can proliferate, producing permanent bad odors. For this reason, it is convenient to use a towel rack or a dryer so that they dry more quickly thanks to good air circulation. 

You can also use products such as bleach to achieve total disinfection and prevent bacteria from causing the bad smell of your towels. You can even opt for natural disinfectants such as white vinegar or baking soda. You simply have to put them in the box together with a hot water cycle and enjoy disinfecting and totally fluffy towels. 

It is recommended that you use the best models of washers and dryers on the market so that your towels are clean and fluffy like the first day.


In general, most clothes should be washed in cold water or room temperature water, since unlike hot and lukewarm water, cold water does not alter the fabric, color, elasticity and quality of garments. That said, you can infer that dark clothing, intense colors, delicate fabrics (wool, linen and 100% cotton), and intimate apparel, are best washed in cold water to prevent shrinkage or wear of the elastic. At this point, it is essential to mention towels, since washing them with hot water can damage the fabric.