How to keep bath towels soft

Updated February 21, 2017

Everyone loves stepping out of the shower or bath to a soft, fluffy towel. Buying towels of high quality will ensure that a towel starts off soft; 100 per cent cotton towels are better quality than cotton blends. Egyptian cotton and pima cotton towels have the longest thread, which makes the towels softer and more absorbent. Even the best towels will begin to feel less soft after repeated washings. Good at-home care of towels can help them retain their softness over time.

Wash new towels before you use them for the first time. Manufacturers often put special fabric softeners on their towels to encourage people to buy them. But these special treatments may prevent them from absorbing water as well as they should.

Use 1 cup of white vinegar in the wash along with the detergent once or twice a month. Detergent and fabric softeners can leave a residue on your towels that can build up over time. Vinegar cuts through this residue to leave towels soft and fluffy.

Restore old towels that have lost their fluffiness by washing them with regular detergent and a ½ cup of baking soda. Add 1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Use fabric softening dryer sheets sparingly and don’t dry on the highest setting. Heat can be damaging to fabric. Use lower settings and air-dry settings when possible.

Put a tennis ball or two into the dryer with your towels for extra softness. While this may sound strange, it really does work. Tennis balls can even be used in place of dryer sheets, which helps avoid fabric softener build-up.


To care for your best towels, use a gentle detergent like Woolite.

Things You'll Need

  • High quality towels
  • Washing powder
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Tennis balls
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About the Author

A writer from Chicago, K.C. Winslow has been publishing articles relating to health, beauty, travel, crafts, education, Macintosh computers and technology since 2000. She holds a Master of Arts degree in writing from the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she lived for several years.