Of course, no one loves a stinking towel! But, did you know that an apparently clean towel could also harbour truckloads of microbes, including faecal organisms? This is especially true for towels that don’t dry quickly (another reason for you to use Turkish towels) or hang in the bathroom. But wait, there’s no need to panic and look for laundry advice on the internet because it’s unlikely that you will get sick from touching a towel unless you have cuts or abrasions on the skin that could let these disease-causing microbes in the system. Besides, there’s no reason to believe random towel washing tips from the internet. A lot of them are contradictory – some people advise washing towels in hot water while others recommend cold water. Some common myths include:
Fabric softeners and dryer sheets make clothes smell fresh, and keep them soft and free of wrinkles. But they’re neither safe nor (thanks to better technology) necessary. Fabric softeners contain ammonium compounds that could trigger asthma and even affect the reproductive system. The fragrance used in these softeners could trigger allergies and skin irritation. Unlike in the past, where fabrics were prone to become rough over time, modern-day detergents and fabrics make softeners unnecessary. And if you’re using Turkish towels, you don’t need fabric softener at all! Our towels are made from organic cotton that becomes more absorbent and soft over time – using softeners only makes the towel water repellent.
Washing your towel with hot water could give you an assurance about hygiene, but over time the towels become rough and scratchy. Similarly, you don’t need to wash it with chlorine as well. They weaken the fibre and cause the fabric to bleed colour. A cup of vinegar is all you need to disinfect your towel and get rid of the musty odour. This applies to Turkish towels as well – you don’t have to worry about washing it with warm/hot water, or using bleach.
Using more detergent does not make your towels cleaner; rather, the opposite is true, because they stay behind in your clothes and become rough. Towels already have residual soap from our bodies and don’t do much except drying an already clean skin. In effect, you don’t need too much detergent unless the towel is extremely soiled.