How to keep bath towels SOFT? plz help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No matter how much of that conditioner for clothes stuff I pour into the washing machine, the bath towels still end up being really...well, "hard" once they have dried! I don't know why this is? The conditioner stuff seems to work well enough for the clothes.

Could the towels just be too old? Is the washing machine faulty? What do you use to get the towels soft? Anyone else had this problem?

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#2 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 06:59 AM
 
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do you dry them on the line or in the dryer? I find that towels on the line are always too stiff for me and will dry them in the dryer even in summer cause I hate getting out of the shower and wrapping a stiff, crunchy towel around me... sometimes if I'm feeling guilty about using the dryer, I'll put them on the line but put them in the dryer for a fluff before I put them away... full dryer still works best for soft, imho
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#3 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 07:18 AM
 
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dryer balls help...i have the PVC-free ones...got them on Amazon

also sounds like you may have hard water or a build up...try taking a break from softener and use white vinegar instead...and use less detergent

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#4 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by frontstreetmama View Post
do you dry them on the line or in the dryer? I find that towels on the line are always too stiff for me and will dry them in the dryer even in summer cause I hate getting out of the shower and wrapping a stiff, crunchy towel around me... sometimes if I'm feeling guilty about using the dryer, I'll put them on the line but put them in the dryer for a fluff before I put them away... full dryer still works best for soft, imho
Anyone else found this?

We don't own a dryer, so towels are always hung on a line to dry....I wonder if that's why then?! Anyone else experienced this?

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#5 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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liquid softener ruins absorbancy, so i neve ruse it, NTM i get headaches from the perfume. maybe you could try baking soda in the wash and vinegar as a rinse.

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#6 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by samy23 View Post
Anyone else found this?

We don't own a dryer, so towels are always hung on a line to dry....I wonder if that's why then?! Anyone else experienced this?
Yup. Same reason I don't like to line dry diapers - they're too scratchy on baby's behind.

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#7 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Yep, I hate line-dried towels.

It seems that the wetter the item is when it's hung out, the stiff it dries. Lightweight clothes coming out of my front loader are fine, but PFs are crunchy.

However, you said your towels have always been lined dried, so I don't think that would be the problem. They may just be too old--I finally replaced my towels and the difference was amazing. We had been using scratchy towels for a long time.
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#8 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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First off, you shouldn't use fabric softener on towels, like the poster above mentioned. It ruins the absorbancy of them. I love love love line dried towels, but I've also felt some that were like cardboard. I think wind plays a part in that. Where I live we always have a breeze, it's wide open with fields all around. If I hung them inside they probably would be less ideal. But since you don't have a dryer, I agree you should try vinegar in the rinse instead. Could be build up.

Good luck! I buy new towels 2 @ a time so it's not a huge expense all at once. I watch for sales @ JC Penney/Target.
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#9 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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I think detergent build up makes it worse, but just hanging on the line in general will do it as well. What about doubling them up like people do for diapers, the slower they dry the softer they are. Does that make sense? Hold 2 towels together and clip them on the line together. I don't know that it will work, but worth a shot.

Otherwise since you line dry I don't now, I LOVE crunchy towels thought.

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#10 of 13 Old 04-08-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wendinbill View Post
I love love love line dried towels, but I've also felt some that were like cardboard.
Oh so do I, even the cardboard feeling doesn't bother me.

We don't have a line at our current house so my towels are dryer-dried now. I have tried everything (but not softener) - minimal detergent, no detergent, baking soda alone, vinegar alone and as a rinse and nothing works, it is our hard water.

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#11 of 13 Old 04-14-2010, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
liquid softener ruins absorbancy
If I don't use liquid softener, they are even worse.

Well we can't afford a dryer for a while, and I've heard they use a lot of electricity making the electric bill go up too, so that really isn't an option.

I don't actually line dry our towels since we don't have a garden, they are hung on a line inside the home.

Maybe the wind outside helps them be less stiff then?

This really sucks, I hate getting dd or myself for that matter out the bath tub and having to rub ourselves dry with a stiff/hard towel that almost hurts our skin! I don't know how anyone can like them that way...

I guess we'll have to just deal with it for a while longer yet until I can afford a dryer or we move into a house with a garden.

I will try buying some new towels just incase that's the reason, that they are quite old. Worth a try.


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#12 of 13 Old 04-15-2010, 08:37 AM
 
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One thing that works for me is letting the towel dry more slowly -- like if the line can handle it hanging two together. I discovered this with prefold diapers -- if I hang two next to each other, they dry more slowly and are not so stiff.

When I first read your message I was wondering if you had a fabric softener or detergent build up. I would wash them on super hot with nothing in there. Does the water still bubble like there's soap? Getting rid of extra build up might help.

Some people use vinegar as a fabric softener. I know you're thinking ick. it'll smell bad. But if you add it in the rinse cycle, then the smell goes away as it dries.

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#13 of 13 Old 04-15-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by samy23 View Post
If I don't use liquid softener, they are even worse.

Well we can't afford a dryer for a while, and I've heard they use a lot of electricity making the electric bill go up too, so that really isn't an option.

I don't actually line dry our towels since we don't have a garden, they are hung on a line inside the home.

Maybe the wind outside helps them be less stiff then?

This really sucks, I hate getting dd or myself for that matter out the bath tub and having to rub ourselves dry with a stiff/hard towel that almost hurts our skin! I don't know how anyone can like them that way...

I guess we'll have to just deal with it for a while longer yet until I can afford a dryer or we move into a house with a garden.

I will try buying some new towels just incase that's the reason, that they are quite old. Worth a try.

Another yeah that to stiff (almost crunchy!) towels when they're line-dried. I have heard that all over the place - it happens to everyone, not just you. It's just what happens when towels are line-dried (indoors or outdoors). Sorry no suggestions for solutions without a dryer.

It's worth a try, but hope you don't spend too much on new towels... because you probably won't see a big improvement once they've lost their newness.

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