Because my towels always seem to be hard and could stand on their own almost, I researched this and came up with vinegar in the rinse water and I cannot remember what in the wash -I think it was bicarb of soda in the wash?
It helps a bit but now I just line dry them to get that nice fresh smell and when they are almost dry I put them into my dryer.
I think as they age, towels seem to get harder, though I did an intensive wash/rinse at one stage to get residue of soap out and this did not work so well either.
I used to use fabric softener all the time but since I got a new washing machine (not super duper one just run o the mill)..I find my clothes and even towels don't need any. I don't mind if my towels aren't super soft, they are good ones and come up well without anything. I may try a little vinegar however in the rinse Finy, good tip
I do not use any kind of softener in with my towels.I actually like them to be line dried too, rather than in a dryer.I like my towels to have a little bit of texture when I dry myself,rather than them being super soft!! I like to feel that semi-massage when I dry myself,which super soft towels just cannot give.
Years ago I bought towels from Freedom Furniture and these were the best I have ever bought. They were made from Australian cotton. The towels are super absorbent and I find they will always come out of the wash retaining their softness. I don't put anything into the water or dryer as I prefer not to add even more chemicals into the wash.
I have often wondered if the origin of manufacture makes a difference to the softness and absorbency of towels in general, as all my other towels are either lacking in absorbency or are rough and tough as cardboard.
I have tried to find similar towels without any success. I've returned back to Freedom Furniture and thought I had found my back up towels - as they were made from cotton however were made overseas (I won't disclose which country).
Unfortunately as we prefer not to add anything to our washing (other than washing powder), we tend to use our Australian Cotton towels more often than our other towels to ensure we have soft towels. We will also use a clothes dryer to dry all our towels rather than putting them outside to dry naturally. This also helps to break down the towels so they're not as hard.
You should never add fabric conditioner or softener to a towel wash, as it will significantly reduce the absorbency of the towels. It works by leaving a thin layer of fat over the fabric, which means the water just runs over the surface (similar to how a duck stays waterproof!) and the towel just slides over your skin and doesn't absorb the water properly.
A type of conditioner which works differently has been developed but it is expensive and difficult to produce so not a good option either.
If you want soft fluffy towels, the best option is to tumble dry them but that will shorten their life.
Yes - I add fabric conditioner to the wash and that does the trick. I think you must have good quality towels though to be effective. I travel fairly regularly to USA to visit a sister in Seattle and always come home with batches of towels - they are so much cheaper over there and great quality - believe it or not I buy them in their K Mart!
I always use fabric softener and dry on line. When dry, fluff them up in the dryer for a while. Never have a problem with them not being absorbent and I dislike the feel of "hard" towels scratching against my skin. My towels last for years because I buy good quality bath sheets and always cut the labels out before the first wash.
I don't usually use fabric softener, but we are on tank water filled with rain water and kept topped up with water pumped up from a spring fed well and I have not used fabric softener since moving in. But I want you all to try hanging your towels out in a strong westerly wind, it will amaze you what it does to soften and fluffy them up.
I do not put softener in with my towel wash and I dry them on the line. I like the roughness of the towel on my skin. I believe it acts like a scrub removing dead skin. I have been told I look 5-10 years younger than my age. I use night cream on my face in the morning and nothing else.
I don't put anything in the wash but we get really strong westerly winds so i wash all the towels and use extra pegs to hold on to them. You won't believe how soft they dry. seems to only work best when wind is blowing in hard from the west.