How to make towels soft again

Luxury soft white cotton towels and bath mat on bench with soap


The best bath towels should envelop you in lovely soft fluffiness after your bath or shower. So, it can be hugely disappointing if your previously plush bath towel becomes stiff, limp or even scratchy. Don't despair, there are things you can try to make your towels soft again.

Our top tips to help make your towels towels soft and fluffy again:

  1. How to wash your bath towels the proper way.
  2. How to remove detergent or fabric softener build up.
  3. How to keep towels soft with a tumble dryer.
  4. How to keep towels soft without a dryer.

    Spoiler alert: If you have had your towels for a long time or your towels are poor quality, there probably won't be anything you can do to make your towels soft again. And it's most likely about time you replaced them!


    How to wash your bath towels the proper way

    If you wash your towels the correct way, you should prevent your towels from losing their soft and fluffy feeling, as well as preventing any loss of quality and colour.

    1. Wash only towels together: Wash towels with towels and separate towel colours. This will extend the life and quality of your towels.
    2. Don’t add too much detergent: Be careful to only use the recommended amount of detergent (or use less) as this can clog up your machine and towels. It can also result in bright white towels becoming slightly grey.
    3. Don't use fabric softener: Fabric softeners can contain oils and other ingredients that actually reduce the absorbency of your towels. It can make your towels seem a bit greasy or slippery.
    4. Be careful which products you use: Many stain removers and detergents contain optical brighteners or bleach which can leave marks on your towels.
    5. Check your skincare & suncream: Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide can discolour coloured towels, so stick to white towels. 
    6. Tumble dry at low/medium heat: Carefully follow the care label directions and use Wool Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets to add a little extra softness without using chemicals.
    7. Don’t overfill your washing machine or tumble dryer: Laundry machines need space so that your towels can be thoroughly washed and completely dried.

      Check out our Egyptian cotton towel care guide.


      Egyptian Cotton Towels

      The ultimate bath-time indulgence with our soft, fluffy and super-absorbent luxury 100% Egyptian cotton towels.

      From £12.00 Shop now


      How to remove detergent or fabric softener build up

      Here’s how to make your towels soft if you have a build up of detergent or fabric softener that’s clogging up those lovely loops of cotton. Baking soda or vinegar will do the trick.


      1. Adding baking soda to your towel wash helps remove soap and chemical residue that can end up covering your towels.
      2. Add half a cup of baking soda with your washing detergent, then wash as usual.
      3. Baking soda will also naturally eliminate any musty odours that your towels may have acquired.


        1. Using white vinegar once every 6 weeks will remove any detergent and fabric softener residue that has built up.
        2. First, wash your towels on a normal wash with detergent.
        3. Then run a second wash cycle with 1 cup of white vinegar.


          How to keep towels soft with a tumble dryer

          The best way to dry your towels so that they regain their cosy softness and fluffiness, is to use a tumble dryer on a low heat setting. High heat can damage the cotton fibres.

          Once dried, don't leave your towels sitting in the dryer. Take them out straight away and give them a shake to fluff them up.

          Adding wool dryer balls can also help. Wool dryer balls create air gaps between your towels as they dry which reduces the drying time. The natural lanolin in wool also helps soften your towels. We suggest using 4 Wool dryer balls each time.


          How to keep towels soft without a tumble dryer

          If you don't have or don't want to use a dryer, here are our tips for line drying your towels and keeping them soft:

          1. Remove your towels from the washing machine as soon as it is finished.
          2. If it’s a warm or windy day, line dry your towels in the fresh air.
          3. If you are drying your towels indoors, make sure they are either laid flat over a drying rack or are hung out flat. This increases the drying surface area so that they dry faster.
          4. Don’t overload your drying rack as your towels need space around them to dry.
          5. Don’t dry towels on or near a radiator as this will make them feel stiffer and less soft.
          6. When your towels are dry, shake them a few times before putting them away.

             See our range of luxurious Egyptian cotton towels. Or find out all you need to know about buying luxury towels with our Egyptian cotton towel buying guide.



            Egyptian Cotton Towels

            The ultimate bath-time indulgence with our soft, fluffy and super-absorbent luxury 100% Egyptian cotton towels. With next day delivery and plastic free packaging.

            From £12.00 Shop now


            Author: Emily AttwoodPublished: 9 April 2024Last modified: 9 April 2024

            Also in Towel care

            White and grey bath and hand towels on a wooden towel ladder
            How to wash and care for your towels
            Wash Egyptian cotton towels weekly at 30°-40° using non-bio detergent, without fabric softener as it can reduce absorbency. Then tumble dry at low heat.

            Read more →

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            Single 135 x 200cm (53 x 79") 90 x 190cm (36 x 75")
            Double 200 x 200cm (79 x 79") 135 x 190cm (53 x 75")
            King 225 x 220cm (89 x 87") 150 x 200cm (60 x 78")
            Super king 260 x 220cm (102 x 87") 180 x 200cm (72 x 78")

            US/CANADA BEDDING SIZES: Approximate matches to UK sizes are US King/UK Super king, US Queen/UK King,  US Full/UK Double and US Twin/UK Single.

            EUROPEAN BEDDING SIZES: Each size - Single, Double, King and Grand king - is a little larger than the UK equivalent.

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            Fill weight (not total duvet weight)
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            9 tog - 486gsm 
            4.5 tog - 302gsm 
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            9 tog - 911gsm
            4.5 tog - 567gsm
            2.5 tog - 400gsm
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