Can You Wash Towels In Washing Machines?



Can You Wash Towels In Washing Machines

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Yes, towels can be washed in washing machines. However, it is important to follow the care instructions on the towel labels to ensure that they are washed in the appropriate temperature and cycle.

Towels, those trusty companions of our daily hygiene rituals and cozy comfort after a shower, are subjected to frequent use and moisture. As a result, they require regular cleaning to maintain their absorbency, softness, and overall quality. The question that often arises is whether these essential items can be tossed into the washing machine. The answer is a resounding yes. Washing towels in washing machines is a convenient and efficient method of cleaning, provided certain guidelines are followed to ensure their longevity and performance. In this article, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of washing towels, provide step-by-step instructions for machine-washing, explore alternative cleaning methods, and offer some final insights.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Towels In Washing Machines


  • Separate Colors: Before loading your towels into the washing machine, separate them by colors. Washing lighter-colored towels separately from darker ones helps prevent color bleeding and keeps your towels looking vibrant.
  • Check Care Labels: Every towel typically comes with a care label that contains valuable information about the fabric, washing instructions, and temperature recommendations. Pay attention to these instructions to avoid damaging your towels.
  • Use the Right Detergent: Opt for a good-quality detergent that is suitable for both whites and colors. Using too much detergent can lead to residue buildup and reduced towel absorbency, so follow the recommended amount.
  • Wash in Warm Water: Most towels can be washed in warm water, which helps to effectively remove oils, dirt, and bacteria. However, always follow the care label’s recommendations for water temperature.
  • Use Gentle Cycle: Choose the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine to prevent excessive agitation, which can cause wear and tear on the towel fibers.


  • Overloading the Machine: Avoid overloading your washing machine with too many towels. Overloading can lead to inadequate cleaning and uneven wear and tear.
  • Excessive Use of Fabric Softeners: While fabric softeners can make towels feel softer, using them excessively can leave a residue that reduces absorbency. Use softeners sparingly or consider natural alternatives like white vinegar.
  • High Heat Drying: Exposing towels to high heat in the dryer can lead to excessive shrinkage, damaged fibers, and diminished fluffiness. Opt for low or medium heat settings.

Steps to Wash Towels in the Washing Machine

Step 1

Preparation: Shake out the towels to remove loose dirt and debris. Separate towels by color and fabric type.

Step 2

Detergent Selection: Choose a detergent that suits your towel type (e.g., regular, delicate, or eco-friendly). Avoid using too much detergent, as it can lead to residue buildup.

Step 3

Loading the Machine: Place the towels loosely in the washing machine, leaving enough space for water and detergent to circulate.

Step 4

Water Temperature: Refer to the care label for recommended water temperature. Typically, warm water is effective for most towels, but always follow the label’s instructions.

Step 5

Select the Cycle: Choose the gentle or delicate cycle to minimize wear on towel fibers.

Step 5

Drying: Gently remove towels from the machine once the cycle is complete. Shake out the towels to fluff them up. If using a dryer, choose low or medium heat settings to prevent excessive shrinkage.

Alternative Washing Methods for Towels

If you’re looking for alternative ways to clean your towels or want to refresh them between washes, consider these methods:

  • Vinegar Rinse: Add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove detergent residue, restore softness, and maintain absorbency.
  • Baking Soda Boost: Sprinkle baking soda into the wash to help break down odors and stains. This can be especially useful for towels used during intense physical activities.
  • Steam Cleaning: For a deep clean without water, use a handheld steam cleaner to disinfect and refresh your towels.


Can I wash my towels with other types of clothing?

Answer: It’s generally recommended to wash towels separately or with other towels to prevent lint transfer.

Can I use bleach on my towels?

Answer: While bleach can be effective for whitening towels, use it sparingly as it can weaken fibers over time.

Should I wash new towels before using them for the first time?

Answer: Yes, it’s advisable to wash new towels before using them to remove any residual chemicals from manufacturing.

How often should I wash my towels?

Answer: Washing towels every three to four uses is recommended to maintain their hygiene and absorbency.

Can I hang my towels in direct sunlight to dry?

Answer: While sunlight can help remove bacteria and odors, excessive exposure can fade colors. Hang towels in a shaded area if possible.

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