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The Secret to Ultra-Absorbent and Fresh Smelling Towels

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

The Secret to Ultra-Absorbent and Fresh Smelling Towels


Having ultra-absorbent and fresh smelling towels is something we all want for our homes. However, it can be difficult to achieve this goal if you don’t know the secrets behind proper towel care and maintenance. In this article, I’ll share with you my tried-and-true tips for getting the most out of your towels. From laundering to storage and more, read on to unlock the secrets to ultra-absorbent and fresh smelling towels.

Choosing the Right Fabrics

Cotton Towels

The fabric your towels are made from plays a key role in absorbency and smell. Cotton is the ideal choice for ultra-absorbent towels. Cotton is a natural fiber that excels at absorbing moisture quickly. The loops within cotton towels, called the “pile”, draw in and retain water efficiently. I prefer using 100% cotton towels or towels with a high cotton percentage. Stay away from low-quality cotton blends, which compromise absorbency.

Bamboo and Microfiber Towels

While bamboo and microfiber towels can also be quite absorbent, I find cotton to be superior. Bamboo and microfiber towels tend to feel less soft over time. If you do choose these alternate fabrics, stick to higher percentages like 80% bamboo or microfiber.

Avoid Synthetic Fabrics

On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like polyester don’t excel at absorbency. Plastics don’t absorb moisture well. If you want ultra-absorbent towels, steer clear of synthetics and blends with high synthetic percentages.

Wash Towels Frequently

Washing towels frequently is key to both absorbency and smell. I recommend washing towels after 3 uses maximum. Bacteria and odor accumulate quickly in damp towels. Frequent washing inhibits bacterial growth for fresh smelling towels. It also removes product buildup in the cotton for ultra-absorbency.

I wash my towels separately from other laundry on the hot cycle with an extra rinse cycle. Then I dry them immediately on high heat, which fluffs up the cotton pile for maximum absorbency.

Use the Right Detergent

Choosing the correct laundry detergent also helps permissions fresh smell. I recommend using detergents with oxycleaners or bleach alternative on your white towels to really get them clean. For colored towels, use an oxygen based detergent to keep them bright and fresh. Stay away from fragranced detergents, as these can leave behind residue.

Don’t Use Fabric Softener

One key mistake many people make is using fabric softener on towels. While it makes them feel fluffy, fabric softener actually coats the fibers and prevents water absorption. So skip the softener if you want ultra-absorbent towels. If you must use it, reserve it only for your last towel load when they aren’t as absorbent anymore.

Vinegar is Your Friend

For super fresh smelling towels, white vinegar is amazing. I add 1⁄2 cup vinegar to my towel loads as a natural fabric softener and deodorizer. The vinegar smell dissipates in the drying process but leaves towels fresh. I also occasionally wash towels in hot water and vinegar only to deep clean them.

Dry Properly

It’s crucial to dry towels quickly and completely to prevent mildew smells. As mentioned, dry towels on the highest heat setting. This restores the fluffiness of the cotton for maximum absorbency.

I also recommend drying towels until they are completely dry, not damp. Leftover moisture allows mildew to grow. I dry towels for a full 60 minute cycle to make sure they are fully dry.

Fold and Store Properly

Properly folding and storing towels also keeps them fresh. Wait until towels are fully dry before folding. Then, fold them neatly and store them in a cool, dry place like a linen closet.

I avoid stuffing wet towels in hampers where they can sour. Make sure towels aren’t packed too tightly on shelves either. Tight quarters prevent airflow, leading to musty smells.

Replace Old Towels

No matter how well you care for towels, they do wear out over time. I replace my towels about once a year to maintain ultra-absorbency. If your towels are smelling less than fresh or taking forever to dry, it’s probably time to retire them. Investing in new high quality cotton towels is worthwhile for amazing absorbency and scent.


Following these tips has worked wonders for keeping my towels ultra-absorbent and fresh smelling. Focus on choosing quality cotton fabrics and washing, drying, storing, and replacing them properly. With the right practices, you can enjoy soft, fluffy towels that really absorb moisture and smell divine. Let me know if you have any other towel care secrets I should try!

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