How do you get towels to absorb, that do not absorb? I do not use fabric sheets.
By SAUKRAPIDS from Sauk Rapids, MN
This is from the finish used when the towels are manufactured. To clear the problem just wash the towels in hottest water possible to avoid shrinkage and color fade, but add a cup of plain white vinegar to the wash water this will help strip all finish and any laundry soap build up that are on the towels. A special finish is used to make them appear softer and fluffy at the store. They will be fluffy, soft, and they will absorb the water, imagine that a towel that actually does what it is intended to do, absorb water not just look and feel pretty.
If you wash them with dawn dish washing detergent it has a very good grease fighting agent in it and they should start being more absorbent but do not use any any fabric softner as this will keep them from being absorbent.
I find that newer towels are sort of coarse. Wash them and put bleach in the water. This seems to soften them a great deal.
Wash & rinse & then use a couple of extra rinses. Soap left in material can not absorb water well. You could use a good amount of white vinegar in one of those rinses & shut off the washer & let sit for an hour or 2. Then rinse again. Many companies put various things on new material to keep it really soft for selling.
It might just be the towels. All of my towels are 100% cotton. I have one bath towel of a different brand that has never been as absorbent. I swear it's made of polyester but the tag says cotton! I also have one inexpensive beach towel that is worthless. I think when it comes to towels, for the most part, you get what you pay for.
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I have washed new bath and kitchen towels repeatedly to remove whatever is in them to make them more absorbent but many of them are just as nonabsorbent as when I bought them. I do not use any liquid or paper fabric softener. I have washed them in hot water with lots of detergent, even adding Epsom Salts after I read that it helps. I hate to throw them away, but my hands are just as wet after drying them as they were before!
Mrs. J from Independence, KS
Have you tried rinsing them in vinegar? (06/22/2006)
You didn't mention the color, but dark colors are not nearly as absorbent as light. Also, pure cotton is far more absorbent than material with synthetics. If you have light, pure cotton towels, and they don't absorb, then you will have to consider other uses. (06/23/2006)
I also bought soft, beautiful bath towels that are almost worthless because they don't absorb water. I have washed them in warm water w/detergent, plus added borax to the wash cycle and vinegar in both the bleach and fabric softener dispensers (without bleach or fabric softener, of course). This has helped some, but I will not buy these kind of towels again. (06/20/2008)