How do you get towels soft? I live in the country and have a water softener. I have tried everything, vinegar, baking soda, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Am I using to much or to little of something? They still come out scratchy.
The way I understand it, many towels are made rough by the use of fabric softener. I use vinegar in my softener dispenser like one of the other posters said. Try stopping using fabric softener on towels at all.
Go to Walmart and buy a sleeve of tennis balls (3 to a pack) Put them in your dryer and tumble them with your towels (I use them in "all" my loads). Also make sure you "shake out" your wet laundry before you put it in the dryer (make it "crack!" in the air). You will find you need less fabric softener with the tennis balls and your clothes will be soft.
I got the tennis ball idea from the manufacturer's tag on my down jacket.
I haven't had this problem since I started doing the following:
1) Wash in warm water with your usual detergent making sure you are using the highest water level for your machine. Remember not to over-stuff. I wash two oversized towels and just a couple hand towels in one wash. You want the water to be able to flow through all your clothes!
2) My washer has an option for an extra rinse cycle. In the first rinse cycle I use white vinegar. The vinegar helps eliminate odor, sanitize and helps eliminate excess soap. In the second rinse cycle I use a small amount of liquid fabric softener with water. 1/4 cap rest water.
3) I also use only one-third of my fabric softener sheet just to be rid of static.
Leave them outside overnight when there is a frost, and they are lovely and soft!
I had this same problem, and one day my hubby did the laundry and the towels were soft and fluffy not like they are when I wash them.
The difference is : I washed them in cold/ warm water and just put them on the minimum amount of time to wash.
HE washes them in the hottest water possible and puts them on the longest wash and rinse cycle there is on the machine.
That's it, and we have city water which is hard water =) try just changing your settings that should help.
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I would like to suggest that you run your towels through an extra rinse cycle after washing them. Add about 1 cup of white vinegar to that final rinse. You'll be surprised at all the additional soap that rinses out!
Then tumble dry with a fabric softener sheet (or half a sheet).
By Judy from Wis.
First, buy soft towels.
Buy 100% Egyptian, Turkish or Supima cotton. Buy the heaviest weight (g) you can afford. Look for bargain prices at SmartBargains, Overstock, eBay,
For existing towels, try vinegar in the wash water. (06/29/2007)
By the Oracle
I don't use fabric softener because my husband has very bad eczema. I use distilled white vinegar in the fabric softer holder and they come out just as soft for me. It also helps to get rid of any excess suds that have made it through the first rinse cycle. (06/29/2007)
Have you tried using dryer softener sheets instead of the liquid? This means the softener is in the dryer. Works for me! You may find that using softener affects the absorbency of the towels, as does darker towels vs. light-colored ones. (Lights are better, even though the colored ones are prettier!) Cay from Florida (06/29/2007)
I haven't had problems like that since I switched back to my old twin tub washing machine - I had hard rough towels when I used a front loader automatic. I don't need to use fabric softener I just make sure the towels are rinsed very well. I only use the dryer if it is a rainy day so most of time my towels etc are line dried (06/29/2007)
I would be thinking that your towels need a good "de-soaping". After many washings with soap powder, fabric can become "clogged" with soap residue.
I would suggest the following:
In your washing machine, soak your towels overnight in hot water and white vinegar. I would suggest 4 cups of vinegar to a full washer of water. Let it agitate for a minute then shut it off to do the soaking.
In the morning, turn your washer on and let the soaking towels go through a full wash cycle in the water and vinegar.
When that cycle has finished, put the towels through a regular wash cycle, using only 1/4 of recommended laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda.
When it reaches the rinse cycle, add a cup of vinegar.
Tumble dry using dryer sheet. I found liquid softener just didn't do the job.
Ive had my towels for the past 3 years, they are soft and fluffy. We have hard water so I always add baking soda to the wash cycle. (06/29/2007)
Please don't use fabric softener on your towels, as it coats them and reduces their absorbency. I never do and my towels come out very soft every time. God bless you! (06/30/2007)
Don't use fabric softener, which just coats your towels with goop.
Instead, dry your towels with a pair or two of jeans. The rough heavy texture of the denim beats the towels enough to make them soft. I always dry towels and jeans together. (06/30/2007)
The vinegar rinse is good not only for towels, but all of your laundry. It removes excess detergent, (which can cause whites to be dingy and aggravate skin sensitivities), stops the bleach action on cloths, deodorizes, and reduces wrinkles.
If you want the benefits of fabric softener without the buildup or the price, dilute liquid softener with water 25% (1 part softener to 3 parts water) in a spray bottle from the $ store. After putting clothes in dryer, spray 3-5 squirts of mixture on clothes and run as usual. A normal months supply of softener will last almost 1 yr this way. You can afford to buy the pricey boutique aromas this way. (07/02/2007)