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Buying Towels - Tips and Advice

I am having trouble buying cotton bath towels. Seems the towels I bought, 4 sets of 100% Cotton (100% pima cotton loop) bath towels, are nonabsorbent (moves water from one area to another) and leaving lint all over. I'm not talking about cheap towels either, I paid $18.00 dollars for each thinking perhaps it has something to do with the price. NOT!


I know there are a lot of different types of cotton out there. For one, I would not buy alogon (sp?) cotton. I was so careful to check the tags for this, only to find I'm stuck with the same problem all over again. Can someone out there please educate me on this? Perhaps some kind of treatment? I don't use fabric softener on any of my towels.

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April 12, 20061 found this helpful

I bought a set of sheets a few years ago that had a flyer in it with tips from the cotton council. One of the tips was that fabric softener used on cotton towels will make them almost non-absorbent. I quit using fabric softener & it was amazing how dramatic the difference! My only problem with this was that without fabric softener the towels were rough. I found an alternative online. You use white vinegar in the rinse. It removes the soap residue which is what causes stiffness/roughness. It does not make your clothes smell like vinegar. They still smell perumed from the scent of the detergent. You use the same amount of white vinegar as you would an ultra fabric softener. If you use a downey ball fill with vinegar to the fill line. Hope this helps.

As far as the lint - All of the expensive towels I have bought shed lint everywhere. What a mess!

Hope this helps,


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April 12, 20061 found this helpful

don't use fabric softener,instead use an equivalent amount of white vinegar in the place of the softener.

I have heard this tip many times.



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April 13, 20060 found this helpful

If you are not using fabric softener, have the towels been washed several times to remove any fabric finish used in their manufacture? However, I think that the word 'algodon' is spanish for cotton. If the tag uses that word, the towels are probably either made or sold in a spanish speaking country. However, the content is no different from those labeled 'cotton'.

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April 13, 20060 found this helpful

Try the vinegar, if that fails to help, take them back to the store!

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April 14, 20060 found this helpful

I also bought new towels that are non-absorbent. The tag indicates "100% ring spun cotton". Does anyone know what that means? I have washed them using vinegar in the last rinse and have never used fabric softener sheets on them. But they are still not absorbent after several washings. I like the idea of putting the vinegar in the Downey ball - thanks!

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April 19, 20061 found this helpful

Is the type of towel velour vs loop? I found velour difficult to absorb water.

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May 10, 20061 found this helpful

Although I love all the beautiful colored towels out there, I have found that my white (or bleachable light colored) towels get rid of their lint problem quicker. Just a quick mention, I have read on some websites that residual vinegar can corrode the washer. So it is advised to do a short wash with bleach after you're done. Vinegar and bleach don't mix but it is said there is not enough vinegar left in the machine to create a problem.

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September 11, 20061 found this helpful

I think they just put cotton and the spanish word for cotton on certain items sold in this country. Were the towels washed before the first use? I bought some chocolate brown towels and even tho tags said to wash first I chose not to....big mistake....lots of lint all over me when I dried off....the joke was on me! Light color towels are the best and white towels and wash cloths are nice because you can bleach them. You can have a nice set of matching towels for decor purposes but white is nice for drying off.

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September 11, 20060 found this helpful

I recently started using vinegar in the wash. Now I read here that residual vinegar in the washer can cause corrosion. I wonder if that's really true? Has anyone else heard that? I usually leave my washer open after using so that any residual water can evaporate.

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September 26, 20060 found this helpful

The nicest towels feel so soft when you buy them, but WHAT THE HECK?

They are as absorbant as a plastic bag when you try to dry off with them!

They must soak new towels in gallons of fabric softener.... the same thing happened to me.

I guess the softest towels on the shelves are the first ones purchased.

Try putting a cup of vinegar in with the machine's rinse cycle.

The acids in vinegar can cut through the sizing, which is the finish that makes the fabric feel soft when you buy it.

That's what makes the towels useless when you try to dry something with them!

It took about 5 washings, each with a vinegar rinse until they felt like my normal towels.

(they were usable after two or three washings, but still not super absorbent)

If it doesn't work the first time, wash them again and try your machine's longest wash option

to give the chemicals time to break down and get washed away!

Washing them in boiling water can cut down on initial washings, too.

If you have a front loader with a sanitize option, that it works great.

If you have a top loader you can manually add boiling water from your kettle.

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January 3, 20080 found this helpful

How do I get lent out of my brand new towels?

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July 8, 20080 found this helpful

Wash a few times with no soap. Do you have hard water?

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October 4, 20080 found this helpful

It seems the problem is universal. I have recently purchased six new towels to replace my worn ones. (with the old towels I had the same problem). Two of them "refuse" to absorb and I put them back in the washing machine every time I assess this fact. The other four are fine. Funny is that they were all manufactured by Burlington. I tried to elicit response to this question from Burlington, several years ago, but had no response. I am still wondering how I could speed up the process of my towels becoming absorbent (I am using no fabric softeners).

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October 26, 20101 found this helpful

I found that using vinegar the first time I washed my new towels and clearing the lint filter four(!) times while drying completely took care of the lint and absorbency problems. Each of the times I cleared the filter, there was no way it could have possibly held any more lint!

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