Towel Care Guide

Do I really need to wash a brand new towel before I use it?

Washing your towel before its first use is important for two reasons. An initial wash washes away any loose fibres that weren't removed in the manufacturing process. It also helps make your towel more absorbent by removing any residual softening treatments used in the manufacturing process.


How can I make the colour of my towel last for longer?

Whether your towels are pure white or bright & vibrant, these three tips will help you keep your towels looking at their beautiful best.

  1. Avoid getting sun creams, cosmetics and hair care products onto your towels. Some creams, cleansers, hair care treatments and even toothpastes contain substances that may bleach or dye your towels. It might be best to use a separate towel for drying your hands, face and hair if you use products containing known bleaching agents, and if you're a fake-tan fan consider avoiding white or pale-coloured towels.
  2. Always wash your towels separately. Use your washing machine's full-load setting - not half-load setting - to wash them thoroughly.
  3. Make sure you use the right detergent for your towels. We recommend using liquid or gel detergent on coloured towels and powdered detergent for white towels.
  4. Be aware that most detergents contain optical brighteners which can fade the colour of your towels over time.
  5. Stain removers also contain optical brighteners which can discolour fabrics (especially coloured ones) in the areas you use them, resulting in patchy colour.
  6. Optical brighteners don't remove stains but instead create an optical illusion through the use of chemicals to cover the stain.
  7. Always follow the usage instructions on any detergent or optical brightener in line with our care labels.
  8. Finally - whatever colour your towel, keep it feeling at its fluffy best by staying away from fabric conditioner. Learn why here.


Is fabric conditioner good for towels?

Surprisingly, the answer is no. Fabric conditioner coats the fibres of your towel and actually reduces your towels' absorbency. A build-up of fabric conditioner over time will eventually make your towels feel hard and scratchy - which is the opposite to the effect you want to achieve. It sounds counter-intuitive, but for the softest towels, wash with detergent only.

Tumble drying your towel is a lovely way to open up the cotton fibres so they're wonderfully soft and absorbent.


How often should I wash my towel?

Wash your towel when it's dirty. If it's a hand-towel in a busy bathroom, you'll probably want to change it every day or so. If it's a towel you're using after a daily bath or shower, then every 4-5 days is probably enough. We'd recommend you buy two or three sets of towels so you always have a few spares, ready for wash-day.


Is it OK to tumble-dry my towels?

Tumble-drying will help give your towels a fluffy, soft feeling, but as line drying is better for the environment and costs nothing, you might want to cut down on tumble dryer use. You can get good results by drying towels on a washing line or airer.

Here are a few tips for softer towels, no matter how you're drying them:

  • Don't be tempted to tumble-dry until they're bone dry as you'll "set" the fibres making the towel feel scratchy. We'd recommend you start drying your towels in the tumble-drier, remove them when they're about 80% dry and then place them on an airer or washing line to dry completely.

  • Just as with tumble-dried towels, line-dried towels may feel a bit stiff once they're completely dry. Give them a good shake before you fold them up and they'll feel much softer.

  • Never use fabric conditioner when washing your towels. It collects in the fibres and makes them hard and "scratchy" over time. Stick to detergent only. Tumble drying is, in fact, the best way to make your towels fluffy.


Can I expect any difference in the drying quality or finish between line-drying and tumble drying?

Tumble drying will make your towel look and feel fluffier than drying your towel on the line. If you're line-drying your towels, give them a good shake out before folding. This helps prevent the fibres on your towels "setting" and becoming hard. No matter how you dry your towels, remember that using fabric conditioner will make your towels harder over time, not softer. So stay away from fabric conditioner and you'll be snuggling up in soft towels for much longer.

Tumble drying your towel is a lovely way to open up the cotton fibres so they're wonderfully soft and absorbent.


What can I do to prevent my towels shedding fibres when I wash them?

Fibre shedding is a natural process, but that doesn't mean you can't slow it down! There are a few things you can do to limit the amount of fibres shed from your towels, and help them last for longer:

Don't overload your washing machine. Only ever half-fill your washing machine when washing your towels. This reduces the friction and results in lower fibre shedding.

Stay away from fabric conditioner. It actually speeds up the "linting" of towels, resulting in them losing fibres faster than would otherwise be the case.

Buy the best quality towels you can afford. They will be made with more durable, higher quality cotton that can be washed more often and retain the fibres to provide the softness we love from a towel.


How long does a towel last for?

A towel will last for around 80-100 washes. Over time, you'll notice your towels become thinner, scratchier and less absorbent due to the fibres they lose over time. You'll probably need to wash your towels every 4-5 days, in which case, you can expect them to last for around 2 years. If you have a few sets of towels, they'll last longer as you'll be washing them less often.

What to do with those old towels that have seen better days? Don't put them in the bin; cut them up and use as cleaning cloths or keep in the shed or car boot for muddy hands, boots and paws. If you've no use for them then consider donating to an animal shelter or fabric re-use charity where they'll be given a new lease of life.

Read Our Other Care Guides

Once you have received your towels and are happy with your choice, we recommend washing before use to improve absorbency. 
Before you start, always check the care label on the product for clarity on washing and ironing temperatures and the suitability of use of bleach, tumble drying and dry cleaning.

Always use the best detergent for the product you are washing: for all colours, including light colours, it is best to use washing gels or detergents formulated for colours and for pure whites, stick to powders. Avoid using optical brighteners to prevent colours becoming washed out and to avoid any staining patches from the bleach within them. Be aware that some bathroom cleaners and beauty products can also contain bleaching agents that may stain this type of product. Use of fabric conditioner will help to keep towels soft but does affect absorbency. If you do want to use fabric softener use it infrequently to maintain the absorbency of the towels.

Tumble drying will add extra bounce to the pile of towels, but we always recommend line drying to help protect the environment.

If you need any further help or guidance please contact our Customer Services team who will be delighted to help you with your query.