Here’s a Pinterest tip I’ve seen floating around for a long time…wash your towels in baking soda and vinegar to “refresh” them in order to:
1) get rid of that sour laundry smell that towels are a magnet for
2) strip them of all the fabric softener build up (from dryer sheets)
Actually, here’s the caption that goes along with the pin (which is a dead link) that I’ve seen everywhere:
Refreshing towels – Over time, towels build up detergent and fabric softener, leaving them unable to absorb as much water and smelly. Recharge them by washing them once with hot water and 1 cup vinegar, then a 2nd time with hot water and half cup baking soda. This strips the residue and leaves them fresh and able to absorb more water again.
I was especially interested in the possibilities here, because my husband uses styling wax in his hair every morning…and it doesn’t completely wash out in the shower, so it ends up on the towels…and doesn’t completely wash out of the towels in the laundry, so there is constantly a little bit of this waxy residue on the corners of our bath towels! Yuck! Needless to say, if a little baking soda and vinegar would help that, I was interested in trying it out!
Well, I know those Pinterest captions are easily edited and re-pinned over and over without any checking or verification…and since the pin I kept seeing was a dead link, I searched around a little bit and found this site, which may be the original source of the pin since it has the same photo (though it does say the photo came from flickr, so who really knows!). It doesn’t give much more info than the caption above does.
I was still not entirely sold that this is legit, so even MORE searching and I found this post by My Thirty Spot and this post from A Contented, Common Life. They had basically the same idea as the other two, but A Contented, Common Life added some info on the best way to dry your towels: put them in the dryer with a few clean tennis balls (new ones, not the slobbery ones that the dog chases around) to fluff them a bit – or better yet, don’t even use the dryer for your towels and line dry them.
(I laughed out loud a bit on that one…yes it would be lovely to have a clothesline in my backyard and lots of sunny days to be able to line dry my towels…but since I have no backyard, no clothesline, and a severe lack of warm, sunny days here in central Pennsylvania, that is definitely not an option for me. So into the dryer go my towels.)
Regardless of where the tip originally came from, I decided to just go ahead and give it a try. I put the towels into the washer on hot/cold with 1 cup of vinegar (which I added it once the washer was full of water, but you could put it into the fabric softener dispenser, too – just don’t put it right in with the dry towels as it could discolor them), then ran it again on hot/cold with some baking soda (I didn’t measure it out, but it was somewhere between 1/2 – 1 cup). Remember, don’t use laundry detergent or fabric softener (that means no dryer sheets in the dryer, too!) – just vinegar in the first load and baking soda in the second.
I wasn’t expecting a miracle, but to my surprise the towels did come out feeling and smelling much more fresh than they went in! They were definitely more absorbent and less grimy. The waxy residue was gone, as was the sour laundry smell. Success!
I can confidently say that this tip is a WINNER…I would highly recommend trying this out – super easy, cheap, and it works!
**Check out other winning ideas in the Winner’s Circle!**
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