7 best ways to wash and store towels

There a few things more luxurious than stepping out of the shower into a clean, soft, fluffy towel – but keeping your towel collection in spa-condition is no easy task. 

Looking for the best way to wash, dry and store towels? From the most suitable washing machine settings to creating the perfect fold, try these ideas and feel the difference for yourself…   

Towel storage ideas  

Towels can be bulky and take up lots of storage space, which is already precious in most homes. But a little planning can help you save space and keep your cupboards organised.  

  1. Fold like a hotel – Wonder why hotel towels look so inviting? Folding the edges inwards hides woven trims and gives towels a luxuriously full effect. To fold like a hotel, lay your towel on a flat surface and fold one long edge towards the middle, then repeat with the other side. Fold each short end inwards, until they nearly meet in the middle. One final fold along that middle gap, and you’ve got pillow-plump towels ready for your next soak!
  2. Roll like a spa – Rolled towels are compact yet secure enough for storage, which is why this technique is sometimes seen in luxury spas and gyms. For best results, fold one corner of the towel inwards to touch the long edge, creating a point. Fold the towel in half lengthways, bringing the shorter edge to meet the longer edge. Flip it over, tightly roll it up towards the point, then tuck in the ends for a 5-star finish!  
  3. Put your towels on display – Cupboards fit to burst? Consider stacking folded towels on open shelving in your bathroom for easy access and stylish statement storage. Piling rolled towels into a wire, woven or fabric basket can also be an attractive alternative to hiding them away.

Towel washing tips  

Washing and drying your towels properly can be key to keeping them soft and fluffy. 

  • What temperature should you wash towels on?
    No matter the fabric composition of your towels, the first thing you should do is check their care labels for recommended washing instructions, and follow the temperature guidance given. Bedding and towels should be washed at a warm temperature with a good laundry detergent to help to kill bacteria – 60°C is ideal – although some detergents now are designed to deliver effective cleaning at lower temperatures.
    Finding hard water is affecting your washing machine’s cleaning performance? Follow our guide on how to soften water.
  • Can towels be washed with clothes?
    Washing towels and clothes together is unlikely to do any harm, but washing similar colours together is recommended, and it’s best to also sort laundry loads by wash temperature. A 30-degree wash is enough for most lightly-worn clothes, and is usually recommended for dark colours to prevent them fading, whereas clothes with tough stains might need a warmer wash.
  • How to dry towels so they stay fluffy:
    Do your towels feel stiff or hard after washing? The problem could be your drying methods. Giving towels a good shake before hanging them up to dry can open up the fibres and loosen the ‘loop’ structure of the fabric for a plusher feel. Drying towels on radiators can also result in a scratchy texture – where possible, dry outside on the line or tumble dry to keep them soft and fluffy.
  • Should you use fabric softener to wash towels?
    It might seem counterintuitive, but fabric conditioner works by coating the surface of fibres, so some experts say using it regularly on towels could actually hinder their absorbency. If you don’t want to skip the softener, just use it as an occasional treat rather than in every wash.