Friday, June 14, 2013

How to make old towels soft again

DIY how to make old towels soft again

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm going to share a quick tip for how to get those old, crunchy towels soft and absorbent again!


After we moved to Boise, I began noticing a problem. My kitchen towels weren't absorbing anything! At first I thought I was crazy, because wasn't I using the same towels I had been using forever? They'd always worked before!

I asked Hilary what was going on, and apparently hard water is really common here.

Hard what?

I'd never had to deal with hard water before! Our bath towels I wasn't so worried about, but our kitchen towels need to actually absorb liquid! It was to the point where when I would put my towels under the faucet water would just bead up and roll away. Ridiculous.

I decided to put my towels through towel detox in order to make them soft and absorbent again. This is my one ingredient I used:

DIY how to make old towels soft again

Well, two really. I guess the water in my washing machine counts, right?

I set my washer to the hottest setting possible. I added vinegar to the rinse cycle and to the wash itself. Then I washed my (already clean) towels.

And then I did it again...six more times.

After all the research I've done, I learned that the two things you can do to combat hard water making your towels scratchy and stiff are:

1) Do not use commercial detergents. They do not contain actual soap, but instead detergents that can build up over time. I already make my own laundry soap, (and so does Hilary) I wasn't too worried about this part.

2) Do not use dryer sheets in with your towels in the dryer. Dryer sheets also contain chemicals that can build up after the towels are clean!

So I dried my towels with no dryer sheet, and pulled them out. Then immediatly ran to the faucet to check their absorbency.

Success! It actually absorbed some water! I can actually clean up a liquid mess in my house again, woo hoo!

Now they weren't perfect, they definitely need some more work. But next time I have enough dirty towels to do another load I'll simply repeat the process. Over time, they should keep improving.

There you have it! Vinegar to the rescue again. I already use it to rinse my dishes, as a rinse agent in the laundry, in my all purpose cleaner, my shower cleaner...is there anything vinegar can't do?

~Jessica

66 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to do some towel intervention...I don't have the hard water problem, but we swima lot and my towels haven't been smelling right. I read on Pinterest to wash with vinegar, then wash with baking soda. I wonder if it works? Thanks for the tip- show them towels who's boss!

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  2. I was just getting to wash my laundry, now I am going to pull my towels out and use vinegar. thanks for the suggestion.
    With Love,

    Scary

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  3. Nice! Good idea, I find that the dish clothes tend to get build up... I wonder if you boil them in vinegar and water if it would do the same thing only faster? Interesting... thanks! sherri(at)threadridinghood(dot)com - coming over from nap time crafters

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    Replies
    1. This is a fantastic idea! I will absolutely try this. It would be so nice to have them just be completely clean and fresh again!

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  4. very good tip,I have problem with hard water and I hope this tip worked!
    thanks for sharing!
    http://freestilcreatingbyvilly.blogspot.gr/

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  5. Hi Jessica - thanks for the great tips! Hugs, Holly
    http://coconutheadsurvivalguide.com/blog/

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  6. How much vinegar do you use? The amount that you would normally use in the softener dispenser?

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  7. I use vinegar to clean most things these days and we actually add vinegar to every towel wash now. I might try this trick on some old towels that we keep as spares.

    If you have a moment to spare I'd be thrilled if you could share this post at my weekly Say G'day party. It's on now and this would be a great addition!

    Best wishes for a lovely week,
    Natasha in Oz
    www.natashainoz.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing your post at the Say G'day Saturday linky party. I will be featuring you at this week's party.

      Best wishes and hope to see you again this weekend!
      Natasha in Oz

      Delete
  8. I swear by vinegar in the laundry. It does so many amazing things!

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  9. Awesome tips, seems like vinegar is the answer for a lot of things!... Thanks for sharing this!

    Hope you are having a lovely day

    Hugs
    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila
    Sunday Bewitch Me & Titi {Link Party}
    Thursday Titi's Spot for the Pin HOP

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  10. Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try that on my towels too!

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  11. Huh! I had no idea! Thanks for sharing this! :)

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  12. Oh wow, I would have never thought of this!

    Thanks again for joining the Link Up!

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  13. Thanks for the tips! I didn't know that dryer sheets would add chemical buildup to clothes. I had never thought of that before.

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  14. Hi Jessica and Hilary,
    Just found your great blog with so many great tips! I'm your newest follower, and look forward to seeing what else you two have up your sleeves! I think it's great that you two can combine your talents and write a blog together. My cousin and I were just talking about this today....but in the meantime, I blog at Altered Artworks, a place to share my creative passion. Hope you can come by for a cup of coffee and a look around.
    Doreen
    http://altered-artworks.blogspot.com

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  15. Great Tip! I am going to give this a try on my rags and towels. ;o)

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  16. Great tip! I always wash my towels with vinegar, since they tend to get a smell after a while. But will follow the dryer sheet tip!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following! I am your newest follower on bloglovin and FB! :)

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  17. You have been featured at Craftionary for your awesome idea.. :) Come and check it out and button up if you like!

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  18. These are great tips. I did not know that about dryer sheets! Thanks for linking up with Pin It! Tuesday! Hope to see you there again next week!

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  19. Great tip, will have to try it sometime, Thank you so much for linking up! Hope to see more from you.

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  20. Thanks for the tip!!! I will be moving to Boise area soon from N. Idaho! Thank you for sharing at Give Me The Goods!

    Dimples & Pig Tales

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    Replies
    1. Jessica is from Spokane and I lived in Moscow! I'll be honest though, I LOVE Boise way more! Good luck on the move!

      Delete
  21. Wow, what a great idea! I have put vinegar in the water but it never occurred to me to put it in the rinse water too! I need to try this.

    I would LOVE for you to link this up to my "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today if you care to join us! http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/2013/06/10-ways-to-avoid-getting-sidetracked.html

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  22. Thanks for the info. I pinned this one on my Good to Know board. :D Thanks for sharing on Becolorful.
    p

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  23. Borax really does the trick with hard water! So does baking soda! Vinegar is great for the rinse!

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  24. I love vinegar and usually have some on hand so I will be trying this!! Thanks for the awesome trick!!!

    Cindy @www.amomraisingherboys.blogspot.com

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  25. I love vinegar in the wash - in fact, I use vinegar in the fabric softener bin of my washer every single time. I have an HE washing machine, and they can get stinky if you're not careful - I have found that using vinegar in the rinse cycle has almost eliminated any odor problems in the machine, and I like what it does for my clothes (not to mention being cheaper than purchased fabric softener).

    Patty

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  26. Thanks for this ~ I need to do this BIG TIME! Pin'd! =) Marcy @ day2day SuperMom

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  27. wao nice info sharing :) u also like this............:)

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  29. Hi. Thank you for sharing this idea of using vinegar! I too have crunchy towels so I will try this.

    I too started making my own washing powder which I am pleased with - except the recipe I use is like yours but without the baking soda so I may add this to see what a difference it makes. Is the recipe good with stubborn stains and does it keep colours/whites bright?

    Best regards


    Best regards

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  30. So many people chuck out towels when they could just use your method to revive them. Great money saving idea. Visit www.lgdurand.com for how to get out of debt and saving money.

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  32. Dont they become smelly with vinegar? And you're saying to wash first without towels then with towels with vinegar?

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