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What Settings To Wash Towels

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There’s no nicer feeling than getting out of the shower or bath to wrap yourself in a fresh, clean, soft towel. But how do we get our towels like that in the first place?

In this article we give you the best ways to keep your towels in tip top condition. There will be advice, as well as dos and don’ts to ensure you maintain these everyday essentials. So, let’s get to it and find out exactly what settings to wash towels on.

When we think of washing our towels – well that’s just it, we probably don’t actually think about it. It’s rather a case of just throwing them in and turning on the machine. When in actual fact we do need to think a little more about how we do this.

fluffy towels

Generally speaking, it is fine to put your towels on a 40-degree wash cycle. Due to the fact that most towels are made of cotton this will be more than adequate.

You could always wash them at a slightly cooler temperature, and this will help with keeping your towels soft and gentle against your skin – nobody likes a scratchy towel after all! Just keep in mind that the lower the temperature the less chance of completely getting rid of all germs and dirt may be.

If you were to put them on at a higher temperature you may find your towels will wear quicker, and you’d end up replacing them much sooner than you’d want to. Coloured towels at higher temperatures will result in the colour fading and having dull looking towels.

If you do still want to wash your towels at a higher temperature you can wash them at 60 degrees, but we wouldn’t recommend any higher than that. If your towels do get particularly dirty or stained – maybe your kids do football practice and love the mud, or you have a dirty job (my husband works with tarmac so I completely understand this!) – a 60-degree cycle will eliminate any stains, germs and dirt from your towels.

Towels do not need a special setting on your washer but depending on what machine you have there may be a bulky or large items setting that could be used. Some washing machines nowadays do even have a towel setting so this would be perfect. Though, as previously mentioned as long as they are washed at the correct temperature you will find a standard setting will be more than adequate.

Settings For Hand and Bath Towels

You can wash your hand and bath towels together, just be careful you don’t overload your washing machine.

Bath towels can be washed after every 3-5 uses. Some people may be tempted to wash them more often than this but doing so will only decrease the longevity of your towels.

Hand towels will most likely need to be washed more frequently because of the amount of use they get. These are the little things we don’t always think about, but we do need to take into account when thinking about how frequently we wash things.

For instance, tea-towels and kitchen towels get used a lot during the course of one day. Think about the number of times you wash your hands after dealing with certain types of food, using a towel to fetch things out the oven or to quickly wipe up a spill on your kitchen counter.

The same can be said if you have a downstairs toilet/bathroom. Again, a towel would need regular washing to ensure they are kept clean and free from germs. It seems pretty pointless to wash your hands only to dry them on a dirty towel.

We recommend hand towels are washed once per week. That doesn’t mean you have to just wash a couple of towels as that would be a waste of a cycle, not to mention your energy consumption. Generally, most households do have a collection of hand towels and tea-towels that they can use when others are dirty.

Microfibre Towel Washing Settings

These are very popular in our household – I use them to dust and clean my windows. My husband also uses them to clean and dry his car. They are such a useful towel and can be used for cleaning so many things.

pile of microfibre towels

As a result, they do need regular washing. Because their material can pick up dust, bacteria, dirt – we want to wash them often to ensure they stay clean and fresh for every use.  There would not be much point cleaning the windows with a dirty microfibre cloth, you would only be creating more work for yourself.

You can normally buy these towels or cloths in multipacks so you will have plenty to keep you going while you wash the rest.

We’d recommend washing them separately to anything else. Due to their material being able to easily keep a hold of lint or dirt, if you were to put these in with a regular clothes or towels wash, you may find that at the end of the cycle they are dirtier than when you put them in the machine. Anything and everything will cling to these towels and while that is a good thing when you’re using them to get rid of the dust in your home, it’s not such a great thing when washing them.

Dos and Don’ts


  • Wash your towels even if they don’t look dirty. Bacteria and germs can still be present on your laundry even if you can’t see them
  • Wash at a maximum of 60 degrees, anymore than that will reduce the life of your towels
  • Keep your towels for their own washing cycle


  • Be tempted to wash them too often
  • Put your towels in with a normal clothes wash – the bacteria build up from your towels may stick to certain material, leaving dirt particles trapped in your clothes
  • Use too much fabric softener or washing detergent – any excess may stick to the towels, leaving them with a residue or film and not feeling very nice against your skin


We’ve given you all the information you need to ensure your towels are clean and soft. You can maintain their freshness and longevity by following our guide and keeping in mind the dos and don’ts when washing them.

We’re confident that by following these guidelines your towels will not need replacing too often, thus being cost effective and kind to your skin. What more could you ask for?

michelle author bio pic

Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon

Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.

She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.