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Towel Buying Guide: What You Should Know About Towels
Towels are an essential cleaning item in the home. From the small ones to dry our hands to the ones we use for the shower. And although most of us do not pay attention to their characteristics, it is important to know what material they are made of so that you are not surprised after the first wash.
Since there are towels of different colors, textures and sizes, it is worth asking yourself, what should I consider before buying one? It is necessary to ask yourself this question, since we can inadvertently contribute to a family member developing an allergy if we buy a piece made of poor or low-quality material.
Towels basically fulfill three functions, those of drying, cleaning and decorating. Their usefulness has increased over time.
Towels should be washed consistently. And even more so, if we use the same towel to dry our face, body or hands. This way we can avoid bad smells.
It is advisable to wash shared towels more often. For example, those that we put on the dresser to use after washing our hands.
There are many types of towels available on the market. Before deciding, you should analyze the characteristics so that they fit your needs. Over the years, towels have undergone several changes in their composition. That is why I want to answer the most frequent questions about towels.
Towels are items of daily use in the home, but with the passage of time it is necessary to change them because they deteriorate after a certain amount of washes and the reasons are the following.
Renovation: Do you remember when was the last time you changed your towels? If your answer is a negative, then it is very likely that it was a long time ago. Keep in mind that the estimated life of a towel is 2 to 3 years, so it is essential to renew them from time to time. Not only for a comfort factor, but for cleanliness as well.
Decoration: It is gratifying when we have visitors at home and everyone is impressed with the beautiful bath towels that are located inside the bathroom. Take care of adding color and style to the visual image of the bathroom, let the creativity come out of you, awaken the artist in you.
What types of towels are on the market according to their size?
Towels are essential as personal hygiene products, so it is important to have them for multiple purposes. They are essential for washing hands or for the shower, but there are other types depending on their size, as you will see below.
Washcloth. They are used to dry hands, but also for hair, and their size is usually 40 x 70 centimeters.
Toilet towel. It is also used for the bidet or for the toiletry bag when we go on a trip. Its measurements are usually 30 x 50 centimeters.
Shower towel. They are used after a shower and their measurements are usually 50 x 100 centimeters.
Bath towel. Their measurements are usually 100 x 150.
Towel for the feet. They generally measure 27 x 52 centimeters and are thicker to ensure that your feet rest when you get out of the shower.
What materials are the towels made with?
This is not a trivial question because depending on the material we will have a stronger, more durable or even hypoallergenic towel. Here are some common materials used in the manufacture of towels.
It is the fiber par excellence, since it naturally attracts water and can absorb almost 25 times its weight. Cotton towels are characterized by trapping moisture so that there is no trace left when we dry. There are different spinning techniques, but the most used are loop or pile.
Microfiber towels are made from synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon. The ideal ratio is 80% nylon and 20% polyester. This terry is very different from cotton, it is much finer, it absorbs more moisture, it dries faster, but it does not have that soft and luxurious feeling that you have when you touch a cotton towel.
It is a natural fiber that has antibacterial properties, making it very hygienic. It is perfect for people with atopic skin because it does not cause allergies. It absorbs like cotton and is also very soft and flexible. Bamboo towels are breathable, they are nice and cool in summer, but do not protect from the cold in winter.
Polyester is a synthetic material that is often combined with other fibers, such as cotton or nylon to lower costs. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly, repels stains, won’t shrink or stretch, and resists mold. They are perfect for outdoor activities, because they are not discolored or affected by the sun’s rays.
What determines the quality of towels?
It will depend on the type of material used in its manufacture, the weight and the density.
The grammage indicates the weight of a towel for each square meter. The higher the amount of grammage, the higher the quality of the towel and its absorption capacity will be higher. A good quality towel weighs 500 grams or more.
How do I prevent lint from sticking to my towels?
First, soak the towels in a bowl of water, salt, and vinegar for two to three hours. Then put the towel in the washing machine, but without using fabric softener. You will see the lint problem gone. Of course, take into account the manufacturer’s specifications before taking any action.
How to remove the musty smell from towels?
One of the most common mistakes we make after getting out of the shower is leaving the towel inside the bathroom. That is why the bad smell makes its appearance. That is why, when you finish using it, it is advisable to place it outside the house or in a place where there is a wind.
How often should the towels be washed?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is recommended to wash the towel for bathing at least once a week, or change it for a clean one, while the hand towels should be changed or washed twice a week. In this way, the presence of bacteria and microbes within them will be avoided.
What mistakes do we make when using towels?
Sometimes, due to ignorance, we make mistakes when using the bath towels. That is why I have prepared a list of the most frequent mistakes. Take note to avoid falling into them because it will have consequences on your skin and body. Here are the five most common mistakes:
- Using too much detergent: Too much detergent can leave irritating residue or feed bacteria.
- Not airing towels frequently: By airing your towels frequently, you prevent dirt and therefore bacteria from accumulating.
- Keeping wet towels in the laundry basket: Do not even think about doing this because they can acquire what is popularly called “lice”, which will make them useless and you will have to throw them away.
- Using the same towel for different functions: After drying your private parts, do not use the same towel for other areas of the body.
- Sharing the same towel: The towels are personal hygiene items, so you should not use the same as someone else, even if it is the same family member. There are skin diseases that are acquired by contact.
How to make my towels fluffy and soft?
First you must soak them in cold water, with vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Leave the towels submerged in the water for half an hour and turn them over so that the mixture is well absorbed. Rinse the towels using cold water. Finally, put the towels in the washing machine and choose a cold wash program.
How many towels should you have at home?
For some experts in these matters, it is necessary to have at least five bath towels per person in each house, but other specialists in the matter believe that such a high number would not be necessary because they only need to be washed every “three or four days”. Environmentalists believe that two is enough.
What happens if you don’t change your bath towel often?
The amount of pathogens that are present in the towels after use can end up causing certain inconveniences for the skin. If, for example, we suffer irritations, rashes or infections, we should check if we follow good hygiene guidelines with them. Experts recommend washing them once a week.
Bath towels sooner or later deteriorate. They begin to lose softness and absorption capacity. Even if they have been used for a long time, they lose their fibers. Taking care of the towels properly is necessary to extend their useful life, but the time will come when we must change them. You must take into account the following aspects:
The thickness of the towels is measured in grams per square meter. The thicker the towel, the greater its absorbency and durability. From 450 gr / m² we are talking about a good towel. The towels for our home should not be less thick to ensure softness and comfort for many years of use.
- 300-400 g: Lightweight, promotional and low cost.
- 400-500g: Medium weight, suitable for general use.
- 500-600 g: Soft to the touch, great absorption capacity and resistant to wear.
- 600-750g: They stay dry even after use, are resistant to washing and can last a long time.
The sizes are usually standard between the different brands that exist in the market. Choose the combination of sizes that works best for you based on your personal needs and tastes. Remember that there are standard sizes for the most common ones, such as those for hands or the shower, but the measurements are a simple reference. Choose the ones that are most comfortable.
The vast majority of towels are made of 100% cotton due to the great absorption capacity of this natural fiber. The quality of the towels is increased if the yarn with which they have been woven is double. This performance can be checked by pinching a loop and checking whether the thread consists of one or two strands.
From an aesthetic point of view, the options to choose from are endless. Plain and neutral colors are one of the most recurring preferences because they blend into any environment. You can choose them all white or in the same color range.
It is not easy to choose a good towel, so it is important that you pay attention to some fundamental criteria, such as the design, the measurements or the density of the fabric. In any case, I hope that this guide has helped you to choose the most suitable set of towels for your needs.
Remember that size, thickness and quality are key elements when buying towels that fits perfectly with your needs. Always opt for natural fabrics, if possible, because they are hypoallergenic and generally much more resistant. But in any case, keep all the factors in mind!
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.