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Revealed! The Secret To Towels That Really Dry

10/14/2013

 

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A frequent traveler wrote into the website Metafilter with a pretty smart question: What is it about hotel towels that makes them work so well? 

Hotel towels look like the ones I have at home and that are in everyone's bathrooms - terrycloth, etc. - but most of the time they are much more effective at drying. They practically suck the wetness off my skin! Typical bathroom towels, even plush/fancy ones, suck at drying by comparison. So this is really strange: the technology exists for towels to do their job very well, and presumably at relatively low cost (there's no way these hotels are shelling out big bucks for their towels); but as far as I can tell ALL of the commercially-available towels are mediocre at best at doing their job. What is that all about? Why are hotel towels so good at drying? Why are other towels not? Are there commercially-available towels that dry as well as hotel towels? If so, where can I find them?

It got us wondering. We'd noticed that hotel towels worked much better — and dried much quicker on the rack — than our towels at home. Our home towels, we're sad to admit, tended to develop a terrible musty odor after just a couple of uses. What's that about?

Metafilter's expert towel users weighed in and here's what they figured out. To get a towel that really dries, you've got to play rough with it. Wash your towels in hot water, with just detergent and no fabric softener. Towels become less absorbent when they're washed in fabric softener. 

Other quick tips to get the most effective towel experience: 

• Make sure your towels are made from 100 percent natural fibers

• Go for non-fluffy towels and realize that the things that make towels soft are the same things that make them difficult to dry.  

• Go for a harsh washing experience: Very hot water and bleach, only, to wash your towels. 

• Remember that towels are often sold to you treated, and it may take a few washings before the chemicals your towels are treated with are completely removed from the fabric. 

• Hotel towels are washed frequently, so wash yours frequently, too. 

What are your tips to make your towels as effective as possible?

 

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