Don't Throw in the Towels

Am I the only one who sometimes feels like a horse's patoot? Am I the only one who is given advice and then not take it? Yeah, I am stubborn like that.

Last year, I washed my kitchen towels and knitted dish cloths with a couple of microfiber towels over a couple of weeks. Let's just say I could not get my towels to absorb liquid when I needed them to after those washings. So I asked a few online friends about what to do, thinking my problem was with the cotton yarn I used to knit the dish cloths. I had several recommendations and I did not do any of them. I decided to just toss those towels and dish cloths in the rag bag and buy some new ones. - Stubborn, I tell ya!

Well, about a month ago, I noticed the towels I bought when we moved here were not absorbing water any more. Yep, I am washing them with knitted dish cloths. Nope, to the microfiber; I have not even looked at microfiber towels since my problem last summer. Now that I'm dealing with this problem again, I began wondering if there is something in the cotton yarn.

Any way, I decided to take one idea that was recommended and do a little research about stripping the towels. When I first read about boiling them in water all I could see was me standing over a huge cast iron cauldron with my long wooden paddle stirring those towels over an open fire. My imagination ran away with me, and I had to quickly reel it in.

Several online places talked about boiling them on the stove and using boiling water in the washing machine; I also read about using bleach and vinegar. Each time, someone mentioned bleach, it was quickly pointed out that bleach only disinfects while vinegar removes unwanted buildup. Right before my eyes, I read, "detergent buildup". Yeah, I think I have found my problem. It did not dawn on me until I remembered my husband telling me the water here does not rinse off well when he is washing the truck. Ding, Ding, Ding! I now know what my problem was last year and now again.

On Tuesday, I put two pots of water on to boil and filled my washing machine with hot water and added a cup of vinegar. The boiling water went into the machine along with the vinegar and towels and *NO SOAP!*. I let it agitate for a few minutes and the towels soaked for an hour . I wish I would have gone longer, but...

After hanging the towels on the clothes line, they felt different. Before, they felt like there was a coating on them but not now. The towels are more absorbent than they were but not like new towels, so the next time I strip them, I will let them soak longer.

Fabric softener is another thing I read about. I don't use it because it does leave a "coating" on fabric. I try to hang our clothes on the line as much as possible, so a softener is really not going to work for me. I do use vinegar in the rinse cycle during the winter months when the temperature is below freezing.

Now you see why I feel like a horse's patoot. I should have stripped my towels last year instead of buying new ones.

1 comment

  1. Oh, Lori, you and I could start a horse's patoot club. I bet we'd have a lot of members. I am glad you posted this. I read about the vinegar thing for using on bath towels that aren't fluffy anymore and have gotten "hardish". I wish I would have done this before I left out our hardish towels for my inlaws when they visited. I was so mortified. I wish our weather was nice enough to put towels out. This weather has been so hot, stormy, wet, that we haven't gotten out porch set up, our pool open, just got the mulching done somewhat (before a downpour!). It has certainly been a weird weather summer!

    Thank you for the reminder of the vinegar soak. I have to remember that when I wash towels next.

    Hugs to you, friend!


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