Don't Throw In the Towel - Strip It Instead

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 dishcloths with a couple of microfiber towels over a couple of weeks.  All I can say is 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 dishcloths. 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!

don’t throw in the towel - strip it instead to remove soap buildup

Don't Throw In the Towel - Strip It Instead!

Well, about a month ago, I noticed the towels I bought when we moved here were not absorbing water anymore. Yep, I am washing them with knitted dishcloths. 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.

Anyway, 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. With my imagination running 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 the 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.