How Often to Wash Microfiber Hair Towels

Microfiber hair towels have become increasingly popular for drying hair thanks to their ultra-absorbent fibers that significantly reduce drying time. But how often should you be washing these towels?

How Often to Wash Microfiber Hair Towels

Properly maintaining microfiber is key to preserving the integrity of the fibers so they continue working effectively. Washing too frequently could degrade them over time, while not washing enough allows buildup of dirt, oil and bacteria.

When to Wash Your Microfiber Hair Towel

The ideal washing frequency for microfiber hair towels is after every 3 uses. This helps prevent residue buildup from hair products while maximizing longevity of the fibers.

However, certain factors may require washing more or less often:

  • Oily Hair: If you have excessively oily hair, aim to wash the towel after 1-2 uses. The oil can lead to faster dirt buildup.
  • Skin Conditions: Those with dandruff, psoriasis or other skin conditions causing flaking should wash after every use or two. The flakes and dead skin cells will cling to microfiber.
  • Gym Use: If using your hair towel after sweaty workouts, wash after each use. Sweat and body oils can breed bacteria if left in the fibers.
  • Kids: Children tend to have more oily hair and skin. Wash their towels after every 1-2 uses.

Regardless of your washing schedule, inspecting the towel in between washes is wise. Look for visible dirt, odors, and whether water absorption seems decreased. If any of these signs are present, it’s time for a wash.

Key Takeaway: Standard washing frequency is every 3 uses, but those with oily hair/skin may need to wash as often as after every use. Inspect for dirt, smells and lowered absorbency to gauge if it’s time.

How to Wash Microfiber Hair Towels

Microfiber towels require gentler washing methods than typical cotton fabrics. Aggressive cleaning can damage the ultra-fine fibers that give the towels their exceptional cleaning and drying capabilities.

You have two main options when it comes to washing microfiber:

1. Washing Machine

Machine washing is convenient, but there are specific guidelines to follow:

  • Wash Separately: Always wash microfiber hair towels separately from other fabrics like cotton towels or clothes. This prevents lint transfer which sticks aggressively to microfiber and is difficult to remove later. Consider lightly and heavily soiled microfiber towels as two loads.
  • Shake Off Excess Dirt: Before placing in the machine, give your towel a good shake over a trash bin. This loosens embedded debris to ensure maximum cleaning.
  • Detergent: Use a mild, fragrance- and additive-free liquid detergent without fabric softener. Roughly 1-2 teaspoons is sufficient. Harsh chemicals and fabric softeners coat the fibers, reducing cleaning capabilities.
  • Vinegar: Consider adding 1 tablespoon white vinegar to the washing machine drum. The acidic vinegar helps remove musty odors that can develop over time.
  • Wash Cycle: Choose a gentle or delicate cycle. Wash lightly soiled towels in cool water, heavily soiled in warm. Never use hot water as it can damage and shrink microfiber fibers.

2. Hand Washing

For those wanting ultimate fiber preservation, hand washing microfiber offers the most control. Follow these steps:

  • As before, shake towel vigorously over trash first to dislodge debris.
  • Fill sink/basin with cool water and a small amount of mild liquid soap. Avoid scented or additive-containing formulas.
  • Submerge towel and gently scrub by hand until clean. Soak for 15 minutes, then give a final scrub.
  • Rinse towel under running water until water runs clear. Wring thoroughly to remove excess moisture.

Whichever washing method you choose, air drying is best for microfiber. Line drying in open air prevents potential heat damage from machine dryers, as well as lint contamination.

If needing to machine dry, use an air fluff setting and clean lint trap first. Never use high heat.

Drying Your Microfiber Hair Towel

As mentioned above, air drying microfiber towels is ideal to preserve longevity of fibers. Simply hang on a clothesline or drying rack out of direct sunlight and allow to fully dry.

However, if you need to use a clothes dryer, follow these precautions:

  • Separate from Other Items: Dry microfiber towels solo, away from lint-shedding cottons. Lint easily sticks to microfiber and reduces effectiveness.
  • Clean Lint Trap: Thoroughly clean out the lint trap before drying to prevent lint transfer onto towel.
  • Low or No Heat: Only use a low heat setting or air fluff option. High heat can damage and shrink microfiber fibers.
  • If towels come out stiff, try rewashing and air drying instead. Stiffening indicates minor heat damage to the sensitive fibers.

Tips for Extending Life of Microfiber Hair Towels

  • Wash towels in cool water using delicate cycles
  • Always air dry instead of machine drying
  • Avoid fabric softeners and bleach
  • Don’t wash with cotton towels or fabrics
  • Wash separately from heavily soiled gym/cleaning microfiber
  • Shake vigorously over trash can before washing
  • Wash by hand for ultimate fiber protection

Following these best practices when caring for your microfiber hair towel means you should get years of use from each one!


What happens if you don’t wash microfiber enough?

Infrequent washing allows buildup of residue from hair products, dirt, oil and dead skin cells. This causes faster bacteria growth. It also reduces the towel’s absorption capabilities and can transfer grime back to your hair.

Can you wash microfiber towels with regular towels?

It’s best to wash microfiber hair towels separately from regular cotton towels and fabrics. Cotton sheds lint easily which aggressively sticks to microfiber and is difficult to remove later. Washing together transfers lint to your microfiber.

Should you wash new microfiber towels before first use?

Yes, it’s wise to give new microfiber towels a wash before first use despite being brand new. This removes any residual manufacturing coatings or chemicals that may interfere with absorption capabilities.

What temperature should you wash microfiber towels?

Always use cool or lukewarm water when washing microfiber towels. Hot water can damage the heat-sensitive fibers, causing them to become stiff, brittle and less absorbent over time.

How do you get stains out of a microfiber hair towel?

To remove stains from microfiber hair towels, spot treat with diluted white vinegar or lemon juice before washing. The acid helps break down stain compounds so they wash out easier. Then launder as usual with mild detergent in cool water, air drying afterwards.

How do you soften rough, stiff microfiber towels?

If your microfiber hair towel feels rough or stiff, try washing it in cool water with a teaspoon of hair conditioner, which serves as a gentle fabric softener. Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterwards, then air dry the towel to preserve softness.


Caring properly for microfiber hair towels comes down to gentler washing methods paired with air drying. Take care to use mild detergents, cool water and delicate cycles in the washing machine. Or better yet, hand wash for the ultimate fiber preservation.

Implementing these best practices means you’ll get years of use from your microfiber towels. Pay attention for visible dirt, odors or lowered absorbing capabilities to know when it’s time for a wash. Stick to every 3 uses as a general guideline, adjusting depending on your hair’s oiliness.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.