How to Make Your Own Cooling Towel

Making your own chilled towels at home is an easy and inexpensive way to beat the summer heat.

These refreshing bundles can provide welcome relief on hot days.

How to Make Your Own Cooling Towel

You’ll be happy to know all you need is a clean washcloth and some essential oils to make these simple DIY cooling towels.

What You’ll Need

Gather these supplies before starting:

  • Washcloths, bandanas, or small towels
  • Bowl or clean sink
  • Water
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Freezer
  • Resealable plastic bags (optional)

Washcloths and small towels work best since they make direct contact with your skin. Pick up an affordable multi-pack if needed.

You’ll also need a large bowl or empty sink to soak the towels in, as well as water and a freezer to chill them thoroughly. Essential oils like eucalyptus or mint provide an extra cooling sensation, but they’re optional.

Small resealable bags help keep towels from sticking together in the freezer, but you can skip them.

Key Takeaway: All you need is washcloths, water, essential oils (optional), and a freezer to make easy DIY cooling towels for summer.

How to Make Cooling Towels

Follow these simple steps:

1. Soak Towels

Fill a large bowl or clean sink with very cold water. Add 8-10 drops essential oil if desired for extra cooling and aroma.

Good options include eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass or tea tree oil.

2. Submerge Towels

Place washcloths or small towels in the water. Push them completely under the surface and let them soak for a few minutes.

Squeeze out excess moisture so they’re thoroughly wet but not dripping.

3. Fold and Roll

Fold each towel in half, then roll it up tightly like a sleeping bag.

Rolling helps the towels hold their shape better in the freezer.

4. Place Towels in Bags (Optional)

Put each towel in a small resealable plastic bag if desired. This prevents them from freezing together in a big clump.

Quart-sized freezer bags work perfectly for this.

5. Freeze Towels

Arrange towel bundles in a single layer in your freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.

The longer they freeze, the better they’ll hold the cold temperature when in use.

6. Thaw and Use

Remove a towel from the freezer and let it thaw for 1-2 minutes before using. Unroll it and drape around your neck, wipe your face, or place on your forehead.

Re-wet or refreeze once it loses its chill to reboot the cooling power.


  • Store pre-made towels flat in a freezer bag so they’re ready to grab whenever you want quick relief.
  • Try rolling up towels and freezing them in paper cups for individual popsicles to eat or rub on your skin.
  • Use towel wraps after exercise, yardwork, or whenever you need to cool down fast.
  • Offer cooling towels to overheating kids and seniors who struggle in the heat.

Key Takeaway: Simply soak washcloths in water, freeze them rolled up or flat in bags, then thaw and use as needed to make homemade chilling towels.

Why Use Cooling Towels?

Chilling towels aren’t just refreshing – they provide tangible health benefits:

  • Lower Body Temperature
    Towel wraps physically cool you down, directly combatting heat exhaustion.
  • Prevent Dehydration
    Getting overheated rapidly leads to dehydration. Cooling towels help avoid this dangerous issue.
  • Relieve Headaches
    Placing a chilled towel on your forehead or neck can soothe heat-triggered headaches.
  • Aid Breathing Menthol-scented towels open airways, enabling easier breathing in hot weather.
  • Improve Circulation
    Alternating between hot and cold on your skin gets blood flowing to dispel heat.
  • Calm Itchy Skin
    Heat and sweat often cause irritated, itchy skin that cooling towels can calm.

So if affordable spa trips aren’t an option, make your own chilling towels at home for less than a dollar each. Keep a stash in the freezer to whip out whenever heat waves hit.

Stay cool, calm and collected with this easy DIY – no sweat!


What fabrics work best for homemade chilling towels?

Small washcloths or hand towels work best. Their thin, compact size maximizes surface area contact for cooling efficiency. Bandanas and scarves can also work in a pinch.

Should towels be sealed in plastic bags before freezing?

It’s optional, but recommended. Freezer bags prevent the towels from clumping and freezing together into a solid mass. They also contain any water drips from melted towels.

How long does it take washcloths to freeze solid?

Plan on at least 2 hours in the freezer, but overnight is ideal. Towels frozen for shorter times won’t maintain their chill as long. Longer freezing equals longer cooling when worn or rubbed on skin.

What essential oil scents make the best cooling towels?

Eucalyptus, menthol, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, lavender, and tea tree oils provide the most cooling sensation. Their aromas can also help open up sinus passages.

Can you reuse homemade chilling towels multiple times?

Yes! Simply re-wet or re-freeze towels when they start losing their chill. They can be soaked and frozen over and over all summer long. Wash occasionally if they get visibly dirty.


Whipping up DIY chilling towels is a cinch with items you probably already have at home.

Make a big batch to stash in the freezer so icy relief is always at your fingertips. Stay cool in the heat with this easy, inexpensive hack!

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.