How to Use Shower Towels

Towels are an essential item in our daily lives, yet we often take them for granted.

How to Use Shower Towels

We rely on them to dry us after a refreshing shower or bath, but there’s much more to know about towels than just their basic function.

Choosing the Right Towel

Not all towels are created equal. The material they’re made from can significantly impact their performance and durability. Here are some common materials to consider:

  • Cotton: Soft, absorbent, and breathable, cotton is a popular choice for towels. Look for 100% cotton or high-quality cotton blends.
  • Microfiber: Lightweight and quick-drying, microfiber towels are great for travel or the gym. However, they may not be as plush as cotton.
  • Bamboo: Eco-friendly and naturally antimicrobial, bamboo towels are incredibly soft and absorbent. They can be more expensive but offer excellent value.

When selecting towels, consider the size as well. Bath towels are typically around 27 x 52 inches, while hand towels are smaller at 16 x 28 inches. For optimal coverage and comfort, choose a bath towel that will fully wrap around your body.

Key Takeaway: Choose towels made from high-quality materials like cotton, microfiber, or bamboo for the best combination of softness, absorbency, and durability.

Using Towels Correctly

Once you’ve found the perfect towel, it’s important to use it correctly to maximize its effectiveness and lifespan. Here are some tips:

  • Gently pat your skin dry instead of vigorously rubbing. Rubbing can cause towels to shed and wear out faster.
  • Hang towels to dry completely after each use. Leaving damp towels bunched up can lead to musty odors and mildew growth.
  • Wash towels regularly, at least once a week. Sweat, oils, and bacteria can build up and compromise the towel’s performance.

Maintaining Towel Quality

Even high-quality towels can lose their softness and absorbency over time if not properly maintained. Here are some tips to keep your towels in top condition:

  • Avoid fabric softener: While it may seem counterintuitive, fabric softener can actually coat towel fibers and reduce their absorbency. Use it sparingly or not at all.
  • Use vinegar: Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove soap residue and soften towels naturally.
  • Baking soda: For towels that have become stiff or smelly, wash them with 1/2 cup of baking soda to help remove buildup and odors.

Storing Towels Properly

Where and how you store your towels can also impact their quality and longevity. Here are some best practices:

  • Fold towels neatly: Creases and folds can weaken towel fibers over time. Fold them as loosely as possible.
  • Use open shelving: Storing towels in a closed cabinet can trap moisture and lead to musty smells. Open shelving allows for better air circulation.
  • Rotate towels regularly: Don’t let towels sit unused for too long. Rotate them frequently to prevent any one towel from becoming overly worn.

Towel Maintenance Schedule

To help you keep your towels in top condition, here’s a suggested maintenance schedule:

After each useHang towel to dry completely
WeeklyWash towels with vinegar or baking soda
MonthlyRotate towel usage and inspect for wear
YearlyReplace worn or stained towels

Key Takeaway: Proper maintenance, including regular washing, avoiding fabric softener, and using natural softeners like vinegar, can significantly extend the life and performance of your towels.


Can you use the same towel for multiple showers?

It’s generally recommended to use a fresh towel after each shower or bath. Reusing the same towel can lead to a buildup of bacteria and odors, especially if the towel doesn’t fully dry between uses.

How do you keep towels soft and fluffy?

To keep towels soft and fluffy, avoid fabric softener, which can coat the fibers and reduce absorbency. Instead, use vinegar in the rinse cycle, wash with baking soda occasionally, and avoid overcrowding the washer or dryer.

How often should you replace towels?

Towels should be replaced when they start to show signs of wear, such as fraying, thinning, or a loss of absorbency. As a general rule, consider replacing bath towels every 2-3 years and hand towels every 1-2 years.

Can you wash towels with clothes?

It’s best to wash towels separately from clothes to prevent lint transfer and excessive wear on the towels. Towels also require a different washing cycle and temperature than most clothing items.


Towels may seem like a simple household item, but there’s a lot to know about choosing, using, and maintaining them effectively.

Remember to choose high-quality materials, use towels gently, maintain them properly, and store them correctly. With a little care and attention, your towels can be a source of comfort and convenience for years to come.

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.