How to Stop New Towels From Moulting
How to Stop Towels From Shedding Fluff
Sometimes it’s the everyday challenges that trip me up. Like when you buy some new bath towels and find that, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to stop them from shedding little bits of towel everywhere.
This phenomenon is called moulting. Some people feel better when they have been unwell and someone gives a label to their illness, but telling my towels they had Excessive Moulting Syndrome didn’t do anything to help the situation.
I bought a set of new towels in a rather jolly, almost fluorescent, turquoise colour. Each time I used them, I got bits of turquoise towel fluff all over me. This was especially annoying when I hadn’t shaved for a day or two, and the stubble on my face would act like velcro, trapping all the fuzz on my face.
After washing the towels several times without success, I reluctantly decided it was time to find answers. Here's what I found out.
Cures for Towel Fluff: Shaving and Lint Brushes?
Many others before me have experienced similar problems with new towels. I trawled through several pages of Google search results and read every suggestion ranging from shaving the towels (yes, really) to buying new ones that don’t moult (yeah, thanks for that). Eventually I found someone saying that a lint brush could cure the towel's moulting. Since I already had such a brush, I thought I’d give it a go.
I dusted down the ironing board (this was the first time the ironing board had seen the light of day in the past 5 years) and set about stroking my beloved towels with the lint remover. Sure enough plenty of bits of towel stuck to the brush so I thought it was working. Afterwards I washed the towels again and when they were dry I put them through their paces. Failure. Complete abject failure. They were no better than before.
Now on the verge of throwing the darn towels into the bin I turned once more in desperation to the beloved World Wide Web. Somebody somewhere must know what to do, surely?
How to De-Fluff New Towels
After a lot of reading I found that two suggestions were being repeated more than the others. One was to wash the towels with a cup of white vinegar (I didn’t fancy that) and the other was to wash them with half a cup of baking soda or bicarbonate of soda. I had some of that so I thought I’d give it a go. I washed the towels on a hot wash (about 60 degrees Celsius) with the usual detergent plus half a cup of baking soda. The instructions said it was best to dissolve the baking soda in water before adding it to the machine to stop the soda from congealing inside the machine, which I duly did.
An hour later I hung the towels out to dry. Next time I used them I was astonished to find that my troubles were over. My towels were healed. Hallelujah! No more turquoise fluff on my beard!
So was it the baking soda or simply just the hot wash? Some people say the key to resolving problems is to let go of our attachment to solving them. Having pretty much given up on the towels before they went into the wash, maybe that was the real reason? I'm inclined to go with the baking soda.
Questions & Answers
how much baking soda and how much water do you use?
I washed the towels on a hot wash (about 60 degrees Celsius) with the usual detergent plus half a cup of baking soda. Dissolve the baking soda in water (as much as needed to dissolve it) before adding it to the machine to stop the soda from congealing inside the machine.Helpful 61
Would all towels I buy molt, or only certain brands/stores?
That's a good question. There's no way of knowing without trying them. I suspect that cheaper towels might be worse but some people have had this issue even when buying what they thought were good quality towels from a reputable store. I'd be inclined to spend a bit more and buy some good quality towels that will last - that way, even if they do molt, you won't have to replace them too soon and go through the same process all over again.Helpful 27
Would apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar stop towels from moulting?
A quick Google search for 'can malt vinegar be used for cleaning' suggests that people have used malt vinegar for cleaning washing machines and dishwashers but I don't have any experience of using it to stop towels from moulting. I think it's a case of 'trying it at your own risk' if you want to.Helpful 25
Do you have to wash the towels with the baking soda each time or just the once?
Just one wash with the baking soda should be enough. If the first wash decreases the amount of moulting without entirely eliminating it, you could do another wash with baking soda afterward, but it certainly shouldn't be necessary to use the baking soda on every wash. If there is no improvement after the first wash then it's probably safe to assume that the baking soda won't work on those particular towels, for whatever reason.Helpful 24
To prevent towels from molting, did you put the watery bicarbonate of soda in the drum or in the detergent drawer?
You can put it in the main detergent drawer or put it in a soap dispenser inside the drum.Helpful 15