The quality of your towels is very important and you can tell a lot about how a towel will perform by its look and feel. All towels have a fabric weight measured as grams per square meter referring to the density of the towel. 500gsm is a good weight for towels as they will have a substantial feel to them but will still be light enough that they will dry quickly after use.
Look for closely woven loops and avoid any towels which have a sheen, as it's likely they contain some synthetic fibres which means that they may not dry as well as 100% cotton. Finally the towels should feel soft and plush.
All towels however can benefit from the right care.
It is important to wash your towels before use. Wash like colours together to avoid any colour runs, ideally in a warm wash and do this at least least twice before using them. You may want to add a small amount of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle as this will help to remove any remaining residues from the manufacturing process.
After the initial washes, if you like to use fabric softener, use the smallest amount possible just for the scent or you may find that the fabric softener coats the towels and make them less absorbent.
Towels also benefit from a spell in the dryer. After line drying them, pop them in the dryer for 10 minutes or so to help fluff them up.
Capricho confession - we only have towels from our own suppliers and frankly we are never organised enough to dry them on the line, so all our towels go in the dryer. Regardless of this they never change shape or fade and they last for years. They are practically indestructible and have to be forcibly retired to be able to justify purchasing new colours and designs!
Always wash your new linens once or twice before putting them on the bed, as this will help to soften them by removing the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Wash like colours together with a minimal amount of a neutral laundry detergent and no fabric softener. Avoid detergents containing whiteners of bleach as this may harm colours. Adding 1/4 a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle will help to remove excess detergent.
As a general rule of thumb water temperatures for whites should be no more than 60 degrees and for colours no more than 40 degrees. Although you can certainly wash your linens at a lower temperature without problem.
Use a medium spin cycle of 400 - 600 RPM as this will make ironing much easier.
And finally if possible line dry them in the sun.
Once dry, wash them again with normal detergent and water temperature levels. If you like to use fabric softener, use just a small amount for the scent.
Line dry or tumble dry on a warm dryer cycle rather than hot, as high dryer temperatures can damage the fabric fibres. Remove your linens from the line or dryer before they're fully dry to help minimize wrinkles.
With new cotton linens you can typically expect a small amount of shrinkage after the first washes of 1% to 3%. But it is important to note that the true amount of shrinkage versus the perceived will be clearly evident if you iron the linens. This is particularly important for waffle bedspreads and blankets.
For best results, iron bed linens whilst still slightly damp, using a steam iron. In the event that they have become completely dry, re-dampen them with a water spray before ironing. This will make them easier and quicker to iron. When ironing sheets and duvet covers, folding them in half length-ways makes them easier to handle.
Store your spare sheets and duvets neatly folded, in a cool, dry closet or drawer. Avoid storing them in plastic containers which can trap moisture and encourage the growth of mildew.
Kitchen towels with different uses should be kept separate and not used for multiple purposes, but the truth is that many of us are guilty of using a single kitchen towel for everything! Therefore frequent and correct laundering of kitchen towels is very important to ensure cleanliness and avoid cross-contamination issues!
- Always wash new kitchen towels at least once, but ideally twice before using.
- Never, never use fabric softener with your kitchen towels as fabric softener will adversely affect their absorbency.
- Always launder your kitchen towels separately from other laundry items and wash them on a regular or heavy duty, warm to hot wash to remove bacteria and smells.
- To remove any lingering smells from your kitchen towels, try adding a tablespoon of baking soda with the laundry detergent and a small amount of white vinegar in the fabric softener receptacle.
Beautiful table linens can transform even a casual weekday dinner into something special. However, many people avoid using light coloured table linens for fear of staining, but with the right care even white table linens will stay white.
Always wash your new table linens before use to remove any excess dyes and finishing products from the manufacturing process. Wash like colours and fabric types together following the care label instructions.
To assist in removing stains, try soaking your table linens in cold water immediately following their removal from the table. This will help break down the stain and make it easier to remove when washing.
Before washing apply a thick layer of your normal washing detergent onto the stain and leave for 10 minutes. Then wash as normal following the care instructions for the fabric. For stubborn stains you may need to repeat this process.
To remove grease try applying baking soda directly to the fresh stain. It may also help to add a large tablespoon of baking soda to your normal detergent.
To remove blood or red wine, you might like to try pouring white vinegar through the stain or soaking the affected table linens in a mix of warm water and white vinegar. After soaking wash as normal following the care label instructions.
You may prefer to use a fabric safe stain removal product, however we always recommend you test your linens for colour fastness in a discreet area first.
Whether you dry your table linens on the line or in the tumble dryer, it is always a good idea to bring them in / take them out before they are fully dry. This will make ironing much easier. However if your linens are fully dry, we suggest that you use a water spray bottle to dampen the product before ironing. And use a steam iron whenever possible.
Store your table linens neatly folded, in a cool, dry closet or drawer. Avoid storing them in plastic containers which can trap moisture and encourage the growth of mildew.