How to recharge your towels with just two ingredients you already have on hand!

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How to Recharge your Towels with ingredients you already have at home!! This will leave them soft, fresh and more absorbent!

How to Recharge your Towels with ingredients you already have at home!! This will leave them soft, fresh and more absorbent!

How to Recharge Your Towels

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If you have brand new towels that are a little rough and not as absorbent as they should be, or if you have older towels that don’t mop up water like they used to, don’t throw them out. They just need a little recharging.

This does work VERY well…  and don’t worry, using vinegar doesn’t make your towels smell like vinegar!  It leaves them completely odorless.

You can boost your towels performance with two simple ingredients: white vinegar and baking soda.

TOP LOADING WASHER:  Place your towels into the washer, with no soap, and let it fill up with hot water. Once the washer is filled, before the wash cycle starts, drop in a cup of vinegar. Let it dilute for a moment, then add a half of a cup of baking soda. Run the washer, and dry as normal. Your towels will be recharged and like new, or better than ever!  (Do not add fabric softener).

FRONT LOAD (HE) WASHER:  If you have a HE (front loading) washer, place your towels in the washer with 1 cup of baking soda (no detergent). Start the washer let the water fill for about 1 minute.  Add 2 cups of vinegar to the “liquid” cup (again no detergent) and allow the load to run through.  When you dry them, do not add fabric softener.

Bonus hint: Keep your towels recharged longer by never using fabric softener on them!  (Some of my older towels I had to run through twice but this works awesome!!)

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I’ve seen other posts on this and a lot of them say to do separate cycles, one with the vinegar and another with the baking soda, but to not mix them together. Have you tried to see which is better? Or why you decided to mix them together?

    1. I haven’t tried it in separate cycles. I do them together because I want to vinegar and baking soda to combine as it creates a reaction.

  2. Because balled up aluminum foil disintegrates and makes a mess I take an aluminum loaf pan, crumple it up some, put it in a lingerie bag and let it live in my dryer. No more static and no mess either.

  3. This may be a dumb question but I’m going to ask it anyway. It says to put the towels in with no detergent. Does the vinegar and baking soda “clean” your towels?

  4. This worked for my towels!! I had been looking for a solution for my “stale” towels. They now remind me of Landry dried outside! Thanks!!

  5. I love this. I do it regularly. And not just with towels! When work out clothes and pretty much anything made of polyester starts to get a gross smell (because I swear half of my husband’s shirts start to smell funky sooner or later!) I throw them through the wash the same way. Works amazingly!

  6. I rent but have my own washer and dryer. M y landlord only allows me to use cold water, because he pays the water bill. My question is can I still do this with my towels using cold water?

    1. While hot water is best, this should still work with cold water too. Please let us know how it works out for you!

      1. So Holly I tried it with cold water and it did work. I am going to repeat the process again. The towels I used your method on are towels that we use at my job, and they are used and washed a lot, but they are more absorbent. thank you!

    2. If you look at a previous comment with the same problem, they’ve addressed this issue:
      “That sounds bogus, since the water is heated by the hot water heater – same as your sink/bathroom water. It’s through the gas, or electric that you pay NOT the water bill. Your landlord shouldn’t be doing this. See if your state has a tenants rights advocate.”

  7. Love this Idea and if you want or think you need to add fabric softener to your towels, use liquid in your washer not a sheet in the dryer. I was told years ago that there is a chemical in the dryer sheets they have to use to keep it from burning that causes towel to become less absorbent.

    1. Fabric softener actually ruins washing machines, even says in most user manuals not to use. I didn’t think it was true until I’d looked. As a result I never use it. Apparently a cup of vinegar works weĺl

  8. This may be a silly question, but … I have a top loading HE machine – would I follow the instructions for the front loading, since my top loader doesn’t fill like the old washing machines did?

  9. I am a little confused. Since the HE washer uses a whole lot less water, why does it use twice as much baking soda and vinegar as the top loader?

    1. This is just what I’ve found works for me, you can definitely adjust it to your own washer and load size. I usually put a much bigger load in my HE Washer than I used to in my old top loader.

  10. I aquire static very easily & I’m already naturally jumpy so I hate static shock. I use dryer sheets on almost everything, definitely towels because they are the worst about static–what should I do instead of dryer sheets to prevent static?

    1. You can actually roll a ball of tin foil and place it in the dryer… works the same as dryer sheets and you can use it over and over again!

    2. You can buy felting yarn and make a ball, put each ball into a knee high and tie it off. Boil or wash in hot water then dry with it still in the knee high. After it is dry check it out and see if it is all together, no individual strings, if so repeat process. I made four of these and I use them in my dryer. I put essential oils on them when I start my laundry for the day. They help with static and cut down drying time.

  11. I don’t use softener, but I wonder if this would help with kitchen towels that are less absorbent because they have gotten greasy . . .

  12. I have a front Loader, I can put the vinegar through the first wash let it run, but what do I do with the Baking soda , do I water it down or do I pour it on the towels before the second wash. Thanks for your help K

  13. It works just as well on your hair too! I don’t remember the last time I bought shampoo (for me, anyway!) Two or three times a week is enough usually.

    2Tbsp baking soda in half a liter (about a pint) of water, and 2Tbsp of vinegar (don’t listen to the fanciful ideas that it has to be apple-cider, white or any other particular sort vinegar) in another half liter bottle of water. Wash hair/beard/mustache with baking soda solution first, and then rinse it out. Repeat with the vinegar solution, but give it one or two minutes before rinsing it out.

    It does feel a bit odd at first but but very quickly you will find your hair much more manageable, and your scalp happier. If ya wanna slick it up a bit now and then just apply a small amount of coconut oil once or twice a week and rub it in real well :-)

    1. I have done it both on clean towels and towels that were ready for the wash as well, I found it worked on both but I prefer to use it on clean towels.

  14. My washer only has a cold water hookup, it’s all the landlord will allow, since they pay the water bill, will it work in Cold water, or does it have to be washed in Hot water?

    1. Check your state’s laws, allowing only a cold water wash doesn’t sound legal in any state, regardless of who pays the hot water bill.

    2. That sounds bogus, since the water is heated by the hot water heater – same as your sink/bathroom water. It’s through the gas, or electric that you pay NOT the water bill. Your landlord shouldn’t be doing this. See if your state has a tenants rights advocate.

    3. You can “manually” add hot water with a pitcher (or some sort of container) to the washer tub… I know it might be a bit of hassle, but it’s what I’ve done when I’ve run out of ‘hot water’ for my washer.

  15. Thank you for this!! I will try on my next towel load. I have an HE, but it is a top loading one, so you can hit the pause button and it will unlock lid and I can add the vinegar!

  16. An alternate way to “recharge” and remove that stale smell is to wash in hot water, use 1/2 cup plain ammonia and 1/2 the detergent you normally use…no fabric softener.

  17. I have a newer HE front load machine. I am going to put vinegar in the detergent spot of my machine after it runs for a minute. I am not going to stop the machine. There is no need to. You just want some water to get the baking soda working.

  18. Sorry if this is a silly question, but would this work as well with a front-loading “hi-efficiency” model washing machine? Could I add the ingredients at the beginning of the cycle, etc.? Curious…

  19. New washers don’t allow one to open the door once the washer starts; do you have any suggestions on making the towels like new for those of us who have these washers?

    1. If you have a HE (front loading) washer, wash it initially with 1 cup vinegar (no detergent). Run them through a second load with 3/4 cup baking soda (again no detergent) and when you dry them, do not add fabric softener.

        1. You don’t close the lid before it’s done filling up with water. It will actually go through the whole wash cycle with the lid open…but that’s as far as it goes. Once you close it? You have to stop it and it will unlocked ONLY when it has completely stopped spinning. But any top loader is brainless. Just don’t close it.

          1. The new washers will not start the cycle at all until the lid is closed and locked. The only way to do it is to stop the cycle temporarily until the locked light goes off, then open and do what you need to do. Most can be open for 5-7 minutes before they cancel out your load…check your book. I do this with nearly every load as I do not like to put my laundry in until the soap has mixed with water.

    2. I have a newer front loader (bought the end of last summer) and I can “pause” the wash cycle by hitting the start button again. The door will unlock if it is safe for it to. If the interior is too hot if might be a while. Then I can add whatever I want, shut the door, and hit the start button again. Check and see if you can do that with yours. My start button even has the “pause button” icon on it like on a video.