For many, washing clothes is an often overlooked and frustrating task. The good news is today’s washers typically have various setting options so people can tailor each cycle to their fabric type – especially for items like delicates that need special care when washing. Of course, you may have wondered if towels and sheets belong to this delicates category.

Towels and sheets are not delicates. Instead of being washed in the Delicate cycle, towels and sheets should be washed in your washing machine’s Normal cycle. This should be done at least once in seven days, depending on how frequently you use them. The water temperature – whether warm or hot – would be determined by the color of the towel and sheets, fabric type, and if they are new ones. 

Telling you not to wash your towels and sheets in the Delicate Cycle is not enough. Why shouldn’t you in the first place? Can you wash your sheet and towel together? Which washing temperature suits the color of your towel and sheets? These and many more are the critical questions we will answer in this insightful guide. 

What is really are delicates?

To better emphasize the inappropriateness of washing towels and sheets in the delicate cycle, let us examine the defining characteristics of fabrics that should be washed in this cycle. 

Soft materials should be reserved for the Delicate Cycle. These delicates include bras, lingerie, and generally undergarments made from wool, lace, and silk.

Such delicates are relatively more sensitive to your washing machine’s Normal cycle. This cycle’s fast-spinning could damage the feeble material of these accouterments. Knitted garments and clothing made from cashmere fall into this delicates category. 

Where and how should you then wash towels and sheets?

Towels and sheets are best laundered in the machine’s regular cycle. Being relatively denser than your delicates, towels and sheets are more resilient to the agitation and heavy spinning that characterizes the machine’s normal cycle.

The normal cycle requires you to set the water temperature your sheets and towels would be washed at. Hot water works best for this type of material.  

Hot water is preferred considering that these sheets and towels have been in sustained interaction with your body oils and other cosmetic products like your lotion. 

Therefore, cold or warm water would be inappropriate for such washing applications as they wouldn’t properly remove the substances. This leaves you with less hygienic towels and sheets.

Does the color of the towel and sheet matter as to temperature?

Yes, your sheet and towel color is consequential when choosing the temperature in a wash cycle. Washing dark-colored sheets and towels in hot water risk the dye color leaching out of the fibers. Preferably, wash such towels and sheets in warm water.

Nonetheless, if your sheets and towel are light-colored or even pure white, use warm water. For those whose sheets and towels are decked with delicate fibers (typical of decorative trim), it is better to wash them in cold water to enhance their durability. 

For the latter category, you could intermittently wash them in warm water if they are filthy. 

How do you launder new towels and sheets in a washer?

Expert launderers will advise against washing new sheets and towels just the same way you wash old ones. New fabric materials generally need unique care before deploying them, especially considering their propensity to bleeding their color.

To improve their absorbency, new towels must be washed to eradicate the special softener most manufacturers integrate into their towels. They typically use such softeners to improve how the towel looks.  

To prevent new towels from leaching, you can add white vinegar when washing. Ideally, any amount between 125-245ml of such vinegar would do. Use this vinegar approach for at least the first two times you wash your new towel in a washing machine.

How often should you wash towels and sheets in a washer?

The truth is, the rate at which you machine wash your towels and sheet depends on how often you use them and your sweating rate. 

This essentially measures the rate of bacteria (from your body) deposited into these materials as you use them.

Take your sheets, for example. Let us assume the typical individual that sleeps 7-8 hours daily and bathes at least twice daily. 

It is advised that such an individual machine washes his towels and sheets at least once in 7 days.

If the towel and sheets are no longer new or your house is not adequately ventilated, they should be washed at least once every 3-4 days.

Can you wash towels and sheets together in a washer?

Who doesn’t love to save time? No doubt, we have all faced that temptation to bunch up our towels and sheets at once into our washing machine. 

Nonetheless, Best practices recommend washing your towels and sheets separately in your washing machine. Why?

Because towels – given their significant lint composition and absorbency – tend to drink in colors from other things washed along with them. Furthermore, towels quickly pick up loose items from smaller clothes being washed alongside. 

The density differential between towels and sheets also explains why towels and sheets shouldn’t be washed together. 

Understandably, towels are heavier and more resilient than sheets. Consequently, sheets would dry far earlier than towels.

More than washing towels and sheets separately, towels of different colors shouldn’t be washed together in a washing machine. 

Washing dark-colored and lighter towels simultaneously are highly discouraged because sheets dry faster than towels. Having to air-dry your towels later makes your laundry more complicated. 

How much detergent should you use for washing towels and sheets?

When machine washing your sheets and towels, the amount of detergents you use affects the longevity of the materials. 

When you use immodest detergent quantities in washing your towels in the Normal Cycle, the towels get fluffy in no time. 

It is recommended you use 50% of the detergent quantity the producer recommends. For liquid detergents, half the designated cap (denoting the amount recommended) is just fine. 

If you are washing high-end towels and sheets – famed for their delicateness – only use mild detergents. You can pour such detergents straight into the top-loaded washers or trays if available. 

Common laundry towel and sheet mistakes you have been making

Aside from erroneously washing your towels and sheets in the delicates cycle in your washing machine, there are other mistakes we commonly make in our laundry.

You have been overloading your towels and sheets

Let us face it. Contemporary washing machines are amazingly efficient. Add this to their spaciousness, and you could understand that notorious urge to load the whole family’s beddings and towels into the washer at once.

This is not only wrong – it is damaging to your washer and the materials being washed. When your towels and bedding are overloaded, there is an increased propensity to wrinkling and tearing during washing. 

What is more, an overloaded washer often delivers poorly washed materials. This is because of the confined space for spinning and limited penetration of the detergent.  

When washing your beddings and towels, don’t stack your washer more than the agitator (typically stationed in the top loader). 

Alternatively, in a front loader, your load size should never exceed the horizontal array of holes nearest o the door.

You have been excessive with softeners

You have to be modest with the use of softeners when washing your towels and sheets. This is because of the tendency of such softeners to deteriorate your fabric’s capacity to absorb liquid.

Notably, the waxy coating – often contained in these softeners – hinders the absorption capacities of your materials and its ability to wick moisture. Vinegar, as earlier envisaged, are safer alternatives.

Resources

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