How you should really be washing your towels
DO you hate it when you buy fluffy towels and then they go scratchy after a few washes?
You might be washing your towels wrong, and an interiors expert has revealed exactly how you should be doing your laundry to prevent this.
Rachel Cohen told Popsugar that you should wash your towels in cold water, without any fabric softener, to keep them fluffy.
You should ensure that you use the exact amount of required powder and liquid to keep them in a pristine condition.
And you should always avoid over-drying your towels in the tumble dryer.
Here are Rachel's top tips for keeping your towels fluffy and in a condition you'd find in a hotel …
DON'T ESTIMATE THE DETERGENT AMOUNT
Many people tip the amount of detergent - either powder or liquid - into a washing machine that they guess they'll need for their wash.
But if you end up using too much, it will actually prevent your towels from rinsing clean.
This will result in them being stiff instead of fluffy - not the desired result.
To find out the correct amount, you should look at the detergent instructions for your washing load.
USE COLD WATER
You may use the same setting for your towels that you do for your clothes and bedding, but this isn't always best.
Instead, you should put your towels on a cold wash in the machine.
Rachel advised: "The icy temperatures prevent shrinkage at the seams, help keep colours true and work better on certain stains".
It can be tempting to add fabric softener to make your towels less stiff, but this can damage the towel fibres and make them less supple.
Rachel advised adding a tennis ball into a tumble dryer to agitate the fibres so they fluff up.
Wash your towel separately to avoid pilling, where small balls of fluff appear on the surface.
DON'T OVER DRY
If you want to prevent damaging your towels, you should remove them from a tumble dryer before they are completely dry, and then let them dry naturally.
This helps prevent damage to the fibres, and you should also skip dryer sheets as these can reduce the absorbency of your towel over time.
Make sure you put very absorbent towels on the quickest cycle possible, as they don't require long in a dryer.
HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD CLEAN YOUR TOWELS
Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, discovered nearly 90 per cent of bathroom towels were contaminated with coliform bacteria, while 14 per cent carried E. coli.
In some cases, Dr Gerba even found traces of salmonella.
He told Time: "After about two days, if you dry your face on a hand towel, you're probably getting more E. coli on your face than if you stuck your head in a toilet and flushed it."
Reduce the health risks by washing towels regularly and keeping them as dry as possible between uses.
Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Centre, said: "As long as it's drying completely between use, there's almost no chance of passing bacteria from one person to another."