Forget decorative dishtowels and cloths. Flour sack towels have been used for decades. They can be used for everything from mopping and cooking to general cleaning tasks. Made with 100% cotton, the towels are incredibly absorbent, which makes it easier to soak up liquids and clean a home or office. Additionally, they are lint-free, which makes the towels perfect for dusting and cooking too. The key, of course, is to clean and maintain flour sack towels so that they last the test of time. With proper care, these items can last for years and will only become more absorbent and soft with each use. Making the proper investment today reaps some serious rewards later on down the road. The following are some basic care tips for how to keep your flour sack towels around for quite some time.
How to Wash Flour Sack Towels?
Unlike other towels, flour sack towels actually should be washed before use. They have most likely been packed up tight in packing and need space to air. Unlike other options, they do not lose their absorbency but instead become stronger with proper washes. To start, unpack them and remove any tags and then unfold them and place them in the washing machine. You should machine dry them and then use them. Repeated washings will make them softer and more effective with every use.
You Do Not Need Bleach
Folks often feel compelled to use bleach to protect the dish towels’ crisp white material. However, this could damage the natural fibers of the towels. Not only will it make the dish towels less effective but it could even cause weakening and tears. The best way to whiten towels is to use white vinegar or non-chlorine bleaches made with hydrogen peroxide. This is not only better for the towels themselves but also for the environment.
Avoid Fabric Softener
You should avoid fabric softener like the plague if you want to maintain your flour sack dish towels. You simply do not need this item to keep the towels soft and plush. Using this item will make it harder to absorb the liquid. The fabric softener might leave a residue. Instead, a lot of people like to use white vinegar, which is less harmful and just as effective on the towels. Similarly, you do not need dryer sheets for the same reason.
How Do You Stop Towels From Smelling?
Another way to boost the dish towels is to use baking soda. This item is common in most households and known to boost the towels’ absorbency. Start by filling the machine with hot water and then add a cup of white vinegar. After the rinse cycle, fill the machine with water again and then add half a cup of baking soda and dry normally. This keeps the towels fresh and absorbent and removes any dirt, particles, residue, and smell. This combination will also remove any pesky stains. If you have some hard strains, pour baking soda directly on the wet stain and let it sit. Make sure to attack wine or sauce stains immediately since they are hard to get out.
Should Dish Towels Be Washed Separately?
A common issue is to overfill a washing machine. Do not overfill the machine because then cleaning will be subpar. Too many items mean that there will be a residue left on items and clogged fibers mean less absorbency. Remember that regular washings take away harmful bacteria. Try not to wash other items with the towels, if you can help it. If you have to, then try to keep all white cotton items together. You do not want the dye from other items to come off or to only half-wash and half-dry the items.
Careful with Washing Settings
Over time, wear and tear are common. However, you can limit shrinkage and issues with proper care. Make sure that you always choose a delicate cycle setting and use cold water for flour sack towels. Some people even prefer to hand wash the items. When drying the items, it is recommended to let them air dry. If you do not have time or space for this, then make sure to tumble dry the towels. The most common reason for shrinkage is high heat drying, so avoid this at all costs.
Remember to think about how to keep your towels germ free. These items are used for cleaning and cooking, which exposes them to harmful bacteria. Proper hygiene means that you can avoid cross-contamination and sickness to maintain a clean and happy home. For example, you want to try and wash your own hands before using the towels. Once any amount of bacteria is on the dish towel, you are then at risk. This means wetting your hands, applying soap, lathering for at least 30 seconds and then rinsing and drying hands.
Separate Towels Based on Usage
It is smart to separate towels based on what they are used for. For example, cooking and cleaning towels should be in two different places in the home. Additionally, hand drying and cooking towels should be separate too. You do not want the bacteria from people drying their hands to spread around the kitchen. Changing up towels every few days is smart, if not after every meal. If a towel touches food, then it should be washed.
All It Takes Is a Moment
Dish towels can be contaminated in just ten seconds. For example, after washing and drying the towels, if you leave them on a countertop without a basket, this could mean the washing was for nothing. Invest in proper storage and remember that even a moment matters. Dish towels are a staple because they have so many purposes. Properly keeping them clean means that they will do their job.
Know Dish Towel Danger Zones
Sinks are where all of the germs and bacteria live. After all, this is where you wash your hands, wash dishes and where food comes into play. It is important that you keep clean dish towels away from this area if you want to keep them clean and germ-free. Similarly, any area where meat is prepared is another danger zone. Harmful items could be spread around the home even if you set the towel down for one moment.
Invest in the Proper Storage
After the flour sack dish towels are washed, make sure to dry and store them correctly so that they stay clean and fresh. For example, store them away from countertops and food preparation areas. After washing, make sure they are not contaminated by being placed on a bacteria-filled area. Try to air dry the towels by hanging them individually on hooks. Layering them on the same hook makes it harder to dry them. It is important to keep them away from high moisture areas. Having a pull-out track in a cabinet is great. If you do not have space, then wooden crates or an investing in woven baskets is a good place to stack folded towels. Try not to store towels in the same place as cleaning materials or food. Having a dedicated area means that you can maintain your flour sack towels for many years to come.
Consider Other Cleaning Products
Dish towels are normally in contact with other areas of the home. Thus, it is important to think about the other cleaning products. If there are harsh products touching a sink or counter, then this could affect the dish towels. White vinegar is your friend. Try to have racks on hand when using the towels so that they are never cross contaminated. Making an investment in safe cleaning products keeps you safe.
Know When It’s Time to Call It Quits
Having flour sack towels for years is possible. However, you should know when it is time to cut the cord and buy a new set. Common wear and tear signs like tears, thinness, shrinkage, and stains are all reasons to call it quits and invest in a new batch. Remember that quality is always more important than quantity. Using subpar dish towels means that the cleaning is not what it could be. Additionally, older towels may not be as absorbent and could start to hold on to bacteria if the stains are not coming out. There is no need to scrimp when it comes to your dish towels.
By following the above tips, you can keep the flour sack towels clean, absorbent and crispy white for quite some time. Regular cleanings and proper storage are key to keeping towels fresh. If you understand how to separate and limit cross-contamination, you can keep the home fresh and germ-free. There is a reason that generation after generation has chosen to use these items for all cleaning and cooking tasks. The 100% cotton towels are a rich investment for homes around the world. They are a low maintenance addition since they are cost-effective, can be washed in a washing machine and are super absorbent. Taking care of these towels ensures you can use them for many years.