How To Wash Your Turkish Towels (Step by Step Guide)


Turkish towels are excellent, but you may easily ruin your towel by not knowing their properties and how to wash them properly.

Some of my international friends even called me about how awful Turkish towels are, yet I am 100% sure that they did not wash the Turkish towels as they should.

I will tell you about all the washing tips that you need to know about Turkish towels in this post.

In short.

The quickest way to wash Turkish towels is to put them in a bucket filled with hot water and a glass of vinegar.

After an hour of rest in the bucket, put the towels in the washing machine and select the cotton option and a temperature below 100°F (40°C).

Use less detergent and softener than usual and dry the towels by hanging in the open air.

Here are the essential washing tips for Turkish Towels;

  • Let the towels rest in vinegar water before washing. Vinegar will whiten your towels and help to disinfect them.
  • Wash towels separately because towels quickly absorb the color of other clothes.
  • Also, separate the towels according to their colors before washing.
  • Washing temperatures above 140 °F (60 °C) will ruin the texture of the cotton fabric. 
  • Towels with dark or very dense colors must be washed below 100°F (40°C) because their color will fade.
  • Use less detergent and softener than you usually use. Try vinegar instead of softener.
  • If possible, do not use a drier. Dry your towels by hanging in the open air. Turkish towels dry very fast and can be damaged in a drier.
  • No ironing is needed. If you wish to iron, only use the steam mode.

If you wish to know more details and tips, please follow me. I would love to share more information.

My daughter Lidya, loves to nap with Turkish towels in summer.

How To Wash Your Turkish Towels (Step by Step Guide)

The appeal of Turkish towels lies in the indisputable fact that they are soft, thin, and strong. But if you wash them incorrectly, you may ruin your towels very easily. 

The best way to wash your Turkish towels is to hand wash them, but those days are long gone. In this guide, I will explain step by step how to machine wash your Turkish towels.

Here are the steps that I use when washing my towels.

1. Wash Your Towels Separately

One of the foremost vital things to think about when washing your towels is to wash them separately. 

It would be best if you also wash your towels separately from your other laundry. Otherwise, your towels will become hard and disturb your skin.

Second, sort the towels by color because if you wash dark-colored towels with white towels, your white towels will absorb the color of other towels.  

2. Use White Vinegar Before Washing Your Towels

It is best to rest your towels with vinegar added water for at least 8 hours before washing. 

Adding a regular glass of vinegar to a bucket of water is fine.

If you have no time to wait, you can add half a tea glass of white vinegar to the softener compartment of the washing machine while washing the towels.

You can wash the terry towels with suitable detergents, but if the water is hard in a particular area, towels still won’t be soft enough. Adding a little vinegar to the water will help overcome this problem. 

The vinegar softens the towels and balances the ph level of the water.

Vinegar is also a natural sterilizer. For this reason, vinegar will effectively whiten your towels and help to disinfect them.

3. How Many Degrees Are Towels Washed?

Turkish towel washing maximum washing temperature is 140 °F (60 °C). Towels with dark colors should be washed below 100°F (40°C).

Washing above these temperature limits will ruin the texture and softness of the fabric. Also, in high temperatures, cotton releases its coloring agents, and towels’ colors fade.

Also, check the product label for instructions; some products will have additional requirements.

4. Washing Machine Setup

My wife and I always use vinegar instead of softener and less detergent when washing Turkish towels. My wife also adds a spoon of refined white sugar inside the washing machine for extra softness.

Programs designed to wash baby clothes are a superb choice as they use enough water to rinse thoroughly. Spinning can be done up to 800 rpm.

One of the best ways to keep Turkish towels soft is by using laundry balls placed in the drum of the automatic machine during washing.

Having the ball inside the washing machine is a natural way to fluff the towel. Here is the most advised laundry ball that you can buy from Amazon

We use towels many times per day for our bodies, hands, feet, and faces; towels should be appropriately cleaned and disinfected. 

Also, for this reason, frequent changing of towels and regular washing are essential for health.

I understand the urge to use detergent when you wash your towels. But detergents (especially poor quality ones) can cause the towels to harden over time and reduce their water absorption capacity. 

Before washing towels in a washing machine, you need to choose a suitable detergent since their softness depends on their choice. If you are unsure, use less detergent.

5. Should you use fabric softener?

Many women use plenty of fabric softener to make their laundry both soft and smelly.

You should NOT use fabric softener with Turkish towels because Turkish towels are woven differently and do not need much softening. My mom, my wife, and I always use vinegar instead of fabric softener. 

I also know others also use baking soda or carbonate and lemon mixture, but I haven’t tested this solution.

6. How to properly dry Turkish Towels? 

Drying the towels is as important as washing them. It is a big mistake to throw the towels in the dryer. Consequently, towels become slightly damaged due to direct heat, and their texture may be damaged.

The best choice is to dry towels outdoors in the open air, but you can hang them indoors, also. One of the Turkish towels’ properties is they try quickly. 

I recommend shaking each towel well before hanging them up to dry, which will help the loops of the towels (especially terry ones) to have the proper shape.

Towels will stay soft after drying in the fresh air and a shaded place. 

It will be an extra plus if it’s windy because the wind will quickly blow away the remaining moisture and will not worsen the properties of the fabric.

Do not iron Turkish towels. If you have a desire to iron the towels, you can just use steam mode.

Suggested Reading – Why Turkish Towels are Unique? Properties of Turkish Towels

Turkish cats also love Turkish Towels.

How to prepare Turkish Towels before their First Use?

The first wash is very important as it will loosen the fibers of your Turkish towel, making it more absorbent. 

Also, towels have a coating layer that gives this shine for those new towels. These coatings are covered with chemicals that are not skin-friendly, so it is important to wash towels after purchasing them.

For the first wash, you should soak your Turkish towel overnight in a cold-water tub for 12 hours before washing them for the first time.

Ideally, you should use water with vinegar added. This process will help the towel’s fibers to expand, giving a smoother look to your towel and making the towel more absorbent.

Do Turkish Towels Smell?

When you dry your hands, face, or body with a towel, dead skin cells pass onto the towel, and with the effect of the humid environment, after some time, this organic matter may make your towels smell.

Yet, if maintained correctly, Turkish towels do not smell.

Turkish Towels do not smell because they are designed to be bathhouse towels and woven like a carpet.

Turkish towels are also thin. For these reasons, Turkish towels dry very quickly and do not absorb particles like thick towels.

Do Turkish Towels Shrink?

Turkish fabric does not shrink easily because it is woven differently and made of cotton fabric.

Yet, when washed at high temperatures, the towel’s material may become harder and lose its smooth texture.

Turkish Towels Better than Egyptian Towels

Turkish towels do not absorb water like other towels and are not fluffy like others. They are designed to be durable and easily cleanable. Turkish towels are very quick to dry. 

Egyptian towels are the opposite of Turkish towels. Egyptian towels are thick, very absorbent, and fluffy.

If you wish to know more about this topic, please read my article Turkish towels vs Egyptian towels.

How do hotels keep their towels so white?

Hotels keep their towels so white and fluffy by controlling their washing water quality. Water with neutral ph levels may make miracles on your laundry.

The washing water is treated with neutral Ph-level detergents or things like baking soda or vinegar. Hard water that contains minerals or alkaline water with too much lime surely affects your laundry.

Further Reading

Why are Turkish Towels Unique? 14 Things to Know

Choosing the Right Towel: Turkish vs Egyptian Towels

What is a Peshtemal? Why Should You Use Them?

17 Famous Turkish Fashion Brands That You Can Shop Online

7 Best Turkish Shopping Websites to Buy Watches

10 Fantastic Turkish Accessories Online Shopping Websites

Efe Genit

I am a father, a passionate traveler, and a Turkish lawyer. You can enjoy my guides and tips about Turkey that only Turkish locals would know.

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