Monday, December 12, 2011

No More Stinky Towels

Having guests for the holidays? Want to give your linens a refresh without having to buy new ones? (White sales don't start until January.) Here are a few tips:

Wash towels on hot. Though cold water saves energy--I just learned that 90% of the energy used to wash clothes is for heating water--hot kills any bacteria hanging out in the towels. This is particularly important if colds are circulating in the family.

Put vinegar in the bleach dispenser and at rinse time. Not only does vinegar remove buildup from soap or oils, it revives the fabric and make your towels fluffier. It should also take care of any sour smells, which are usually more of a problem in the summer. Don't use liquid fabric softener, which just layers the towels with a petroleum-based product that eventually builds up and can be a breeding ground for more bacteria. Plus, some folks will be irritated by fragrance. Which leads me to my next point.

Dry smart. Use wool dryer balls, a clean tennis shoe or clean tennis balls to keep the towels moving in the dryer, reducing drying time and further fluffing them. Be sure to find out if the time dry or the sensor dry is the most efficient setting on your dryer. If you have time, clean the dryer vent which leads from the back of your dryer to the outside of your house. Getting rid of built-up lint will definitely speed your drying time!

Do you have other tips for how to freshen your house for guests? I'd love to hear them!

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