Why Are My Towels Fraying? 

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Urg! What an ugly sight to behold. Towels looking strained, with the threads loosing, coupled with different tear here and there especially at the edges can be classified under one of the most irritating sights ever. 

Why do towels fray? Could it be that they are old and tired? or it has something to do with the detergent used? Now is the time to dig out the root cause(s). 

Fraying towels

Towels fraying can actually be linked to a lot of things but first, let’s start with the :

  • Storage
  • Drying cycle
  • Washing cycle


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The storage

You might want to revisit the way your towels are stored before and after laundry. Do you keep them piled up together with other materials while it awaits laundry?

The problem with this act is that the other materials kept together with the towels can snag on them thereby leaving lint behind. Removing lint constantly from towels makes them prone to fraying in the long run. 

Drying cycle

Do you check your dryer beforehand for lint and other debris or you just toss them right ahead to dry? Lint present in dryers can easily get stuck to your towels. Removing them on the other hand, causes your towel to thin out and most likely, shed out a few threads.

The washing cycle

Towels are delicate materials and as such, should be washed alone. The last thing you want happening is for other materials to tug at the soft threadings and forcefully pull them out.

What can I do to stop my towels from fraying? 

Now that we know the likely causes of fraying towels, the next step would be to pinpoint helpful tips in which we can put an end to it. 

To end the era of fraying towels, you need to be conscious of the way they are treated. They should be treated just like the premium products that they are. Find below, the right ways to care for your towel and prevent them from fraying:

Wash towels separately

Do not wash together with other materials as they snag on the towels causing them to thin out. 

Apply the same rule when drying

Just as you washed alone, see to it that they are placed to dry in the dryer alone But just before you put them in to dry, do a quick sweep around the dryer to be sure there are no traces of lint or any other form of debris. Once done with that, set the dryer to work on low or no heat. The essence of this, is to allow the air blow the lint out of the towels. 

Use a lint roller

Using a lint roller to roll out lint from towels is another effective way of getting the extra unwanted fluff out. Alternatively, you can spread them out on a table and trim off the threads sticking out. 

Coating finish

If your towels are fairly new yet fraying, it might be due to the coating finish acquired during the production phase. Try either freezing or soaking them in cold water for long hours, probably, overnight.The cold temperature helps stop them from fraying further.

Wash towel after use

Wash them afterwards using white vinegar, preferably a cup of it is the required measurement. Additional detergents or other kind of additives will not be necessary as the white vinegar can comfortably handle this task alone.

Emphasis is on white vinegar as any other type of vinegar would be useless in this particular course. Endeavor to have a repeat of this routine at least monthly to keep the towels compact. 

Baking soda can suffice if the white vinegar is unavailable

The trick, however, is to dissolve the baking soda in hot water and be sure it melts completely before adding to the water. For the measurement aspect, one and the half cup of baking soda is just about the right quantity to use. 

Replace worn-out towels

More than half of the time, fraying towels can be a result of old and tired towels. There is a limit to the duration of use and the number of washes your towel can survive. Fraying in this instance is akin to accepting defeat and signalling you to get a replacement.

Seven practices that damage towels unknown to you. 

There are a lot of things that we innocently do with our towels that makes them to wear and tear quick. Read on to see which ones you are guilty of. 

You use excess detergent

I know it’s easy to think that the more detergent you use, the better chance of your towels getting squeaky clean but, that is totally untrue. 

Too much detergent is responsible for making towels rigid and less fluffy. Also pay attention to the right amount of detergent stated for you to use on the care tag. 

You leave them damp after use

Now, this is one laundry ‘don’ts’ that most people find themselves doing. Towels are made to soak up moisture but definitely not to remain like that. 

Air drying after each use, is recommended to make the towels unappealing to various microorganisms. 

You use bleach on them

Guilty as charged? Well, consider this as a warning to desist from using bleach on your towels while washing. Bleach is one of the causes of towel discoloration. It can however be used for white towels though occasionally, and in the stated quantity only. 

The towels are used to clean off your make up

A face wipe is better suited for this, don’t you think? Using your towels to clean off make up would see it get stained and discolored fast. 

You use Fabric softeners

This along with other kinds of additives are so not necessary for your towels. Fabric softeners tampers with the natural absorbing ability of your towels plus, the residue left behind causes your towel to develop a damp smell. 

You wipe all sorts of substances on them

It’s so easy to forget that you still have your towel on and subconsciously wipe off things like ink, toothoaste or grease on them. 

For something as important as towels, the rules of of its proper care must be pertinently followed to the letter to avoid it getting ruined unconsciously by us when it is still supposed to have a few more years of strength to serve us. 

When is it the time to get new towels? 

Personally, I feel like one can never have too many towels. The bath towels for instance can get so tiring to air dry after each use and wash weekly as well. Having a spare towel to use while allowing the washed one dry completely is a very much welcome idea. You should also note that your towels last longer when they are used interchangeably. 

Now, to the question above; you know your towels are due for replacement when they cease to absorb efficiently well especially after series of treatment procedures. 

Towels should also be replaced if they are overtaken with holes and fraying excessively. This condition is a direct message to you that your towels are old and worn out and should be replaced fast.


Can I use salt to stop my new towel from fraying? 

Salt does a good job as well in stopping your towels from fraying. Just like baking soda, ensure that the salt completely dissolves as well before adding to your wash water.

What to do about the fraying edges of my towel

This needs to be nipped in the bud quickly. Your towels fraying at the edges can lead to a more intensified shredding and cause it to thin out in no time. To remedy the situation, stitch round the edges firmly with a sewing machine.

For optimum results, do another round of stiching on top or beneath the first one. As for threads sticking out of the towel, clip out with a scissors and make them even again. 

Do I need to bother about my cleaning towels fraying? 

For cleaning purposes around the house, the absorbing quality of towels is likely to be the primary thing you would need out of them. This can not be underestimated as it enables you clean up spills faster. 

For your cleaning purposes, fraying towels should be of utmost concern to you. They impact negatively on the speed and effectiveness of your work. 

The more they fray, the more they thin out and the more lint they leave behind as they clean. Therefore, for every towel performing any function at all, proper care of them must be enforced to guarantee good results.

Why Are My Towels Fraying – Conclusion

Isn’t it sad that a towel with the potential of lasting 5 – 10 years ends up fraying drastically after a few months or even weeks of usage? 

Changing them might not be a problem but,you really cannot continue to keep doing the same things and getting the same undesirable result.

It’s time to wake up to a new way of treating your towels,  be open to proven ways and strategies of caring for them and rightly storing them too. 

You just might be the reason behind your towels fraying. Acquainting yourself with the possible reason(s) why towels do fray and imbibing the ways in which we can stop it is one sure way of getting 5-10 years of productive service out of them.

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