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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Feeling under the weather this week, I've been keeping up with my ever-growing mound of laundry, which sent my fever racing even higher. Speaking of sick, what I'm about to say is a little shocking…1.) I paid $25/each for the hand towels pictured above (what can I say, I'm a sucker for nice towels and sheets) AND 2.) both of these are the same color, same brand, same pattern and purchased at the same time. The one on the right, however, was treated by a different set of hands in our home and the results are quite obvious (I think). Before I toss someone under the bus (and if he ruins one more expensive towel, I might just do that) allow me to explain my crazy, year-long test. A few years ago we entertained a house-full during the holidays, and in preparation I went a little nuts by purchasing new towels and sheets. While the towels survived two weeks with less-than-gentle visitors, it was our hands that took them from lovely to dust rag in less than four months. The following year I bought a new batch from the same store (after explaining to customer service what had happened, they directed me to a…WAIT FOR IT…TUTORIAL ON HOW TO WASH TOWELS. yes, my friends, there is such a thing!) After labeling shelves in our linen closet (THESE ARE NOT DOG OR KITCHEN TOWELS) I still noticed the same result, so decided to test the laundry waters myself. The fluffy, color-filled, soft towel on the left NEVER saw fabric softener, was always washed with like-colors in cold water and dried in cooler temperatures. The towel on the right, however, while also washed with like-colors, was dried at higher temperatures and with fabric softener. The take-away? Hot water will take dye away quicker and hot drying cycles, combined with harsh chemicals in fabric softeners, will only speed that process. The results above are from ONE year in our home used as guest towels (and we didn't entertain that much). My advice, as you roll your eyes and think I'm nuts for many reasons, PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT or buy cheaper things and plan on replacing them over and over again!
(some houses that do NOT have water softeners or use wells rather than cleaner water will also have discoloration in fabrics)