According to the Queen of Home, Martha Stewart, to get rid of that buildup and to help colourful towels maintain their hue, add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle during the initial wash.
Her professional trick is to skip fabric softeners and dryer sheets on bath towels in general.
What detergent to use on towels?
One of Australia's best-known towel specialists, Sheridan, agrees with Ms Stewart.
They recommend avoiding silicone-based fabric softeners and conditioners as these will repel water and will reduce the absorbency of fluffy towels.
To protect the fibres, they say to use a gentle eucalyptus-based washing detergent for superior colour retention, so they look beautiful and softer for longer.
How often should towels be washed?
How often you clean your towels is a personal preference, but under normal circumstances, a towel can be used three or four times (not days) before it needs to be washed.
Sheridan recommends the occasional deep wash on a warm to hot cycle in the front loader to remove any bacteria, oils and smells at 40 – 60 degrees.
When doing a towel load of washing, don't overcrowd the machine so they have plenty of water around them to soak and wash.
How to dry towels?
After taking out your towels from the washing machine, give them a shake to open up their fibres and stick them in the tumble dryer on medium heat. This will give them that lovely and soft feeling, just like the towels you get at a hotel.
But line drying your towels in the shade is ideal for energy saving, while tumble drying your towels for a few minutes when they are almost dry off the line will help with that softness.
However, Ms Stewert believes that line drying your towels makes the fibers very stiff and scratchy, like sandpaper.
Ensure that towels are completely dry before folding them and placing them in your linen cupboard so as to avoid any bacterial growth and musty smells.
Trick: Toss in a tennis ball or dryer ball in the tumble dryer which will help speed up drying.
How long should one expect towels to last in good condition?
Some say 5 to 10 years, others say no more than two years if you want completely absorbent, soft towels. Only you can tell when your towels need to be replaced.
A good trick when investing in new towels is to always opt for lighter colours. Lighter towels have less dye than darker towels, which helps them to stay fluffy and absorbent for a longer time. Plus lighter colours are less likely to fade, so look newer.
Also, always follow care instructions to make your towels last longer.
Avoid decorative edges
Not all fabrics are made the same and that should be kept in mind while washing towels. Many high-quality towels feature decorative trims to add a soft design element amid the hard, shiny surfaces of the bathroom. If possible, use towels with specialty trims as accents only, so you can limit their laundering and reduce the wear on ribbon, rickrack, lace, or other decorative elements.