Freshly washed, clean and fluffy towels are a joy to use. After a few washes with standard detergent, towels become stiff and cardboard-like. Using fabric softener makes your towels feel soft once again, but it also coats the fibers of the towel with residue, making the towels less effective at drying your body. Use these simple tips to keep your towels feeling fresh, clean and soft.

To keep your towels looking and feeling like new, wash them regularly, and use only the recommended amount of detergent. Adding more detergent to your wash cycle is a waste of money and does not make your laundry cleaner.

If you have the space and the time, air dry your towels instead of putting them in the tumble dryer. The extreme heat of the tumble dryer flattens the fibers on your towels, contributing to the stiff, cardboard-like feel. If you must use a tumble drier, add a laundry ball or a clean tennis ball to the dryer with the towels. The ball helps to fluff the towel, making it feel nicer.

Instead of using fabric softener in your washing machine, store your towels in a drawer with a small bag of potpourri. Lightly shake each towel before folding it and putting it in the drawer. The shaking helps to fluff the fabric, and the potpourri gives the towels a nice fresh smell without leaving any waxy residue on the towel's fibers.

There is no need to wash your towels after every use unless you have a skin condition or you have a job that gets you very dirty every day. Washing your towels a couple of times a week saves water and prolongs the life of the towel, keeping it light and fluffy for longer.