Does your towel feel stiff after a single wash? Or do you ever notice how stiff your towels feel after they’ve been hanging in the bathroom for a few days?

Chances are, that’s because your home has hard water. Hard water is filled with minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can leave your towels feeling dry and coarse.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to soften your water and make your towels feel softer again.

Read on to find out more!

So does hard water make towels stiff? The answer is yes, for starters. Washing your towels with hard water makes them feel dry, coarse, and stiff. The good news is there are a few things you can do to soften your hard water.

There are a few different ways that you can soften your water and make your towels feel softer again. And while it doesn’t solve the problem of hard water in the long term, making your towels fluffy and softer is a great place to start.


The easiest way to soften your towels with your washing machine is by adding distilled white vinegar. You can do this by pouring it into the fabric softener compartment or into the regular detergent compartment (if you don’t have one).


You should also make sure you’re using the right amount of detergent. Using too little will make your towels stiffer, while using too much might prevent them from getting clean.

Using less detergent will make them feel softer when they dry off after their first wash, but they’ll quickly become stiff again over time. How often you need to wash towels depends on how often you use them, but a quick rule of thumb is to wash them about once a week.

Baking soda

Another way you can soften your towels is by adding baking soda directly into the wash cycle. Just like vinegar, this will help remove some of the minerals that cause stiffness in the fabric and will make your towels feel nice and soft again.

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Whether you use vinegar or baking soda, make sure to avoid using too much. A few teaspoons should be enough to get the job done without having any sort of negative effect on your towels.

Distilled water

If you want to avoid using harsh chemicals on your laundry altogether, there’s always the option of using distilled water in place of regular tap water when doing your laundry.

Distilled water isn’t filled with minerals that can leave towels feeling dry and stiff, so it’ll do the job just fine.

Water softener system

At the end of the day, your best bet for softening your towels is to buy a water softener system. It’s not an expensive solution and you won’t have to keep adding chemicals to every load of laundry that you do.

Does hard water make towels stiff? The answer is yes, for starters. But you could add vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle, use distilled water in place of regular tap water when doing your laundry, or get a water softener system installed in your home. These solutions will help you soften your towels and make them feel soft and fluffy again.

How does hard water affect washing clothes?

Nobody likes doing laundry, but it’s a necessary chore. Unfortunately, hard water can make the process more difficult and time-consuming.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think too much about the water that comes out of your faucet. You turn it on, wet your hands, and go on with your day.

If you have hard water, there are some things you should know about how it affects washing clothes.

You will probably have to increase the amount of detergent you use, as hard water makes it less effective. And as a result, you might see some white residue left behind on your clothes over time

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If you have hard water, you can use distilled water instead. You will still need to use the same amount of detergents with distilled water as you would with regular tap water, but it won’t leave any residue on your clothes.

You also might notice that your clothes take longer to dry. If you have hard water, the minerals are left behind to make them more absorptive and will prevent them from drying as quickly as they otherwise would.

Does hard water affect dishwashers?

If you use your dishwasher for doing dishes, then there’s a good chance that you might’ve noticed that your glasses are a little cloudy. Hard water affects dishwashers in a similar manner to washing clothes

It can leave a white residue on glasses and dishes, which reduces their clarity and makes them look duller than they should be The good news is that these effects can be minimized by using a water softener system.

You will still need to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, as hard water can leave some minerals on the surface of the items

How does hard water affect shower heads?

If you have a filter installed on your shower head, then you probably won’t have to worry too much about how hard water affects it

But if you don’t have a filter on your showerhead, hard water can cause calcium buildup and will eventually clog the fine mesh of the filter.

This reduces its ability to do its job properly and keep your shower free from unpleasant smells and chemical residue.

It’s a good idea to get a filter installed for your shower head if you don’t want to buy one separately and install it yourself. This way the problem will be dealt with before it even has a chance to start and can keep your water supply free from damage in the long run.

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How does hard water affect your laundry?

Hard water generally contains high mineral content, which can lead to clothes feeling stiff and dry after being washed. This is especially true for fabrics that are sensitive to these kinds of minerals, like towels and linen.

This is because harder water makes soap less effective.

Soap molecules are tiny particles that float in the water and scrub away dirt, oil, bacteria, and other things you don’t want on your skin or clothes

Water softeners make this process much more effective by adding an ionic charge to the soap molecules. This allows them to drag the particles that are causing the dirt into the water, where they can be washed away

So if you have hard water and you want to make your towels soft again, try using distilled water in place of regular tap water. You’ll still need to use enough soap or detergent for the job, but it will help make the process more effective and reduce the amount of residue on your towels.

Final Thoughts

It’s not typical for people to think about what kind of water comes out of their faucet, but if you have hard water then this can pose a problem. Fortunately, most of the issues are easy to solve by using distilled water instead.

This way you don’t have to do any extra work just to have clean clothes, dishes, and other things. But if you want to keep your water supply free from damage, it’s a good idea to install a filter for your showerhead or to get a filter installed on your washing machine.

This way you can enjoy all the benefits of hard water without having to put up with any negatives.

About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.