Why don't new towels work?

We got new towels. They didn’t work. We just keep rubbing, but we stay wet.

Finally we washed them.

Now they work fine.
Why don’t new towels work until you wash them?

Those towels probably had some kind of sizing or other additive applied at the factory to keep the cloth from wrinkling. When you take the towel home and wash it, the additive is rinsed away and you’re left with a soft, absorbent towel. Incidentally, don’t use a lot of fabric softener when you wash your towels, this will cut down on the absorbency of the towels. I like to add some white vinegar to the rinse water, as this ensures that everything is rinsed away. The smell of the vinegar disappears after awhile.
Boy, I got to be the first one to answer a question from Scylla, the funniest guy in the SDMB universe!

Huh. I wondered the same thing. MamaArmadillo gave us a bag of ten new towels as a housewarming sort of gift. We started using them, and couldn’t get ourselves dry. And here we thought she’d just given us crappy towels…

Yep, it’s a sizing in the form of cornstarch. Makes the otherwise soft, fluffy and hard-to-work-with cotton terry stiffer and more substantial for the automatic weaving machines.

Did you really rub straight from the store, god only knows where they’ve been and who handled them towels over your squeaky clean naked bodies?

Honestly, wash EVERYTHING before you use or wear it AND shower thoroughly after you try on clothes.

My mother worked in the stock room at a clothing store for a short time. She said that by the end of her shift, after handling mass quantities of clothing, her hands were coated with a strange-feeling chemical.

My mother’s a little, uhm, concerned about the consequences that contact with chemicals can do to one’s health. (She went out and bought me a new set of stainless steel cookwear when she found out that I was using Teflon. She grows her own vegetables, and cleans with vinegar water instead of 409.) She made me swear I would never wear new clothes without washing them first.

I just recently read in Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping that the average towel in the store has been fondled by eight customers prior to purchase. (Yeah, they actually watched and counted. Fascinating book, by the way.)

I’m allergic to sizing. I don’t know if that’s cornstarch that I’m allergic to, because I can eat it, but I can’t try on new clothes for too long without developing a rash, same with towels, sheets (sheets are really bad) and the worst: underwear.

New clothes should be washed before wear. As should towels, sheets, and produce.

Fondled? I didn’t know there were so many terri-fetishists out there!


Oh, yeah, that’s right, you naughty, naughty percale. Virgin cotton? Not after I get through with you.

Hint from Heloise: Dry-clean the Kleenex.

Kleenex? Kleenex!

NO, no, no, no, no.



Preferably Egyptian

At least 200 count