Why it’s a problem: Too much detergent can actually stiffen towels. Plus, it’s not necessary. “Towels already absorb residual soap from our bodies, and because they’re used to dry clean skin, they don’t contain that much dirt,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, certified house cleaning technician and author of Cleaning Plain & Simple.
Solution: Use half the detergent you would need for a normal wash, or skip it “every couple of washes and just use vinegar,” says Carolyn Childers, chief home officer of Handy, a website that connects you with house cleaners and handymen in your area. “If you must use extra detergent for very soiled towels, make sure to change the washer settings, so it’ll have an extra long rinse cycle.”