Few things feel more luxurious than wrapping up in a soft, fluffy towel after a shower or bath. Hotel towels seem to be on another level when it comes to plush feel and superior absorbency. Ever wonder how hotels get their towels so soft and what makes them different than your towels at home?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Hotels use high-quality cotton, strong detergents, fabric softeners, and commercial dryers/presses to maximize softness in their towels. Washing them frequently also keeps them fluffy.

In this article, we will reveal all the insider secrets hotels use to make their towels irresistibly soft. We’ll look at the materials, washing methods, dryers, fabric softeners, and finishing techniques used by hotel laundry facilities so you can recreate that luxurious softness at home.

Start with High Quality Materials

When it comes to making hotel towels soft, one of the most important factors is starting with high quality materials. The type of cotton used plays a significant role in determining the softness and durability of the towels.

Egyptian or Turkish Cotton

Two popular options for hotel towels are Egyptian and Turkish cotton. Both types are known for their superior quality and softness. Egyptian cotton is made from the long fibers of the Egyptian cotton plant, which results in highly absorbent and luxurious towels.

Turkish cotton, on the other hand, is also renowned for its long fibers and excellent absorbency.

These types of cotton are often used in high-end hotels because they provide a soft and plush feel that guests love. The long fibers in Egyptian and Turkish cotton create a stronger and more durable towel that retains its softness even after multiple washes.

Ring Spun Cotton

Another option to consider is towels made from ring spun cotton. This type of cotton is created by twisting and thinning the cotton strands to make them stronger and softer. The process of ring spinning produces towels that are more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Ring spun cotton towels are also known for their ability to absorb moisture quickly. This makes them a great choice for hotels where guests expect high-quality towels that are both soft and absorbent.

High Thread Count

The thread count is another important factor to consider when looking for soft hotel towels. A higher thread count generally indicates a higher quality towel. A thread count of around 300 to 400 is considered to be a good range for hotel towels.

Towels with a higher thread count tend to be softer and more luxurious due to the increased number of threads per square inch. The additional threads create a denser and more plush towel that feels incredibly soft against the skin.

It’s worth noting that a high thread count alone does not guarantee softness. The quality of the cotton used is still crucial in determining the overall softness and durability of the towels.

By starting with high-quality materials such as Egyptian or Turkish cotton, opting for ring spun cotton, and considering a higher thread count, hotels can ensure that their towels are not only soft but also long-lasting.

Investing in these quality materials sets the foundation for a positive guest experience and helps hotels maintain their reputation for providing exceptional comfort and luxury.

Wash with Strong Detergents

When it comes to making hotel towels soft, using strong detergents is key. These detergents are specially formulated to remove dirt, stains, and oils from the towels while also maintaining their softness.

There are several types of strong detergents that can be used to wash hotel towels, including surfactants, bleach, and enzymes.


Surfactants are compounds that help to break down dirt and oils on the surface of the towels. They work by lowering the surface tension of the water, allowing it to penetrate the fibers of the towels more effectively.

This helps to remove any build-up that may be causing the towels to feel rough or stiff. Popular surfactants used in laundry detergents include sodium lauryl sulfate and alkylbenzene sulfonates.


Bleach is another powerful ingredient that can help make hotel towels soft. It is effective at removing stains, brightening whites, and eliminating any bacteria or odors that may be present in the towels. Chlorine bleach, in particular, is known for its ability to whiten and disinfect fabrics.

However, it should be used with caution, as it can weaken the fibers of the towels if used in excessive amounts.


Enzymes are natural substances that can break down proteins, starches, and fats found in stains. By using detergents that contain enzymes, hotel towels can be thoroughly cleaned and softened. Protease enzymes, for example, are effective at removing protein-based stains like blood or sweat.

Amylase enzymes can break down starches, while lipase enzymes can tackle oily stains. By combining different types of enzymes in the detergent, a more comprehensive cleaning and softening effect can be achieved.

It is important to note that while using strong detergents can help soften hotel towels, it is equally important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not overload the washing machine. Overloading the machine can prevent the towels from being properly cleaned and may even cause damage to the fabric.

Additionally, using fabric softeners or dryer sheets can also contribute to softening the towels, but these products should be used sparingly as they can leave a residue on the fabric over time.

For more information on how to make hotel towels soft, you can visit the following websites:

Soften in Industrial Dryers

One of the secrets to making hotel towels soft lies in the use of industrial dryers. These powerful machines are designed to handle large loads of laundry, including towels, and utilize various techniques to achieve optimal softness. Here are some key factors that contribute to the softening process:

High Heat

Industrial dryers are capable of generating high heat, which helps to break down the fibers in the towels and make them softer. The combination of heat and tumbling action helps to remove the stiffness and roughness that can be present in freshly washed towels.

However, it’s important to note that excessive heat can also damage the towels, so it’s crucial to find the right balance. The temperature settings used in industrial dryers are carefully calibrated to ensure that the towels are softened without being subjected to excessive heat.

Large Capacity

Another advantage of using industrial dryers is their large capacity. These machines can accommodate a significant amount of towels in a single load, allowing for efficient and consistent softening. The larger drying capacity reduces the need for multiple drying cycles, which can help to minimize wear and tear on the towels.

Additionally, the ample space in the dryer allows the towels to move freely, preventing them from getting tangled and ensuring even drying.

Auto Dry Cycles

Industrial dryers often come equipped with auto dry cycles, which utilize advanced sensors to determine the optimal drying time for different types of fabric. This feature helps to prevent over-drying or under-drying, both of which can affect the softness of the towels.

By automatically adjusting the drying time based on the moisture content of the towels, these dryers ensure that the towels are thoroughly dried without being subjected to excessive heat. This gentle drying process helps to maintain the natural softness of the towels.

Use Fabric Softeners

One of the secrets to making hotel towels soft is using fabric softeners. Fabric softeners are specially formulated products that help to reduce stiffness in fabrics and make them feel smoother and more comfortable against the skin.

There are two main types of fabric softeners that can be used to achieve soft hotel towels: liquid softeners and dryer sheets.

Liquid Softeners

Liquid fabric softeners are a popular choice for many hotel establishments. They can be added to the washing machine during the rinse cycle, where they work to coat the fibers of the towels and make them softer.

Liquid softeners also help to reduce static cling and make the towels smell fresh and clean.

When using liquid fabric softeners, it’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging. Typically, a small amount is required per load of laundry. Using too much can leave a residue on the towels, which can make them less absorbent.

It’s also worth noting that some people with sensitive skin may have reactions to certain fabric softeners, so it’s important to choose a product that is hypoallergenic if necessary.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are another option for achieving soft hotel towels. These sheets are added to the dryer during the drying cycle and work by releasing a coating onto the towels as they tumble. This coating helps to reduce friction between the fibers, resulting in softer and fluffier towels.

Using dryer sheets is simple. Just add one sheet to the dryer along with the towels and let the machine do the rest. The heat from the dryer activates the softening agents in the sheet, which then transfer to the towels.

It’s important to note that not all fabric softeners are created equal. Some may be more effective than others at softening towels, so it may be worth experimenting with different brands to find the one that works best for you.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and recommendations from trusted sources, such as Consumer Reports, to learn about the experiences of others with different fabric softeners.

Finish with Presses

When it comes to making hotel towels soft, a crucial step is the finishing process. This is where presses come into play, as they help to smooth out any wrinkles and give the towels a luxurious look and feel. There are two main types of presses that hotels use: steam irons and laundry presses.

Steam Irons

Steam irons are a popular choice for finishing hotel towels. These irons use steam to penetrate the fabric, helping to release any wrinkles and create a smooth finish. They are typically used in combination with a pressing board, which provides a flat surface for the towels to be pressed against.

The steam from the iron helps to relax the fibers in the towel, making it softer and more comfortable to use.

Laundry Presses

Laundry presses are another option for finishing hotel towels. These machines use both heat and pressure to smooth out wrinkles and create a crisp finish. The towels are placed between heated plates and pressed together, resulting in a smooth and soft texture.

Laundry presses are often used in larger hotel laundry facilities, where there is a higher volume of towels to be finished.

Both steam irons and laundry presses are effective in making hotel towels soft, but the choice of which one to use depends on the specific needs and resources of the hotel. Some hotels may opt for steam irons due to their versatility and ease of use, while others may prefer laundry presses for their efficiency and ability to handle larger quantities of towels.

It’s important to note that the finishing process is just one part of the equation when it comes to making hotel towels soft. The quality of the towels themselves, as well as the laundering process, also play a significant role.

Hotels often invest in high-quality towels made from soft and absorbent materials, and they follow specific laundering techniques to maintain their softness. Additionally, using fabric softeners and dryer sheets can further enhance the softness of hotel towels.

For more information on the best practices for making hotel towels soft, you can visit reputable sources such as hotelmanagement.net or hotelbusiness.com.


Hotels invest in quality materials, powerful cleaning processes, and professional finishing equipment to make their towels unbelievably soft and absorbent. Follow their lead by looking for high thread count cotton, washing with strong detergents, softening fibers in a high-heat dryer, and pressing with steam irons or commercial laundry presses.

With the right techniques, you can enjoy super soft, luxurious towels in your own home.

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