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How to Wash, Dry and Care for Bathrobes

woman in ochre linen bathrobe
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Parachute Team
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From bedding to towels to clothing, the fabrics that touch your skin regularly should be not only soft and breathable but also hygienic. Whether you were recently gifted a robe or want to preserve a beloved bathrobe you've had for years, you've come to the right place.

Ahead, find guidance on how to care for a bathrobe, including:

  • How often to wash a bathrobe

  • How to wash a robe

  • How to dry a robe

And ultimately, how to help your cozy after-bath garment last as long as possible.

How Often Should You Wash a Bathrobe?

Bathrobes are kind of like towels in that they usually don't need to be washed after each use. But while you might use a towel every day after showering, not everyone wears their robe daily. A good rule of thumb is to launder yours every three or four times you wear it.

However, how often you need to wash your bathrobe depends on how long you wear it and whether you wear anything underneath. For instance, you might wear your bathrobe over pajamas for a half-hour every morning while drinking coffee, in which case it might not need to be cleaned as often. On the other hand, you may wear it longer or without pajamas underneath.

In any case, if you spill something on your robe, wear it outdoors or wear it while under the weather, you'll want to wash it before putting it on again.

How to Wash a Bathrobe: Step-By-Step Instructions

The proper way to clean a bathrobe depends on the specific fabric, but these step-by-step instructions on how to wash a robe will work in most cases.

  1. First, add about a quarter-cup of mild (preferably natural) laundry detergent to your empty washer.

  2. Select a delicate cycle with cold or warm/cold water temperature and a medium spin speed.

  3. Remove the sash of the bathrobe to prevent twisting and knotting. You can toss it loosely in with the robe, but if you have a delicates bag, that's even better.

  4. Include items of similar colors and fabrics in the load, like sheets, towels or pajamas.

  5. If your washer allows it, start the cycle before putting any fabrics inside to give the soap a chance to dissolve completely. If not, place everything in at once with the detergent at the bottom, then start the cycle.

Why Use a Natural Laundry Detergent? Read our blog to find out.

How to Wash a Robe: Best Practices

Consider these expert tips on how to wash a bathrobe.

  • Natural laundry soap is ideal, as it tends to be gentle while still thoroughly cleaning fabrics. Additionally, too much detergent can make fabrics stiff, especially the concentrated variety. About a quarter-cup will do.

  • Bleach and optical brighteners aren't recommended, but OxiClean can be a great option for spot-cleaning and stain removal.

  • On a similar note, traditional fabric softeners can irritate the skin, which you definitely want to avoid when cleaning something that covers a large portion of your body. Wool dryer balls are a suitable alternative — more on this below.

  • As with your other loads of laundry, it's best to separate your fabrics by color to prevent discoloration. For instance, if your bathrobe is white, washing it with charcoal towels could leave it with a grey tinge.

  • Try not to overload your washer, especially if you're washing your bathrobe with towels, as absorbent materials need plenty of space in the drum. About half or three-quarters full is ideal.

See our guide on How to Wash and Properly Care for Towels for tips on laundering bath linens.

How to Dry a Bathrobe

If you slip into your bathrobe while still damp from the shower, you can typically hang it up in your bathroom to dry, just like you would a towel. But after laundering it in the washing machine, you'll want to tumble-dry your robe in the dryer on low heat.

Hanging it up to air-dry also works. However, this technique may not be ideal with heavy, ultra-absorbent materials like terry cloth, as they take much longer to dry after being completely saturated and won't get as fluffy. You might consider a combination method: tumble-dry your robe for 20 minutes, then air-dry it the rest of the way.

Speaking of fluffy fabrics, dryer balls are an eco-friendly, multi-beneficial alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Here's Everything You Need to Know About Wool Dryer Balls.

Special Care Instructions for Plush Cotton Robes

As noted, the proper way to care for your robe depends on the material. With classic plush Turkish cotton, you'll want to keep its weight and absorbency in mind and avoid overloading your washer with towels or other bulky fabrics.

For best results, machine-wash your bathrobe on a cold cycle using a mild liquid detergent. Then tumble-dry it on low heat, tossing in a few wool dryer balls to fluff it back up.

For everything you need to know about this popular type of cotton, explore the guide, What is Turkish Cotton?

Special Care Instructions for Waffle Robes

Though the material is substantially lighter than plush Turkish cotton, you can follow the same general instructions to wash a waffle robe. Select a normal or delicate cycle with cold water and mild laundry soap, then tumble-dry your bathrobe on low heat with wool dryer balls.

Interested in learning more about this ultra-cozy fabric? Explore the Waffle Weave Fabric Guide.

Special Care Instructions for Cloud Cotton Robes

Wondering how to wash a robe made of cloud cotton? This lightweight, gauzy textile might seem delicate, but since it's woven from premium Turkish cotton with four-ply fabrication, it's actually surprisingly strong.

With that said, there aren't really any special care instructions for this type of bathrobe beyond washing it on a cold cycle using mild detergent. For best results, tumble-dry it on low heat with — you guessed it — a few wool dryer balls.

Special Care Instructions for Linen Robes

Knowing how to wash a linen robe is slightly different from understanding how to wash a cotton robe. Select a delicate cycle on your washing machine and choose warm water instead of cold. Linen is among the most (if not the most) durable fabrics, and it can withstand a little more heat (though hot water isn't recommended).

You can tumble-dry your bathrobe on low heat. Dryer balls can help reduce creases, but air-drying might be your best defense against wrinkles. Since linen is relatively lightweight, it dries much quicker than plush terry cloth.

See our Linen Care Guide for more detailed washing and drying instructions.

Special Care Instructions for Organic Cotton Robes

For a jersey-knit organic cotton robe, choose a delicate wash cycle and set the water to warm/cold. Then tumble-dry your bathrobe on low heat or lay it flat to air-dry.

Find more tips in our guide on How to Wash, Dry and Care for Organic Cotton.

When to Replace Your Bathrobe

Now that you know how to wash a bathrobe, you might be wondering how to know when yours is on its last leg. If you slip into a robe daily, you'll probably get about two years out of it. But if you only wear it on weekend mornings, for instance, it might last you several years.

Does your robe have holes, tears or frays? Does it feel thinner or less absorbent than it used to? Does it have permanent stains or a funky smell even fresh out of the wash? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it's probably time to spring for a new one.

When you're ready to upgrade, you'll find lots of choice options at Parachute. We're talking light and fluffy cloud cotton, classic plush Turkish cotton, easy-breezy linen, textured waffle weave and jersey-knit organic cotton.

Browse the bathrobe collection and see what stands out, or take our Robe Quiz to discover the right fabric for your taste and lifestyle.

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