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Eco-Friendly Bath Towels: Bamboo, Hemp, and Cotton

Updated on April 28, 2013
Natural fiber bath towels are kind to your skin and the environment.
Natural fiber bath towels are kind to your skin and the environment. | Source

Greening Your Bathroom

In these modern times of green living, environmental concerns matter. You want to make the right choices at home, and that includes the bathroom.

You probably use natural hair care products, and you lather your skin with biodegradable soap. Your bathroom cabinets are free of harsh cleansers, toxic air fresheners, and other chemical-laden products, and you recycle the empty bottles.

You've switched to low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and water-saving fixtures. Maybe you've remodeled the bathroom with recycled materials. Are you also going green with your bath linens?

The bathroom is your home's center for relaxation and rejuvenation, and bath towels are the foundation of a spa-like experience at home. Few things are better than stepping out of a hot shower or bathtub and wrapping your body in a warm, fluffy towel. What luxury!

Can thick, luxurious bath towels be eco-friendly, too? Certainly. Just look for towels made from natural fiber materials like bamboo, hemp, and cotton.

Green your bathroom with eco-friendly towels.
Green your bathroom with eco-friendly towels. | Source

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

-- Sylvia Plath

Eco-Friendly Bath Towels

The natural fibers in eco-friendly towels are grown with fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides than regular cotton towels. They are manufactured without harmful chemicals, often in wind-powered plants.

The makers of organic towels use natural dyes and fabric softeners that are less toxic to the environment than synthetic materials. And many organic towels are anti-microbial, non-allergenic, and kind to sensitive skin.

Are you ready to green your bathroom with earth-friendly bath towels? Here are a few suggestions.

Bamboo Bath Towels

Bamboo bath towels are great for an eco-friendly bathroom. They are stylish, elegant, plush, and soft. Best of all, bamboo towels get better with each wash.

Many bamboo towels are made from a blend of combed cotton and natural bamboo fibers. They are amazingly soft, yet very absorbent due to bamboo's natural wicking properties. The anti-microbial qualities are beneficial, too.

Most care labels advise machine washing bamboo towels in cool water on a gentle cycle. Mild soap will clean the towels, and they should be dried on a low heat dryer setting. Chlorine bleach and fabric softeners are not recommended for bamboo towels.

Hemp Bath Towels

Hemp bath towels are thick, durable, and absorbent. Made from raw material blends like organic hemp, natural cotton, and flax linen, these towels are heftier than their bamboo and cotton counterparts.

Most hemp towels are terry pile towels, and their exfoliating abilities make them ideal as massage towels. In contrast to the pampering qualities of other towels, hemp towels invigorate tired skin.

Thick, absorbent hemp fibers are great for soaking up moisture. Hemp towels soften over time, and they usually outlast other natural fiber towels.

Cotton Bath Towels

Organic cotton towels are plush, beautiful, and friendly to the environment. They get their luxurious feel from soft, combed cotton.

Natural cotton towels are often woven into attractive designs like stripes, ribs, and jacquard patterns. Low-impact vegetable dyes provide a beautiful color palette, too.

Every part of organic cotton towels are earth-friendly. Even their care labels and hang tags are made from recycled materials.

Because they tend to shrink over time, organic cotton towels are made in generous sizes. Although they shrink a bit during washing, they get softer along the way.

Greening Your Bathroom: Eco-Friendly Bathroom Ideas

Reference Sources / Further Reading

Copyright © 2011. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.

Published: June 6, 2011 / Modified: April 14, 2013.

Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo towels are a good way to green your bathroom.
Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo towels are a good way to green your bathroom. | Source

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    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      It's good to hear from you, Becca's Blog. I like to bleach my towels, too.

    • Becca's Blog profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 

      5 years ago from A Cornfied in the Midwest

      I want to use white towels so I can bleach them. It does shorten their life ,even cotten one's but I kind of feel it is just more sanitary to bleach you towels at least once in a while.

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, kikalina. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • kikalina profile image


      6 years ago from Europe

      Very interesting hub!

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Welcome back, Audrey! I'm so glad you stopped by for another visit. I appreciate the shares.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is my second visit to this excellent hub on eco-friendly towels. I really like this information and will share it with others. Thanks.

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hello, Nayr747. Thank you for reading my article and sharing your comments. I appreciate the additional information about bamboo textiles, and I'm sure my readers will too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Just want to correct some info in your article about "bamboo" textiles. Almost all fabrics that claim they are "natural bamboo" are in reality simply rayon. All rayon starts out with natural cellulose fibers like wood pulp, or in this context, bamboo. But the same environmentally damaging chemical process is used to turn it from a natural into semi-synthetic, artificial fiber. And the same material properties result no matter which beginning fiber materials are used. So none of bamboo's unique qualities like the anti-microbial nature of the plant are transferred into the rayon products. For this reason, the FCC recently fined the largest producers of these products for misleading customers, and required them to label their products differently to avoid any confusion. Organic hemp/cotton blends are a much more environmentally responsible choice.

    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      7 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, vocalcoach!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Certainly enjoyed this hub on Eco Friendly Bath Towels. I am as green as green can be and support this way of living. I love all of the above towels and only purchase these types. Thanks for a great hub! Voted UP.


    • Annette R. Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette R. Smith 

      7 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      @Hyphenbird, I'm also using some fluffy cotton bath towels that I received as a gift. But I want these eco-friendly towels the next time I go shopping. Thanks for your comment!

      @lilibees, I want a set of bamboo towels, too! Thanks for stopping by. By the way, I'm now following your hubs, too.

    • lilibees profile image


      7 years ago

      I personally have a set of bamboo towels and I absolutly love them!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I would love to have these. However we have about 50 great quality white towels that we a gift. It seems a waste to dispose of them just to purchase eco-friendly. So alas, I must wait until these 50 are used up. Great Hub though.


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