How To Care For Your Bamboo Viscose Bath Linen

bamboo bath towels hanging on a wall

You’ve invested in luxurious, viscose-from-bamboo bath linens because they’re stronger, softer, and more absorbent than conventional cotton towels. But how do you keep them that way and get the longest-possible use from them? The secret is to read up on bamboo viscose care instructions and follow the tried-and-true best practices.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to care for bamboo viscose bath linens and looking after them well is not much different than the care routine for any other kind of towel. Continue reading for detailed instructions on how to care for bamboo viscose bath towels and enjoy a great return on your investment.

Consumer Disclaimer: Cariloha Bamboo™ fabrics are made of viscose from bamboo.

About Bamboo Viscose Linens

Bamboo viscose linen is made by separating the leaves of bamboo grass into small threads, which are spun together for knitting or weaving. Those in the know appreciate that bamboo viscose is a natural and eco-friendly choice of linen, as it doesn’t require a lot of water or pesticides to grow, and the plant even cleans the air as it matures.

Bamboo viscose has become a popular choice of material for bath linens because of its antibacterial properties, absorbency, breathability, and ultra softness — all which make it great for sensitive skin. It resists wrinkling and is also biodegradable.

Bath linens, clothing, bedding, and pillows made of bamboo viscose can all be thrown in the washing machine, just like every other item of clothing you have. They usually come pre-washed, so you don't typically need to worry about shrinkage. The rule of thumb when it comes to care is that the gentler you are with your bamboo viscose bath linens, the longer they will last. This means using cool temperatures in the washer and dryer or laying them out to dry. We’ll get into specifics below.

stack of gray bamboo bath towel on  a stool

How to Wash Bamboo Viscose Towels and Bath Linens


If you have a bamboo viscose bath linen with stains that require pre-treatment, steer clear of chlorine bleach and fabric softeners, as the chemicals in these liquids are not environmentally friendly and can even damage the fabric. Instead, opt for a vinegar and water solution or some hydrogen peroxide. You can also use a small amount of enzyme-based solution or some heavy-duty detergent. Whichever option you choose, work it into the stains and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before washing.


You don’t need a special laundry detergent to clean your bamboo viscose towels, but try to find a detergent that is as natural and mild as possible. We recommend a gentle and biodegradable liquid detergent that has no added fabric softeners or whiteners. Some standout options are Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day laundry detergent, Tide Free & Gentle liquid detergent, Woolite Delicates, and All detergent. If you use powder, be sure to dissolve it before putting your towels in.

Because bamboo viscose is naturally soft, it doesn’t require fabric softener, so you can skip that. If you’re wondering how to make your towels softer, you can let them air dry until they’re about 80% dry and then put them on a low-heat dryer setting to fluff and soften them.

Wash Cycle and Temperature

We recommend washing your bamboo viscose bath towels as a separate load from the rest of your laundry. This reduces the temptation to use the harsh washer settings you may need to use for your clothing and other laundry.

When selecting a water temperature, never choose the hot setting. Hot water can shrink the material. If you have heavily soiled items, allow them to soak for 15 minutes in warm water with detergent. For regular loads, opt for cold water and select the gentle cycle and a low spin. This will help the linen retain its softness. If you want to know exactly what temperature to wash your towels in, it is recommended that the water be no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

women laying her head on white bamboo towels

How to Dry Bamboo Viscose Towels and Bath Linens

Bamboo viscose linens should be primarily air dried. You can lay them flat to dry or hang them from a clothesline. Laying your towels flat to dry will mitigate the risk of them stretching out. If they don’t dry to your liking, you can use the lowest setting on the dryer to fluff them up for a few minutes. Just be careful not to leave them in the dryer for too long afterwards so they don’t go stiff — and avoid too much heat, as it can shrink the towels.

How to Iron and Store Bamboo Viscose Bath Towels

Ironing of bamboo viscose towels is not normally necessary. If you choose to iron, avoid the use of steam and put the iron on a low-heat setting to prevent scorching of the bamboo fibers, which will also cause yellowing.

Bamboo viscose towels, like any other bamboo linens, need to be able to breathe. Store your towels on shelves in cool, dry, dark closets instead of stuffing them into airtight bins, which can break down the fibers and lead to mildew and discoloration.

folded bamboo hand towels

Frequently Asked Questions

If you prefer to use a bathrobe to dry off after your shower, then you want to find one that is comfortable and absorbent. Bathrobes can keep you warm, and can be used to cozy up in when it’s cold outside. There are a few different decisions you need to make before you begin the shopping process for your bathrobe.

How often should you wash your bamboo viscose towels and other bath linens?

If you’re wondering how often to wash your towels, you’re not alone. The Cleaning Institute suggests washing your towels after every three uses to prevent the growth of germs. For a bamboo viscose washcloth or hand towel used in the shower, wash and air dry after each use.

Should you use fabric softener on bamboo viscose towels?

You might think that you can’t go wrong by adding a little fabric softener to retain the plush feel of your bamboo viscose towels. But in reality, fabric softener has a different effect on bamboo viscose than it does on cotton; it leaves a coat of chemicals on the surface that reduces the soft feel and impacts the absorbency of the fibers. Fabric softener may even stiffen your bamboo viscose towel.

How can I soften bamboo viscose towels and other bath linen?

The best way to keep your towels soft and plush is to handle them with care. Follow all of the care instructions above by using a mild detergent and cool water and avoiding fabric softener and heat as much as possible, using the dryer only to fluff the towels from a damp state.

How long do bamboo viscose towels last and how often should you change your towel?

With the proper care, bamboo viscose towels are extremely durable and long lasting. In general, it’s advised that you replace them every two years. With repeated use, towel fibers break down and lose their efficacy, and you may start to notice holes and fraying. You’ll be able to tell they’re worn out when it starts taking you more passes with the towel to dry your body and the towel starts to smell after just a couple of uses.

What can you do with your old towels?

Wondering what to do with old towels? Although they may not be ideal for bathing anymore, think twice before you throw them out. You can repurpose them into bath mats, wash cloths, pillow covers, pot holders, and so much more, which could save you some money on household supplies. The only limit is your creativity and sewing ability!

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