How do you store beach towels off season?

Quick Answers

Here are some quick answers to common questions about storing beach towels in the off-season:

  • Store towels in a cool, dry place like a linen closet or storage trunk.
  • Wash towels before storing to remove sand, saltwater, sunscreen, etc.
  • Fold towels neatly or roll them up tightly.
  • Place towels in a sealed plastic bin or storage bag.
  • Use cedar blocks or sachets to help repel moths and prevent musty odors.
  • Consider storing towels with off-season beach supplies like umbrellas, chairs, toys.

Why Properly Store Beach Towels?

After a fun-filled summer at the beach, it’s important to properly store your beach towels before packing them away for the season. Taking the time to correctly wash, dry, and store beach towels will help:

  • Remove sand, saltwater, chlorine, sunscreen, etc. that can be abrasive or lead to faster wear and tear.
  • Prevent musty, sour, or mildew odors from developing.
  • Avoid stains setting in and becoming permanent.
  • Keep towels clean, soft, and fluffy for next beach season.
  • Deter moths, silverfish, and other pests that can damage linens.
  • Maximize lifespan so towels stay in good shape for years.

Additionally, properly stored beach towels will be easier to access next summer. Neatly folded or rolled towels fit efficiently into storage containers and can be readily unpacked when warm weather returns.

How to Wash Beach Towels Before Storage

It’s crucial to properly launder beach towels before storing them for the off-season. Give towels a thorough wash to remove problematic particles and odors that can build up over the summer. Here are some tips for washing beach towels before storage:

  • Shake out: Vigorously shake towels outdoors to dislodge as much sand as possible before washing.
  • Wash promptly: Launder towels soon after final beach trip of the season.
  • Wash in hot water: Use the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Hot water helps dissolve and rinse away salt, sunscreen, etc.
  • Use extra detergent: Increase the amount of laundry detergent to help cut through sand and lingering odors.
  • Add borax or baking soda: These can boost cleaning power to remove beach residue and perspiration.
  • Use bleach: Adding 1⁄2 cup bleach to the wash can help sanitize towels and remove stains.
  • Extra rinse cycle: Run towels through an additional rinse cycle to remove all traces of detergent and residue.
  • Air or machine dry: Make sure towels are completely dry before storing to avoid mildew.

It’s worth the extra effort to start the storage process with sparkling clean beach towels. Proper washing removes abrasive particles, eliminates odors, and prepares the towels for a restful off-season.

How to Dry Beach Towels Before Storing

After thoroughly washing beach towels, it’s equally important to ensure they are completely dry before storage. Storing damp towels breeds mold, mildew, and musty odors. Here are some tips for properly drying beach towels before the off-season:

  • Machine dry towels: Use the highest heat setting appropriate for the fabric and dry towels completely.
  • Air dry thoroughly: If air drying, make sure to allow ample time for towels to fully dry.
  • Unfold towels: Unfold towels while drying to expose all surfaces evenly.
  • Make use of sunlight: Sunlight naturally sanitizes and can speed drying time.
  • Dry on a line or rack: Position towels on a clothesline, drying rack, or over porch railings.
  • Change towel positions: Periodically flip towels over to evenly dry both sides.
  • Use multiple drying cycles: If needed, wash towels a second time and repeat drying to remove all moisture.
  • Check for damp spots: Inspect towels carefully before storing and re-dry any slightly damp sections.

It’s a safe bet that beach towels are ready for storage if they feel completely dry and crisp to the touch. Taking time to thoroughly dry towels protects them against deterioration and ensures they stay fresh smelling.

How to Fold Beach Towels for Storage

Carefully folding beach towels before storage maximizes space and keeps things neat and organized. Follow these tips for properly folding beach towels for off-season storage:

  • Work on a flat surface: Lay towels out on a table, bed, or the floor to smoothly fold.
  • Inspect towels: Check for any remaining damp spots and re-dry as needed before folding.
  • Give towels a shake: Gently shake towels to remove any last bits of sand or debris.
  • Fold into thirds or quarters: Fold towels into even sections going width-wise first, then length-wise.
  • Smooth as you fold: Run your hand over each crease to flatten and define the folds.
  • Fold with right sides in: Having the ‘good’ side face inward helps keep towels clean and lint-free.
  • Align edges: Line up towel edges neatly so folds are uniform and tidy.
  • Stack neatly: Place folded towels in a stack with edges and folds aligned.
  • Store immediately: Transfer folded towels to storage containers right away.

Proper folding contains towels in the smallest space possible and lets you efficiently pack storage containers and shelves. It also helps keep towel stacks neater if you need to unpack towels during the off-season.

How to Roll Up Beach Towels for Storage

Rolling beach towels tightly is another great approach for compact off-season storage. Here are some tips for properly rolling beach towels for storage:

  • Lay towel flat: Spread towel out on a smooth, clean surface.
  • Smooth towel: Use your hands to flatten and remove any wrinkles or creases.
  • Roll long side inward: Starting at one long side, begin rolling the towel inward into a tight cylinder.
  • Apply gentle pressure: Use your hands to squeeze gently as you roll to remove excess air.
  • Roll evenly: Try to roll the towel cylinder straight and even.
  • Roll all the way: Continue rolling until the towel is completely coiled up.
  • Wrap snugly: Make sure the final roll is tight, with no loose sections.
  • Store right away: Transfer rolled towels to a storage bin before unrolling begins.

Rolling beach towels makes for very compact bundles, and unrolling freshly stored towels is a breeze. Just be cautious about rolling towels too tightly, which can cause stubborn creases.

Beach Towel Storage Containers

Choosing the right storage containers is key for protecting beach towels in the off-season. Look for containers that:

  • Are sealable and airtight: This keeps out dust, pests, and odors.
  • Are made of breathable material: Allows ventilation while still being sealed.
  • Have sturdy, rigid walls: Provides support to neatly contain folded or rolled towels.
  • Are appropriately sized: Allows packing towels efficiently without cramming.
  • Have handles or are easy to lift: Makes retrieving towels simple.
  • Can stack neatly: Saves space if storing multiple containers.

Here are some excellent beach towel storage container options:

Plastic Storage Bins

Plastic bins with lids make ideal storage containers for beach towels. Look for crates or tubs made from sturdy plastic that won’t crack or warp. Clear plastic lets you easily see towel contents. Plastic bins are typically inexpensive, stackable, and can be used year after year.

Underbed Storage Bins

Collapsible canvas bins designed to slide under the bed keep beach towels neatly contained but are easy to access when needed. Look for bins with clear tops so towels are visible inside. Underbed bins come in various colors and prints to match any decor. They can be collapsed when not in use.

Vacuum Storage Bags

Heavy duty vacuum bags with pumps are excellent for compressing folded beach towels to save the most space possible. Vacuum bags keep out dirt, dust, moisture, and pests. Choose thicker plastic bags labeled as suitable for linens. Reusable pump bags are a good investment for annual beach towel storage.

Garment Bags

Mesh pop-up garment bags allow air circulation while protecting towels from debris. Canvas garment bags also work well. Look for bags with zipper closures and clear panels. Use garment bags sized appropriately for the towel stack. They make it simple to remove towels when needed.

Any of these towel storage bag or bin options will keep your beach towels clean, dry, and damage-free until next beach season.

Storage Container Pros Cons
Plastic Storage Bins Inexpensive, stackable, reusable, waterproof seal Can be bulky, prone to cracking over time
Underbed Storage Bins Neat, concealed storage, collapsible, portable More expensive, limited capacity
Vacuum Storage Bags Compact storage, airtight seal, reusable Require vacuum pump, easily punctured
Garment Bags Lightweight, breathable, easy access Less protection from pests/dust

Beach Towel Storage Tips and Tricks

Use these extra pointers for foolproof beach towel storage:

  • Store beach towels separately from regular towels to prevent abrasion and odor transfer.
  • Place a washable cover or liner in storage bins to protect towels.
  • Use cedar sachets or blocks to help repel moths and other insects.
  • Write the year on bins and bags so you rotate towel stock each season.
  • Group all beach items like towels, umbrellas, chairs, toys in one storage area.
  • Store beach towels away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and humidity.
  • Keep bins elevated off concrete garage or basement floors to avoid moisture damage.
  • Stack storage bins no more than 2-3 high to prevent damaging bottom containers.

With some planning and effort, you can easily keep beach towels in pristine shape during the off-season. Proper storage saves time, money, and stress when beach season rolls around again.

Where to Store Beach Towels

Here are some ideal storage spots for beach towels when not in use:

Linen Closets

Linen closets make great in-house storage spaces for beach towels. The shelves keep containers tidy and elevated, while the enclosed space is clean, dry, and temperature controlled.

Under Beds

Slide beach towel storage bins or bags under beds to keep them dust-free and out of sight. Just remember to label containers so you know which hold beach linens.

Garages or Sheds

Garages and garden sheds work for beach towel storage as long as containers are kept off concrete floors. Avoid areas with moisture, pests, or extreme temperatures.


Well-ventilated attics are suitable for beach towel storage if protected from humidity and extreme heat. Use breathable storage bags.


Basements can provide beach towel storage as long as containers are elevated off concrete floors prone to moisture. Dehumidifiers help control humidity.

Storing beach towels in any enclosed, clean, dry, and temperature-controlled spot will keep them in top shape for next summer.

How to Remove Musty Smells from Stored Beach Towels

If beach towels develop a musty or mildewy odor during storage, don’t panic. Here are some tips for removing unpleasant smells from stored linens:

  • First air out the towels outside or on a clothesline if possible.
  • Add 1 cup baking soda to the wash cycle to help deodorize.
  • Soak towels in a mixture of 1 quart warm water + 1 tablespoon vinegar.
  • Try washing towels with borax, lemon juice, or oxygen bleach to cut through odors.
  • Let towels soak in a solution of 2 cups lemon juice + 1 gallon water.
  • Spray towels lightly with vodka or vanilla extract to help neutralize odors.
  • Tumble towels in the dryer with a few dryer sheets to freshen up.

With some cleansing tinkering, musty-smelling towels can be restored to a fresh, clean scent. Just be sure to thoroughly dry towels and use proper storage going forward.


With the right prep, beach towels can be kept pristine throughout the off-season. Taking time to properly wash, dry, fold, and store towels will remove odors, stains, and abrasive particles. Securely contained in bins or bags, towels will stay clean, dry, and ready for next summer. Follow these tips to keep beach towels in optimal condition despite months in storage.

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