How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?

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Have you ever stayed in a hotel and noticed how white the towels are? How do they manage to keep them looking so good, and how do hotels keep towels white?

It turns out that there is a lot of effort that goes into keeping those towels looking pristine.

White towels rolled and place on a bed that looks like a room in a hotel


In this blog post, we will discuss some of the methods that hotels use to keep their towels looking white.

Read on for more information!

How Do Hotels Keep Their Towels So White and Fluffy?

Hotels have to regularly launder their towels to keep them clean and looking fresh.

One method that hotels use is called bleaching. Bleaching is a process that uses chemicals to remove stains and dirt from the fabric.

Hotels will typically use chlorine bleach to clean their towels.

Another method that hotels use is called hydrogen peroxide bleaching. This type of bleaching uses a chemical called hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and dirt from the fabric.

Hotels will also often use a fabric softener when they launder their towels. Fabric softeners help to keep the towels looking fluffy and feeling soft.

This is especially important because the harsh bleaching chemicals can sometimes make towels feel stiff.

Finally, hotels typically use a high-quality detergent with a fabric conditioner when they wash their towels. This helps to remove any remaining dirt or stains from the towels.

What Kind of Laundry Detergent Is Used for Hotel Towels?

Laundry detergent powder with green scoop


Most hotels use a heavy-duty detergent that is a washing powder or a liquid laundry soap. These types of detergents are designed to remove tough stains and dirt from clothes.

It’s important that they don’t use too much, which could damage the towels and make them less absorbent. They also need to make sure that they rinse the towels thoroughly after washing them.

Using too little detergent can leave dirt and stains on the towels, which won’t fully remove the bacteria. So getting a perfect balance is key!

You can usually achieve a similar effect easily at home by adding a booster to your washing powder such as vinegar, lemon, or baking soda.

These natural towel-safe boosters will help remove any residual detergent or stains while remaining gentle on your towels.

Should I Use the Same Method as a Hotel for Whitening my Towels?

Using a high amount of bleach or peroxide is clearly effective. However, this may wear down the towel fibers over time if used too frequently.

Additionally, hotels use hot water to wash their towels, which can be a lot on the fibers of your towels over time.

The reason that hotels can use such abrasive methods is that they have a high turnover rate. They regularly replace their towels as well as hotel bedding so that they do not have to worry about the long-term effects of using harsh chemicals.

While this is ok for once in a while, we do not recommend using these methods on your own towels at home every time you wash them. You’ll end up with brittle, dry towels that will need to be replaced much sooner.

How Do You Wash White Towels So They Stay White?

If you want your white towels to look bright and new, there are a few things that you can do for regular maintenance:

1. Wash Your Towels Separately

Washing your towels separately from your other laundry will help to keep them looking brighter for longer.

This is because they will not be rubbing up against other fabrics that can transfer oils or stains onto them. This includes separating your white towels from your colored towels when you wash them.

2. Spot Treat Your Towels Beforehand


There’s no need to treat the entire towel for stains if you only have discoloration in a few areas. Spot-treating your towels before you wash them will help to keep the rest of the towel looking brighter.

To spot-treat a stain, wet the area with cool water and then apply a small amount of laundry detergent directly to the stain. Rub it in gently and then let it sit for a few minutes before washing as usual.

You can also purchase a stain remover specifically for laundry use.

3. Buy a Detergent That Is Specially Formulated for Stains

Many laundry detergents on the market are specially formulated to help remove stains. These types of laundry detergents can be very effective at keeping your towels looking white.

Just be careful not to add too much detergent to the load.

Many people do this hoping that it will help with whitening towels, but are then left with towels that are covered in soap residue, which can also discolor towels.

4. Pre-Soak Your Towels in Laundry Detergent

White towel in a blue wash basin with soapy water

If your bath towels are particularly stained, you may want to try pre-soaking them in laundry detergent before washing them.

To do this, simply add a small amount of laundry detergent to a sink or tub filled with cool water. Add your towels and let them soak for at least 30 minutes before washing as usual.

Your laundry machine may have a pre-soak cycle as well.

If you are using a washing machine, you may be able to add the laundry detergent directly to the pre-soak cycle.

5. Avoid Letting Stains Sit For Long

Towels that are left in a wet pile can develop mildew or other types of stains. To avoid these types of stains, make sure to hang your towels up to dry after each use.

You may want to hang them in a well-ventilated area to help them dry more quickly.

If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, make sure to wash your towels before you leave so that they do not have a chance to develop any stains. Don’t wait until you get home to wash them.

6. Use Baking Soda to Remove Stains

Baking soda is a great natural way to remove stains from your towels. To use this method, simply add a cup of baking soda to your load of laundry when you wash your towels as a booster.

You can also make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before washing as usual.

7. Use Vinegar to Remove Stains

Vinegar is a great home cleaning product that can be used to remove stains from your towels (and your toilet bowl).. It breaks down the molecules in the stains so that they can be easily removed.

It will also help to remove other buildups in your towels such as soap residue.

8. Use a Small Amount of Bleach

You don’t need to use a large amount of bleach to keep your towels looking white. In fact, using too much bleach can damage the fibers in your towels and cause them to fall apart over time.

Instead, add a small amount of bleach to your load of laundry when you wash your towels. You can also use a bleaching pen on specific areas that are stained.

This will help to keep your towels looking new with minimal damage.

9. Invest in High-Quality Towels

Towels that are made of high-quality materials are less likely to discolor, fray, or flatten over time. This can save you money in the long run because you won’t have to replace your towels as often.

Look for towels that are made of 100% cotton or linen. These materials are more durable and less likely to discolor than other types of fabrics.

You should also look for towels that are double-stitched and have reinforced edges. This will help to prevent them from fraying or falling apart with use.

10. Use Cold Water and the Delicate Setting

Although it’s tempting to use hot water when washing your towels, this can actually cause them to break down and look even worse. This could make your towels look dull and faded instead of bright and white.

Instead, wash your towels in cold water using the delicate cycle. This will help to preserve the color of your towels and keep them looking new for longer.

Tumble dry on medium for fluffier, softer towels and a longer lifespan.

11. Hang your Towels in the Sun

White towels hanging outside to dry under the sun


Hanging your towels in the sun is a great way to naturally disinfect them and keep them looking bright. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will help to kill any bacteria that is on your towels.

You should hang your towels in the sun for at least 30 minutes to get the full effect. Make sure to hang them in a place where they will not be blown away by the wind.

How Do I Get My Dingy Towels White Again?

It’s happened to us all. Maybe you’ve used a white towel to clean up a drink spill. Or maybe, over time, your white towels have accumulated many stains.

Whatever the reason, you now have a dingy towel that’s lost its original luster.

Don’t worry, we have a method that can help you to get your towels bright and white again.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Prepare a half cup of dishwashing powder
  • Get a half cup of non-chlorine bleach powder
  • Prepare a medium to a large basin full of warm water
  • Mix the two powders into the water
  • Place your towels into the basin and add a weight to keep them submerged
  • Leave the solution overnight
  • Wash towels on a regular cycle the following day

This will help to remove any stains and restore the original whiteness of your towels. You can finish the process by hanging them in the sun to dry if the weather is cooperating.

This will further bleach the towels and make sure that there isn’t any bacteria or mildew left behind.

How Often Should I Replace My Towels?

Towels are one of those things that we use every day but often don’t think about replacing. However, towels actually have a lifespan of about two to three years.

After this time, they will start to break down and become less effective.

They may also start to harbor bacteria, which can be harmful to your health. For this reason, it’s important to replace your towels on a regular basis.

The better you take care of your towels, the longer they will last. Be sure to follow the tips above to keep your towels looking new for as long as possible.

Why Are My White Towels Turning Brown?

There are a few reasons why your white towels may be turning brown.

The most common reason is that they are not being washed often enough. Towels should be washed after each use to prevent the build-up of dirt, oil, and other debris.

If you wait too long between washes, this build-up can cause your towels to turn brown.

Another reason why your white towels may be turning brown is that they are not being washed in hot enough water. Hot water helps to remove stains and kill bacteria that can cause discoloration.

While we don’t recommend using hot water for every load, you may want to use it a couple of times a year on your towels.

Finally, your water may be the culprit. If your water is hard, it can cause your towels to turn brown over time.

This is because the minerals in hard water can deposit on your towels and cause them to discolor.

You’ll need to use a water softener if you have hard water in your home. This will help to remove the minerals from your water and keep your towels white.

The Bottom Line: How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?

With a little bit of care, you can keep your white towels looking new for a long time. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your towels stay clean and look great.

While we may not have the same resources as a hotel, by taking care of our towels, we can extend their lifespan and enjoy them for many years to come.

If you’re interested in more insider tricks, check out our guide to how hotels keep glass shower doors so sparkly!

Photo of white towels from hotel shaped like a swan on the bed with text overlays that read How Do Hotels Keep Towels White


About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.