There is something so refreshing about a clean, white towel. But what should you do when white towels look a little less white? Over time, towels can become yellowed, dingy, and stained, which is both frustrating and unsightly. Fortunately, with the proper washing techniques, you can keep your towels fresh, bright, and fluffy. Keep reading to learn about washing techniques to use, avoid, and stain removal tips for how to keep white towels white.
People always tell me they don’t want to buy white towels because they think its so difficult to keep them white.Keeping your white towels clean and bright doesn’t have to be a chore. Follow our guide to learn how to wash white towels – it’s easy!Here is my two pennies worth on how to keep your towels whiter, softer and fluffier than ever.
- 1 Why do White Towels Become Dingy?
- 2 5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR WHITE TOWELS BRIGHT AND FLUFFY
- 3 How to Remove Stains
- 4 How to Remove Blood Stains from White Towels
- 5 How to Remove Rust Stains from White Towels
- 6 How do hotels keep towels so white?
- 7 Why can’t i get my towels white?
- 8 Why do white towels turn yellow?
- 9 How do you wash towels with baking soda?
- 10 Does baking soda make towels whiter?
Why do White Towels Become Dingy?
Before we talk about how to wash and maintain your white towels properly, it’s important first to understand how your white towels may have become dingy in the first place. Here are some of the most common reasons that white towels become dingy.
Wrong Amount of Detergent
If you regularly use too much detergent, your white towels will develop a dirty look due to excess detergent buildup. On the other hand, if you don’t use enough detergent, your towels won’t be adequately cleaned and could turn gray over time because of dirt buildup. Read the instructions on your laundry detergent bottle and use the recommended amount when washing your white towels.
Washing in Hard Water
Not sure if you’re being affected by hard water stains? Hard water is higher in minerals like calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals can take a toll on your laundry, leaving white fabrics looking gray, yellow, and stiff.
5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR WHITE TOWELS BRIGHT AND FLUFFY
1. TRY A COLD WASH
Though washing your towels on a hot wash cycle may have become the norm, a colder wash could be better for keeping them in good condition. Along with preventing shrinkage and keeping colours true, a cold wash will also help to keep mildew at bay—which can easily build up in damp bathrooms.
2. DON’T OVER DRY THEM
Overdrying your towels either in the tumble dryer or on a radiator can damage the cotton fibres, leaving you with a towel that’s lost its softness. Instead, remove your towels just before they’re fully dry, and hang them somewhere for the air to finish them off. Be wary of folding them up while damp, as mildew can grow.
3. USE LESS DETERGENT
Adding too much detergent and fabric softener to your load can mean that towels aren’t always rinsed clean—this build up of product can damage the fabric fibres, and also make your towels less supple (i.e not soft and fluffy). Check your washing machine handbook for the manufacturer’s recommendations, and if you’re guessing the right amount, lean towards the ‘less is more’ school of thought.
4. HOLD THE BLEACH
Whitening bleaches can sometimes damage your towels, by breaking down and weakening the fibres. Instead, try soaking your towels in a solution of a baking soda and water before putting them in the machine. Adding a little baking soda to your wash cycle detergent can help too, as can distilled white vinegar added during the rinse cycle.
5. KEEP IT REGULAR
While it can be tempting to try and not ‘over wash’ your towels for fear that they’ll go grey and scratchy, it’s best to wash them every three to four days. Hygiene of course being the top reason, but it’s also a good idea to avoid letting dirt and stains settle on the fabric for too long. Don’t forget your hand towels too!
Tips and Tricks for How to Make White Towels White Again
How to Remove Stains
It’s inevitable that your white towels will stain. Learn how to remove different types of stains below.
If you get makeup on your white towels, spray a pretreating cleaner on the stain before it goes into the wash. Putting it through the wash without this pretreatment may cause the stain to set.
Have post-workout sweat on your white towels? Cover the stains in a prewash stain remover, then launder it with a fabric-safe bleach in hot water.
Whether you nick yourself shaving or cut your finger while cooking, you may occasionally get blood on your white towels. If this happens, soak the towel in cold water (not hot, as that will set the stain), then launder it in the washing machine. If the blood stain is dried, soak it with an enzyme-based stain remover, then launder it like normal.
Drinks (Wine, Coffee, Tea, Soda)
Soak the stain in cold water then pretreat it with a stain remover. Launder it with fabric-safe bleach.
How to Remove Odors
If your towels smell like mildew, pour a ½ cup of baking soda or ½ cup of white distilled vinegar in with your towels and detergent. Make sure to add the white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. The baking soda can be sprinkled over the towels once it is in the wash.
How to Soften Towels
If you want to make your towels softer, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to the final rinse cycle.
How to Remove Blood Stains from White Towels
Hydrogen peroxide is the best way to remove blood stains from white towels (and nearly every other type of fabric). Spray or dab hydrogen peroxide directly onto the blood stain and allow the fizzing reaction to occur.Rinse in cold water and repeat as necessary until the stain has lifted. Wash regularly.
How to Remove Rust Stains from White Towels
If you’re facing a rust stain on your white towel, treat it with lemon juice and salt. Lemon juice and salt effectively remove rust stains due to their chemical properties. Rust is a form of iron oxide, and when it comes into contact with lemon juice and salt, a chemical reaction occurs that helps break down the rust particles.
Lemon juice is acidic, containing citric acid that can help dissolve the rust, while salt acts as a mild abrasive, helping to loosen the particles and scrub them away. When combined, lemon juice and salt create a powerful rust-removing solution that can be particularly effective for treating minor rust stains on towels or other fabrics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vinegar can be a valuable tool in maintaining the appearance and quality of white towels. This is because vinegar is acidic, which can help to dissolve mineral buildup and remove dirt and stains from the fibers of the towels. When added to the wash cycle, vinegar can help to remove odors, soften the fabric, and brighten the whites.1How to wash towels with vinegar
How do hotels keep towels so white?
Most hotels use peroxide-based laundry detergents to keep their sheets and towels bright. While these compounds are extremely successful at preventing white linens from greying or yellowing, they do necessitate some amount of knowledge. When used incorrectly, they might cause damage to your linens.2How do hotels keep their linen so white?
Why can’t i get my towels white?
Dissolve 1 cup of baking soda for every 1 gallon of warm water in a bathtub or other large basin. Pre-soak your towels in the tub for 1-8 hours, depending on their level of dinginess. If you want extra whitening power, mix laundry detergent and/or oxygen bleach into the water before soaking your towels.
Why do white towels turn yellow?
Yellowing is usually caused by one of two problems: an inadequate dose of detergent, or insufficiently low water temperatures. In order to remedy the latter cause, simply raise the water temperature in all future spins.3Why Towels Turn Yellow, How Do Stains Remove?
How do you wash towels with baking soda?
If you have a standard washer machine, use 1 cup of baking soda and add it to the towels and then fill with water. DO NOT ADD SOAP OR VINEGAR, ADD NOTHING BUT BAKING SODA! Run a full cycle using hot water for the wash and rinse cycle. You will be absolutely amazed on how fresh the towels smell.4Washing Towels with Vinegar and Baking Soda Safely
Does baking soda make towels whiter?
Use Baking Soda
Adding half a cup of baking soda to your regular laundry detergent will boost the detergent’s cleaning and whitening powers. A paste of baking soda and water applied directly to spot stains will help loosen and lift them too.5Quick And Easy Ways to Whiten Soiled Towels