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Laundry How To

7 Secrets On How To Keep White Towels White (And Fluffy)

Ever wonder how those swanky hotels keep their white bath towels so sparkling clean and soft? You know, that fluffy white towel that feels like clouds against your skin? Well, you’re in luck because we’re about to spill the beans.

Keeping your white towels as white as hotel towels isn’t some magical secret known only to hoteliers. Truth be told, it’s just a few simple tricks and a dash of TLC (Towel Loving Care). 

So, if you’re ready to learn how to keep white towels white, here’s what you’ll need to know.

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How To Keep White Towels White

1. Don’t Use Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners indeed leave a lovely, refreshing scent on your laundry, but they can do your clothes and fabric more harm than good in the long run.

Fabric softeners leave some residue on your clothes, which coats the fibers and makes the dirt harder to reach and remove. Eventually, the white towels will lean more towards a not-so-nice yellow.

If you do want to make sure your towels come out smelling oh so fresh, you can use a mix of essential oils to give your laundry a clean scent without hindering the cleaning effects of soap.

2. Add White Vinegar

As weird as it may hit you at first, adding ¼ or ½ a cup of white distilled vinegar to your fabric softener dispenser has a ton of benefits.

Firstly, white vinegar softens the fibers, making them easier to clean. It also boosts the power of your detergent, leaving a more potent cleaning effect on your white fabrics.

You might be worried that the vinegar will leave a foul or sour smell, but adding such a small cup to the rinse cycle makes the dilution rate so high that you won’t notice any odor.

3. Avoid Overdrying Your Towels

If you leave your towels to dry for a long time in your tumble dryer or on a radiator, the fabrics suffer some damage, especially cotton fibers.

With time, your towel will start losing its softness and become rough, which makes it easier to accumulate more dirt and making it harder to clean.

For best results, you should remove the towels just before they’re fully dry. Then, hang the slightly wet towels in fresh air to finalize the drying. Another option is to use dryer sheets to keep the towels fresh and soft.

Note: Make sure the towels are completely dry before folding them; otherwise, they become the perfect place for mildew to grow, leaving musty odors. 

4. Wash The White Towels Alone

Ideally, you should wash your white towels with your other white towels, white sheets or white clothes. Colored towels or clothes can seep some dye into white fabrics, leaving not so subtle stains over time.

This is even more important if you like doing your laundry on the hot cycle, which encourages the dyes to seep.

If you really can’t find a workaround and have to wash colored items with white towels and fabrics, make sure the colored items have already been washed a couple of times to remove any excess dye.

5. Don’t Use Too Much Bleach

While chlorine bleach does have a whitening effect, but using too much can damage your towels. This is mainly because bleach breaks down the towel fibers and weakens them.

As an alternative, we suggest using a non-chlorine bleach. Or, you can soak the towels in a baking soda solution before machine-washing them.

You can also add baking soda to your regular laundry detergent if you want to avoid the hassle of an extra step. It’ll have the same bleaching effect but without the harm.

Bathroom utensils with white towels

6. Wash Your White Towels Regularly

You may be under the impression that washing your towels too frequently might damage fabrics and make them gray. However, if you follow a gentle cleaning routine with some hot water, this won’t happen.

Couple that with regular washing, and you’ll leave no time for stains to settle on the fabric. Some stains will stay forever if you don’t wash them fast enough.

7. Avoid Using Hard Water

This one’s a little tricky, but washing towels with hard water is a surefire way to make them wear out and look unclean.

Hard water has a higher amount of minerals like magnesium and calcium, which may accumulate on your white fabrics and make them look stiff and yellow after a while.

How Do I Know If I Have Hard Water?

Hard water can’t be identified by the naked eye. So, here’s how to know if you have it:

Grab a mason jar or a glass water bottle and fill it ⅔ full with tap water. Add a couple of drops of liquid soap, close the container, and shake it well.

Put your container on the counter and check the water. If it’s clear with plenty of bubbles on top, your water is soft and good to use for washing white towels.

On the other hand, if it becomes cloudy with little to no bubbles, you have hard water and should use slightly more detergent.

Woman's hands holding white baby grow under running water
Image by Evgeniy Skripnichenko from Getty Images Pro

How To Remove Stains from White Towels?

If you’ve already got a stained towel and want to restore it, here are some simple steps you can follow.

Option 1: Rub some laundry detergent on the stain and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Be sure not to use too much detergent – just a small amont will do the trick.

Option 2: Add ½ a cup of white vinegar to some warm water and soak the towel in it, then pop it in the washing machine as you normally would.

Option 3: You can opt for shaving cream. Apply some directly to the stain and rub it in with your fingers. Keep rinsing and repeating the process until the stain is gone.

Should I Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Whiten Towels?

Hydrogen peroxide can be extremely effective when it comes to whitening. It’s a bleaching agent that works by breaking down the chemical bonds that are behind the discoloration and stains on fabrics.

When you apply hydrogen peroxide to white towels, it helps eliminate stains, dinginess, and any yellowing.

All you have to do is mix some of it with cold water and soak the towel in the mix for a couple of hours before you do your regular washing.

Alternatively, you can add hydrogen peroxide powder to the wash cycle with your regular detergent to enhance the whitening effect of your laundry routine.


How to keep white towels white pin


In a nutshell, keeping your white towels white and at their pristine best doesn’t have to be an impossible task. 

With the right balance of detergent and a couple of household ingredients like white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, you can effectively combat any pesky stains.

So, don’t hesitate to try out these effective methods to get your white towels back to their original brightness (and fluffiness!).


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