Insider Tips on How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?

Ever wondered how hotels manage to keep their towels so brilliantly white, even after countless guests have used them? It’s like they have some secret superpower for laundry. Well, it’s not a superpower, but it involves a clever combination of science, technology, and good old-fashioned laundry know-how. If you’re curious about how they do it, come with us as we uncover the secrets behind those perfectly white hotel towels.

How Do Hotels Keep Towels White? 

Hotels utilize a mix of commercial-grade washing equipment, high-caliber detergents, and stringent towel handling and replenishment guidelines to ensure their towels remain pristine and soft. They also use Optical brighteners to show that towels are exceptionally white.

Hotels in Bathroom

Let’s explore this statement in detail:

Advanced Laundry Machinery

Luxury hotels prioritize the hygiene and aesthetics of their fabrics, particularly towels. To ensure the durability of their linens, hotels make significant investments in advanced washing equipment that are mentioned here.

Laundry Machines

Hotels rely on powerful laundry machines designed for big loads and top-notch cleaning. These machines get rid of tough stains and dirt on towels while being gentle on the fabric. They also use high-quality detergents and bleach to keep towels looking fresh and white.

Laundry Machines
Laundry Machines

Some hotels even use ozone technology in their laundry machines. And, guess what, Ozone is a really strong chemical that works wonders in a much better manner compared to regular detergents. Not only does it help to disinfect towels, but it also removes the stains that never come off. What’s cool? There’s no requirement for hot water or any chemicals! 

It is basically a three-step process.

  1. Ozone Generation: Ozone (O3) is generated by ozone generators within the laundry facility. These generators convert oxygen (O2) molecules from the surrounding air into ozone molecules. Ozone is highly reactive due to its unstable nature, making it an effective cleaning agent.
  2. Ozone Injection: The generated ozone is then injected into the washing machine during the wash cycle. Some systems inject ozone directly into the wash water, while others infuse it into the wash chamber.
  3. Oxidation: Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent, which means it has the ability to break down and eliminate organic and inorganic contaminants. When ozone comes into contact with stains, bacteria, and other impurities on the towels, it oxidizes them. This process effectively breaks down these substances, rendering them harmless and easy to remove.

With this approach, hotels are able to remove yellowing and dinginess from towels, restoring their original brightness. This is particularly important for maintaining the crisp, white appearance of luxury hotel towels. Also, because ozone is such a potent cleaning agent, hotels can reduce their reliance on harsh detergents and hot water, which are often necessary to achieve the same level of cleanliness.

Drying Machines

After the washing process, towels are put into drying machines. Hotels use advanced commercial dryers designed to handle large amounts of laundry and dry towels quickly. These dryers are built to prevent over-drying, which can harm the towels. They also come with sensors that can detect when the towels are dry and stop the drying process automatically. Commercial dryers are also equipped with more advanced ventilation systems to remove moisture efficiently and prevent overheating.

A few hotels also use steam dryers, which use high-temperature steam to remove wrinkles and sanitize towels. This ensures that the towels are not only clean but also look fresh and neat.

Pressing Equipment

For the sharp and consistent appearance, certain hotels employ pressing equipment. These devices utilize elevated temperatures and pressure to swiftly and effectively press towels. Additionally, they possess the capability to automatically fold towels, conserving both time and effort.

However, not all hotels use ironing machines due to their high costs and time demands. Some hotels choose a more economical approach, which involves manually folding towels.

Premium Cleaning Agents

One of the hidden factors that maintain the bright white look of hotel towels is the use of exceptional cleansing products. Hotels typically utilize industrial-level cleansing products meticulously engineered to tackle stubborn stains and preserve the fabric’s quality.

Fabric Conditioners

Fabric conditioners represent another vital component in hotel detergents. They play a crucial role in maintaining the soft and plush feel of towels, enhancing their comfort. These conditioners also work to minimize static cling and enhance the towels’ resistance to creases. Hotels typically rely on commercial-grade fabric conditioners specially designed to deliver optimal outcomes.

How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?
How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?

Stain Fighters

Even with their best efforts, hotels can’t always stop towels from getting stained. That’s why they often use special products to fight stains during laundry. Hotel-grade stain fighters are designed to target specific types of stains as they contain the following enzymes.

  • Protease Enzymes target protein-based stains like blood, sweat, and food.
  • Amylase Enzymes are effective against starch-based stains such as those from sauces, chocolate, and some beverages.
  • Lipase Enzymes: Lipase enzymes are specialized for lipid or fat-based stains, including oil, butter, and some cosmetics. They break down fats and oils in stains.
  • Cellulase Enzymes: Cellulase enzymes are used to address stains from plant-based materials like grass, tea, coffee, and fruits. They break down the cellulose fibers in these stains.
  • Pectinase Enzymes: Pectinase enzymes are designed to target fruit-based stains, particularly those caused by fruit juices. They break down pectin, a substance found in fruits.

Some advanced stain-fighting products incorporate stain recognition technology. This means they can identify the type of stain they’re dealing with and adjust their cleaning approach accordingly, maximizing stain removal.

Hotels combine these stain fighters with bleach and other cleaning agents to make sure their towels are perfectly clean and free of stains.

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Whitening Agent

A common component found in numerous commercial detergents preferred by hotels is a whitening agent (bleach). It serves as a potent brightener and stain remover by disrupting the chemical connections responsible for stain coloration. Nevertheless, if not employed correctly, this whitening agent can be rough on textiles and result in their gradual deterioration. To prevent any harm to the towels, hotels frequently opt for mild bleach solutions with low concentrations. Following are a few options a hotel can use

  • Chlorine Bleach: Chlorine bleach is a powerful whitening agent that has been used for many years in laundry. It effectively breaks down and removes stains, particularly those caused by organic materials like food and bodily fluids. Hotels often use mild chlorine bleach solutions to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Oxygen Bleach (Color-Safe Bleach): Oxygen bleach is a gentler alternative to chlorine bleach. It is considered color-safe and less harsh on fabrics. This type of bleach is effective at removing stains and brightening white towels without causing as much damage as chlorine bleach. Hotels choose oxygen bleach for its fabric-friendly properties.
  • Optical Brighteners: Optical brighteners are chemicals that absorb ultraviolet light and emit a blue-white glow, making fabrics appear whiter and brighter. They don’t actually remove stains but can give the illusion of whiteness by enhancing the fabric’s appearance. Hotels may use detergents containing optical brighteners to make towels look exceptionally white.
  • Enzymatic Whitening Agents: Some commercial detergents may contain enzymatic whitening agents. These enzymes work by breaking down the chemical bonds that cause stains to appear yellow or dingy. They are particularly effective at maintaining the whiteness of towels and other fabrics.
  • H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide): Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that can be used to remove stains and whiten fabrics. It is considered safer for textiles than chlorine bleach and is sometimes used in commercial laundry detergents

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Insider Tips on How do Hotels Keep Towels White?

We’ve discovered some additional ways to keep hotel towels white. It’s important to note that not all hotels follow these approaches. Let’s delve into these approaches:

How do hotels keep towels white
White Towels in Hotel

Selecting the Optimum Level of Heat

Picking the right temperature plays a vital role in preserving the brightness of towels. Warmer water temperatures improve the efficiency of detergents and bleach, effectively eliminating bacteria and stains.

Experts recommend washing your towels within a range of 104°F to 140°F to eliminate microbes and keep them looking whiter. Thoughtful temperature selection guarantees effective results without harming the fabric.

Emphasizing Quality

Hotels maintain their white towels by picking high-quality ones made from excellent materials like pure cotton fibers, which are known for being great at soaking up water and lasting a long time. Investing in top-notch towels is the foundation for keeping them white for a long time.

Choose Effective Solutions

Some hotels employ natural solutions such as baking soda and vinegar to uphold the whiteness of their towels. Baking soda removes stains and bad smells, while vinegar makes the fabric soft and bright. 

These methods help maintain the bright white look of hotel towels. Plus, using these solutions also saves money when washing lots of hotel towels.

Challenges Hotel May Face in Maintaining Whiteness of Towels

Hotels often encounter a multitude of challenges arising from guests and various conditions. A few of them includes:

  • Stains and Color Changes: White towels are more likely to get stained by things like makeup, food spills, and leftover toiletries. If these stains aren’t dealt with promptly, they can permanently change the towel’s color.
  • Frequent Use: Hotels and resorts see a lot of people coming and going, which means their towels get used a lot. All this use can make the towels lose their brightness over time.
  • Colors Mixing: Sometimes, when you wash white hotel towels with colored laundry, the colors can bleed onto the white towels. To avoid this, always wash white towels separately, no matter what color they are.
  • Keeping Things the Same: To keep hotel towels consistently white, it’s important for the staff to use the same amount of detergent and bleach every time they wash them. This helps maintain their whiteness across multiple washes.

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Tips to Keep Your Towels White

As you have seen various strategies used by different hotels in the previous sections, you may find it a bit overwhelming. However, don’t worry, as we have prepared some tips based on our experience that will help you keep your towels as white as the ones you find in hotels.

Use warm water

Warm water is your best choice for keeping towels white. It helps get rid of dirt and germs and eliminates bacteria that can make towels smell bad. To make sure your towels get really clean, wash them in warm water. 

Don’t cram too many towels in the washing machine

It might seem like a good idea to stuff lots of towels in the washing machine to save time and energy, but it can actually backfire. Overloading the machine can stop the towels from getting properly cleaned and rinsed. It can also wear out the fabric faster. Stick to the recommended amount for your machine to make sure your towels come out fresh and clean.

Too many clothes in laundry machine

Don’t use fabric softener

Although fabric softener can make your towels feel softer and smell good, it might not be good for their whiteness. Fabric softeners can leave a kind of leftover on the fabric that can make the towels change color over time. Instead, put a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle to help get rid of any soap buildup and keep your towels soft and white.

Use Wool Dryer Balls

To ensure your towel stays fluffy and absorbent, here’s the right way to dry it: Toss your towel into a hot dryer, and add some wool dryer balls. These little balls not only help fluff and soften your towel but also reduce static and wrinkles, leaving it in great condition. However, it’s crucial to avoid using dryer sheets during this process. These products may leave an unwanted residue on your towel, decreasing its absorbency and causing it to lose its luster.

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Experts Vetted: Opinion from Hotel Workers and Owners

Team Hopdes decided to learn more about these methods and asked the hotel workers and owners about how they keep the towels white. For their privacy, their names have been hidden upon their request. 

  • Opinion 1 – “We use peracitic acid as a bleaching agent for that whiter than white look.”
  • Opinion 2 – “In my experience, the key to those dazzling white towels is a combination of high-quality laundry equipment and specialized detergents. Hotels invest in top-notch commercial washers and dryers, which are built to handle large loads efficiently. They also use enzyme-based detergents and stain removers tailored for different types of stains. This helps maintain the towels’ freshness and cleanliness, even with heavy use”.
  • Opinion 3 – “I’ve worked in the hotel industry for years, and I can vouch for the significance of water quality. Many upscale hotels have advanced water treatment systems that soften the water. Soft water not only prevents mineral buildup on towels but also enhances the effectiveness of detergents and bleach. It’s a subtle but crucial factor in keeping those towels sparkling white.”
  • Opinion 5 – “Hotel laundry teams often have a precise sorting process. They separate towels from other linens and categorize them by color and soil level. This ensures that white towels are only washed with white towels, preventing color bleeding and preserving their pristine appearance. It’s all about attention to detail.”
  • Opinion 6 – “A secret weapon is professional laundry staff. Hotels invest in training their laundry personnel to handle towels with care. They know the right temperature settings, detergents, and stain treatments for different situations. It’s the human touch that complements the advanced machinery.”


Hotels work really hard to keep their towels super clean and white. Using a mix of high-tech machines, special cleaning products, and careful handling and also having fancy laundry machines, like ones with ozone technology, to zap stains and germs. They also use special detergents made for specific stains, like coffee or wine. Plus, they pay attention to the water they use and make sure it’s good for cleaning. Sorting towels properly and having trained staff who know how to treat them is also important. So, it’s like a teamwork of machines, special stuff, and skilled people that keeps those towels looking amazing!

How do Hotels Keep Towels White? - FAQs

Why are hotel towels always so white?

Hotel towels stay white due to a combination of factors, including the use of advanced laundry machinery, specialized detergents, stain-fighting products, and meticulous attention to detail in the laundering process. Hotels invest in maintaining the whiteness of their towels to provide a clean and luxurious experience for their guests.

Do hotels use bleach to keep towels white?

Yes, hotels often use bleach as a whitening agent to maintain the brightness of their towels. However, they use mild bleach solutions with low concentrations to prevent any damage to the fabric. Additionally, hotels combine bleach with other cleaning agents and technologies for optimal results.

How do hotels prevent towels from getting stained by guests?

Hotels employ stain-fighting products specifically designed to target various types of stains that guests might cause, such as coffee, wine, or food stains. These products, often containing enzymes like Protease and Amylase, work to remove stains effectively during the laundry process.

Can I use the same methods as hotels to keep my towels white at home?

Yes, you can adopt some of the hotel’s techniques to keep your towels white at home. Using warm water, avoiding overloading the washing machine, and avoiding fabric softeners are some tips that can help. However, you can’t really use all the methods since commercial grade detergents, and even the commercial machines are not available at homes.

Are there any eco-friendly methods hotels use to maintain white towels?

Some hotels prioritize environmentally friendly practices. They use ozone technology in their laundry machines, which can clean towels effectively without the need for excessive hot water or harsh chemicals, reducing their environmental impact. Additionally, some hotels opt for natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar to maintain whiteness while being eco-conscious.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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