Beyond Bleach: How Hotels Really Get Their Towels So White

Hotels maintain the whiteness of their towels after multiple washes by using careful laundering techniques, high-quality detergents and optical brighteners. 

To keep towels smelling fresh, hotels use scented laundry products, prioritize proper drying and store the towels in clean and dry spaces. They maintain the towels’ softness after heavy use by choosing soft and durable materials, using fabric softeners, employing gentle washing methods and using specialized fabric conditioners. 

The best practices for keeping towels soft and white include the following:

  • Sorting by color.

  • Treating stains beforehand.

  • Using quality laundry products.

  • Avoiding excessive detergent and bleach.

  • Choosing gentle washing cycles.

  • Drying properly.

  • Regularly inspecting the towels and washing machines.

How Do Hotels Keep Their Towels So White After Multiple Washes? 

Hotels employ various strategies to maintain white towels even after repeated wash cycles to meet guests’ cleanliness and quality standards. 

Hotels keep their towels bright white after multiple washes by doing the following:

  • Prioritizing towel quality: Hotels invest in high-quality towels crafted from long-wearing and absorbent materials like Egyptian cotton or combed cotton. These materials offer exceptional softness and resilience, allowing for frequent washing without altering their appearance.

  • Separating towels from other laundry: Hotels separate towels from other items for laundering to prevent lint transfer and discoloration caused by other fabrics during the washing process. This process ensures that the towels remain free from stains and undue wear. 

  • Sorting towels by color: Hotel staff sort towels according to color, washing white towels separately from those featuring colors or patterns. This process reduces the risk of colors bleeding onto white towels, helping to maintain the brightness of all the towels.

  • Implementing proper washing techniques: Hotels take great care to use specific washing techniques to protect the towels’ pristine appearance, such as using warm rather than hot water to avoid yellowing or fabric damage. They also measure detergent quantities carefully to prevent excessive abrasion that leaves residue.

  • Using bleaching agents carefully: Hotels may use mild or oxygen-based bleaching agents to tackle stubborn stains on towels and maintain bright radiance, but their concentration and frequency must be closely monitored to prevent fabric damage.

How Do Hotels Keep Their Towels Smelling Fresh?

Hotels use effective strategies to ensure the towels they provide their guests have a fresh and inviting scent, creating a positive experience and upholding high standards of cleanliness. 

Hotels keep their towels smelling fresh through the following practices:

  • Routine laundry: Hotels prioritize routine laundry to prevent bacteria, sweat and unpleasant odors from building up on towels over time. By sticking to a laundry schedule, hotels ensure their towels always smell fresh.\

  • Thorough drying techniques: Hotels understand the significance of proper drying to avoid dampness or musty odors in towels before storage or use. Hotels use commercial-grade dryers or air-drying methods to ensure each towel is completely dry before being stored.

  • Quality laundry products: Hotels use top-of-the-line detergents and fabric softeners. Our products remove unpleasant odors while leaving the towels smelling fresh.

  • Separation of laundry: Hotels separate towels from heavily soiled or strongly scented laundry items to reduce the transference of odors.

  • Subtle fragrance enhancements: Some hotels add subtle fragrance enhancements to elevate the pleasant scent of their towels. For example, they may use scented sachets or keep natural essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus in their storage area.

How Do Hotels Keep Their Towels Soft After Heavy Use?

Hotels use established practices to guarantee their towels remain soft and fluffy after heavy use. Below are a few strategies that hotels employ for this purpose:

  • Controlled detergent use: Hotels use an appropriate amount of laundry detergent. Excessive residue left by too much detergent can leave towels stiff and coarse. By choosing an optimal amount of detergent, hotels can prevent buildup while protecting the softness and comfort of their linens.

  • Gentle washing techniques: Hotels use gentle laundry practices to extend the life of towels. They use delicate cycles and avoid harsh processes that could harm fabric fibers and compromise their softness.

  • Fabric conditioners tailored specifically for towels: Hotels often use fabric conditioners or softening agents designed to keep towels soft despite years of heavy use. This strategy helps to maintain their soft texture even in extreme use conditions. 

  • Proper storage procedures: Hotels store their towels in an environment free of moisture to preserve the towels’ luxurious texture and achieve maximum softness. Careful folding or hanging will reduce creasing and maintain surface texture for maximum softness.

What Are the Best Practices for Keeping Towels Soft & White?

Here are a few strategies that will ensure towels stay soft and white:

  • Choose towels made of high-quality materials such as long-staple bamboo or cotton fibers that feature soft yet long fibers for plushness to achieve maximum softness and comfort.

  • Pretreat towels that have stains. 

  • Experiment with innovative laundering techniques, such as using ultrasonic cleaning devices or adding laundry pods designed to whiten fabrics. These often feature detergents containing enzymes to remove dirt, grime and discoloration while maintaining softness in fabric fibers.

  • Enhance your laundry experience with aromatic essential oils known for their antibacterial and soothing properties, such as lavender, tea tree or eucalyptus oils. Add a few drops into the fabric softener or dryer balls to give towels an inviting fragrance.

  • Take an intentional approach to folding and storing towels. Avoid overstuffing linen closets because too much stuffing can cause towels to lose their plushness.

Alsco Can Ensure Your Towels Are Always Fresh, White and Clean 

When you work with Alsco, your towels will always be fresh, white and clean. Our custom NPE-free laundering formulas are designed scientifically to suit your fabric type and laundering needs, ensuring hygienically clean linens while removing even the toughest stains. With fewer harsh chemicals used, your linens last longer, providing a neater, cleaner and more comfortable experience for your customers.

By choosing Alsco’s linen cleaning services, you save time and money. With less frequent linen replacements and no laundry tasks to worry about, you can streamline your business operations. Join our long list of satisfied clients who have benefited from our exceptional services.

Contact us today to learn more about how Alsco can tailor our towel solutions to meet your requirements. Experience the convenience, cost savings and impressive first impressions that come with partnering with Alsco. 


Laundering Problems & Solutions. American Cleaning Institute.

Laundry Detergents. American Cleaning Institute. 

Don’t Bother Using Hot Water to Wash Your Laundry. (August 2016). Consumer Reports.

How to Wash Towels to Keep Them Soft and Smelling Fresh. (July 2023). Better Homes & Gardens.

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