Spots arising on towels is a common disturbance that many people face. No matter how much you wash them, these spots won’t come out regardless of the towel’s color.
The reasons behind these spots can be many different things. But if you do your research, then you can get rid of some already existing spots and avoid future ones.
Here is what causes discolored towels and what you can do about it.
What Are the Stains on My Towels?
Colored towels can have spots that look like bleach stains, even when you are not using bleach on your towels. So what is the reason behind these stains?
Well, there are actually a couple of potential reasons behind these spots. These spots usually look white, yellow, or discolored. The main causes of these spots are bleach or other products that work the same as bleach.
These products remove the color, causing the white stains or decoloring. The bad part is that these spots won’t come out after a wash.
Unfortunately, you are most likely to replace these towels as they are permanently damaged.
But there are still a few things you can try to remove these spots and prevent future ones.
But before these tips, here are the specific reasons why you might have discolored towels.
Bleach: Bleach is the primary suspect of discolored towels. It is common knowledge that bleach can cause white spots on fabrics. As it is too powerful cleaning product, it should not be used while washing towels.
You should find out if anyone using the towels has washed them with bleach or if the detergent that you use has bleach in it.
The towels could also have been used to wipe down any cleaning product with bleach in it.
Other cleaning products: Some other cleaning products also have bleach in them. And sometimes they might have harsh chemicals similar to bleach that also discolors fabrics.
If you are using a cleaning spray with bleach or similar harsh chemicals, towels near where you used the spray can absorb the particles that are in the air and cause the towels to lose their color.
Washing towels and rags together: If you are washing your towels with your cleaning rags, this could also cause discolored towels.
Cleaning rags can absorb the bleach or bleach-containing products that you use and then leak those chemicals in the washing machine to the towels and cause them to have white spots.
Residues in the washing machine: One of the more sneaky possibilities is the chance of having residues from the previous wash remaining in the washing machine.
If you washed other items that you used with bleach in the last wash, they might have left residues.
Another possibility for this is that if your washing machine has an automatic bleach dispenser, it might have dripped or leaked a little bit and caused the stains.
Makeup and skin care products: Skin care and body care products are one of the main causes of discolored towels. Most of them have ingredients that can make your towel look discolored or bleached. These spots are also difficult to wash out.
Acne treatments: Acne treatments also have chemicals that are too harsh for towels and can leave stains on them. The main reason why acne treatment products hurt your towels is benzoyl peroxide.
It works wonders for acne treatment, but it is horrible for towels. It is a very common ingredient that is used in medications and moisturizers.
You should avoid wiping your face after you use any skin care product that has benzoyl peroxide in it as it causes discolored towels.
Dental products: Products that we use to keep our teeth clean and white can also hurt our towels. Mouthwashes, toothpastes, and whitening products can cause discolored towels due to the bleaching ingredients.
Try to wash your face and mouth after you use them so as not to leave any residue and harm your towels.
Minerals in the water: The cause of the discolored towels can be one of the main ingredients you need while washing your towels, water.
If the water that you use is rather hard, it will have excess minerals in it that the towels will absorb. The more minerals your towel absorbs, the harder it is to wash off and it stacks exponentially.
As minerals build up on your towel, you will see more spots on your towel.
Also, these minerals can build up in your washing machine, affecting all of your laundry. Your lighter colored towels can also have rust-like colored stains due to this.
Chlorine: Chlorine is very commonly used in pools to keep them clean and get rid of any bacteria. As it is diluted, it won’t have a negative effect if a little bit comes on your clothing or towels.
Using them after going into the pool is also not an issue, but if they are continually used, it will cause your vibrant and beautiful towels into discolored towels.
If you run a business that has a pool or if you go swimming in a pool frequently, at some point you are going to have to replace your towel.
How to Restore Color to Stained Towels?
You can try a couple of tricks to restore the color in the spots where your towel has lost its color.
Of course, these depend on the cause of the discoloration. Regular stains are a result of some other substance stacking a different color on the fabric.
Bleach stains are the opposite, as they make the fabric lose its pigment. These stains can have a more permanent effect than other stains.
So when you are trying to fix them, you are actually trying to restore the color instead of removing the stain.
For your discolored towels, you can use the following solutions:
Neutralize the bleach: If you have spilled bleach on your towel, the first thing you will want to do is to neutralize the spot that you have spilled bleach on immediately.
If you leave bleach on the fabric, it will cause you to have a discolored towel and it can even burn out a hole in the fabric. If you spill or accidentally pour bleach on your towel, the first step you want to take is to wash it in cold water.
This way, you can wash off any bleach before it sets in. After you have rinsed the bleach off of your towel, mix baking soda and water and apply it to the area where the bleach touched.
The reason for this is to neutralize any leftover bleach and its residue. Wait for the mixture to dry before brushing it off and washing as usual.
Use rubbing alcohol: If the area that was contacted by bleach is a small one, you can softly dab the area with rubbing alcohol.
By doing this, you can move some of the color around the bleached area to the stain itself.
It should be mentioned that this is a long shot, as towels don’t normally have extra dye on them, but it is still a possible solution to your discolored towels, so it is worth giving a chance.
Wash with diluted bleach: A solution which might sound weird is to dilute some bleach and wash the discolored towel in the diluted bleach. Of course, this doesn’t restore the color to the bleached spot, but it lightens the color of the towel to better match the spot, making it look less like a stain.
Use markers or dye: If the bleached spots that your towel has are tiny, you can use a marker with a matching color to fill in or recolor the area.
You should use a permanent marker. This technique gives the best solution on black fabric. However, this might be hard to apply due to its looped fabric. Fabric dye can be a much better fix for these kinds of stains. You can either dye the stained area or the whole towel.
Also, for a better result and a more permanent solution, use a dye fixative after you dye your towel.
Keep in mind that, as it is a new dye, the colors might not match exactly and look uneven, but it will be much better than a discolored towel.
Remove yellow bleach stains: It is easy to tackle bleach stains on white fabrics. As the towel is white, the bleach does not remove any color, but it can leave a yellowish stain.
If it does leave a stain, you can apply rubbing alcohol around the area or use a dye remover. Do not dry the towel until you are completely fine with the amount of color removal, because drying can set the stains.
Replace your towels: The fastest and easiest way to solve your discolored towel problem is to replace your discolored towel. This way, you can have a fresh and top-quality towel at your fingertips.
You should, however, try to find the cause of the discoloration to prevent it from happening again. You can also reuse the old towels as cleaning rags or as a material for DIY projects.