How to Keep Your White Towels White

Does the thought of buying and using white towels give you anxiety, for fear that they'll end up looking grey and dingy?  You're not alone. 

We get lots of questions asking about the best and safest way to keep our white towels and robes soft, fluffy and as bright as the day they were purchased. 

Because we definitely want you to use and enjoy your envello towels, here are our top tips, none of them including bleach!

  • It’s really important to use the right amount of detergent so you don’t end up with leftover residue that not only adds to greying, but makes your towels harder and less absorbent when they dry.
  • Use warm, not hot water.  We recommend 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Wash your white towels with whites only.  Even the lightest coloured clothing (yes - beige included) can bleed into your highly absorbent towels during washing and contribute to greying.
  • To keep your towels fluffy and absorbent, never use fabric softener, which is actually formulated to “stick” to fabrics, coating them and reducing their absorbency. When drying them, to naturally fluff the fibres, we recommend using wool dryer balls which are widely available at different price points.

About Whitening:

The reason we’re not fans of bleach is twofold – #1 is the harm it does to the environment, but also because bleach shortens the life of your towels by actually breaking the cotton fibres down over time.

There are a number of eco-friendly alternatives that you can try that work really well, with the added bonus that they cost pennies a wash.  Here’s a few options.

Vinegar. Add ½ cup to 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to each wash to remove stains and whiten your towels.  If you have a fabric softener dispenser you can add the vinegar to it, to be dispensed in the final rinse. You can also pre-treat specific stains by spraying a diluted vinegar mixture (4 parts water to 1 part vinegar) directly on the problem areas. The actual vinegar smell will dissipate after you tumble them dry. Easiest and very cost effective.

Baking soda. Boosts cleaning and whitening. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda along with your regular laundry detergent. For spot stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply directly to the fabric.

Hydrogen peroxide (3%). Hydrogen peroxide is a non-chlorine bleach. Add 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide along with your regular laundry detergent.

 Pre-Soaking: For particularly tough stains, try a lemon pre-soak as your final option before turning to bleach.  It takes a bit more effort, but it really does do the trick. Fill a large pot with water and a sliced lemon. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, and add your towels. Let soak for an hour and then launder as usual.

These tips should help to keep your towels looking and feeling their best for a longer period of time.  Inevitably though, even with the best care, towels don't last forever.  You'll likely need to replace them after about 1-2 years. 

In the meantime – enjoy!