How Do You Get Stains Out Of Kitchen Towels?

As you maintain your home or business, stains will inevitably get in the way of your life. Anyone that’s had to clean up messes, whether it was caused by a customer or child, will notice how easily towels and rags get stained. No matter what sort of system or precautions you may have, stains are a part of the business, and the best you can do is know how to handle them.

Everyone and their mother have heard all different sorts of methods and tips, making it hard to decide which ones work and which are false. Thankfully, there’s enough truth to help you handle any situation you may come across. Regardless of whether you’re new and desperate for help or experienced and curious for insight, read on to find the best solutions for you.

Basic Notes On Cleaning Towels

Taking care of your towels is a routine thing, and yet it requires you to pay special attention to how you take care of them. By keeping in mind how you use and treat them, your towels can remain as good as new with the following tips:

  • Clean towels with hot water and ensure dryness before folding
  • Towels made of 100% ring-spun or combed cotton are more durable and absorbent, meaning they’ll provide a more thorough wash
  • Use white towels on acne products rather than colored ones, as cleaning stains from these products will deteriorate the color
  • Oxygen-based bleach is a safe way to take care of stains without damaging the fabric (don’t use on wool or silk)
  • Check for stains before drying, as drying any remaining stains will make them permanent. If the stains persist, treat and wash them again before drying.
  • Dry whites on a clothesline outside when possible, as UV rays from the sun will maintain their brightness
  • Clean your washing machine with bleach and vinegar (read how to do so at HGTV)

Learn The Basic Sources Of Stains

There are common sources of stains that most people will deal with throughout their life. The upside is that each stain has a way of being dealt with in almost any situation. As long as you act quickly, the following can be done to rid your towels of stains:

  • Sweat: new sweat stains can be taken care of with ammonia, while older stains may require white vinegar. After applying the solution, your towels should be rinsed and scrubbed with a stain remover or soap. Then, wash the towels in a hot water cycle.
  • Blood: before washing something stained with blood, soak it in cold water. If the stain has dried, use an enzyme cleaning product instead. Make sure not to use hot water, or the blood will set into the towel.
  • Drinks: coloring found in drinks will stain your towels, so begin to remove the stain by sponging it with cold water. Then, apply a liquid detergent or stain remover to treat it prior to washing it.
  • Makeup: soak makeup-stained areas with a liquid detergent for several minutes prior to washing your towel with hot water, detergent, and bleach. (Note: due to using bleach, it’d be best if you use white towels when dealing with makeup products so that you don’t discolor any towels)

Keep Your Towels Fresh And Clean

Over time, you may notice that your towels are putting up a fight against being washed. As they build up chemicals, your towels will be resistant to your usual washes. To fix this, you can try two methods to refresh your towels:

  • Strip Wash: Do a regular wash with hot water, but add ¼ cup of borax and washing soda each and ½ cup of laundry detergent. Stop once the water fills up and let it sit for 4-5 hours while it cools down. Then, continue through the rest of the cycle.
  • Double Wash: This two-step process begins with doing a long and hot wash cycle, but with two cups of white vinegar rather than a detergent. Run the cycle again, but with your preferred laundry detergent and a cup of baking soda.

While different, each of these will remove a lot of chemicals, namely fabric softeners, that have been caked into the towel fibers. Once completing one of the methods, your towels will be much easier to clean once stained. 

Try to do this for all your towels 1-2 times a year to keep them fresh and ready to wash.

Use Basic Home Items As Remedies

A confusing part of taking care of stains is the wide amount of various chemicals and detergents that you may come across. It can be hard to tell which is right for you and which is filled with harmful ingredients. However, making your own safe and effective remedies at home can help you skip this process entirely.

You may already have an ample supply of cleaners in your home without realizing it. Good ways to treat your stains are with the following items:

  • Hydrogen peroxide: in addition to cleaning your cuts, hydrogen peroxide can bleach your stained white towels while also being safer than your standard chemical bleaches.
  • Baking soda: a popular method is to mix water and baking soda together to form a useful cleanser to remove stains. Scrub those stains out with your solution and a small brush before putting your towel in the washing machine.
  • Distilled white vinegar: adding a cup of this safe and easy-to-use liquid to your wash is a great way to help remove stains and smells. (Note: harsher stains may require being soaked in a mix of cold water and distilled white vinegar for a couple of hours prior to washing)


Stains symbolize how difficult taking care of a restaurant or home can get when life interferes with your plans. You can’t just use your normal detergent or wait for your next load of laundry. A problem like this needs to be dealt with quickly and carefully, but also by preparing over a long period of time. 

However, just like life, each of these stains has a weak point and can be fixed if given the right treatment. With the information you’ve learned in this article, you’ll be sure to have enough information to tackle current and future towel stains.


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