Caring for Your Towels
It’s a common dilemma for accommodation providers – do we use white or coloured towels? Most operators will have tried both scenarios at some stage and will have formed their own opinion, but following are some points that may help you reach a decision on which to use in your property.
A good quality white towel will stay looking good providing you use a washing detergent that contains optical brightening agents (OBAs). Almost all commercial washing powders/liquids that you can buy contain OBAs which are designed to keep “whites” looking white.
Whilst this is fantastic if you are laundering white towels, you must be extra careful not to use this type of detergent on pastel colours, especially those based on yellow/orange, ie mocha, as they may fade and you will end up with all your towels being different shades. For this reason, if you are sending your towels out to a commercial laundry where it would be difficult to guarantee that your coloured towels would be washed using an OBA-free detergent, it would be a far “safer” option to use white.
Caring for Coloured Towels
If you decide to use coloured towels, to ensure no fading occurs and that your coloured towels remain bright and vibrant, you should use a wool wash detergent. We have also found that there are several “eco” detergents on the market that are kind to coloured towels. Whilst these detergents may cost a little more, this should be weighed up against the cost of ruining your towels.
There has been a trend towards mocha coloured towels in recent years, simply because operators are sick of the unsightly brownish marks some make-ups leave on their lovely white product. However, facial cleansers and creams that contain benzoyl peroxide will leave nasty blotches on your coloured towels as well.
“If you have coloured towels that have discoloured in spots or blotches, you will need to put your detective hat on - check the procedure followed by your cleaning staff – some will use the towel to wash the bath etc, or put them in the same laundry bag as their cleaning rags that have been used with bleaches.
A dye will not destroy itself – there has to be an outside agent involved like a chemical or sunlight that will cause discolouration of a towel,” says Nadine Barnes of Commercial Supplies. Discoloured patches can also be caused by guests using facial cleansers and creams that contain benzoyl peroxide, hair colours, self-tanning lotions, aftershave, etc. Some of these will also cause unsightly marks on white product, however general stains on white product can be treated whereas stains on coloured product are difficult to remove without damaging the original colour.”
There is no doubt that white towels are easier to upkeep than coloured, but to coloured towels there should be no reason not to use them as long as you are careful about the washing procedure being followed and understand that there will be occasions when
Commercial Supplies are NZ distributors for Actil Commercial Super Deluxe white and Down Under coloured/white towels, both of which are made specifically for commercial use/laundering.