Why Do My White Towels Turn Pink?

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White garments are typically very delicate and one wrong move could mean they are ruined permanently. White towels might turn pink because you mixed them in the washing machine with a piece of pink clothing that emits colour to your towels. 

Whenever you’re washing your clothes, always separate the coloured from the whites, this is the only time segregation is advised, in order not to stain your whites.

white towel pink

Pro Tips: To bring your towel that has turned pink back to life or to get dirty white towels white again, I suggest that you get Vanish Fabric Stain Remover Gold Oxi Advance Powder (Link to Amazon). This stain remover works like magic. Here’s how to use it:


Other reasons your towels may be turning pink/changing colours

Pink mould

If you don’t know what mould is, it is a growth usually present on cotton caused by bacteria. When this pink mould begins to form it causes the towel to change into a pinkish colour, which may be the reason your towels look pink.

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If that’s the case, all you need to do is disinfect your towels properly and store them in a well-aerated area.


I already mentioned this earlier but I wanted to elaborate further by saying, even if the clothes you separated are white but they are different. For example, if you wash towels that are white with white trousers it’s still possible for the trousers to bleed into your towels.

Always wash your white towels separately from other coloured fabrics, to avoid contamination either by a bleeding piece of clothing or germs from your other clothes. Towels are made for drying the body which makes it delicate and it’s unhygienic to wash it with your other clothes.


The space you store your towels could be a factor that is influencing the state of your towels. Is your dresser or wardrobe pink? Is there any pink substance close to where you store your towels?

If there are then you should probably think about relocating your towels to another space or if the dresser is pink and it’s off-gassing, then you should get a new dresser or just store your towels somewhere more conducive. Either way, I hope it works out.

Dirty washing machine

If you recently washed a clothing item that bled and the machine wasn’t washed properly afterwards. If you put your white towels in it for washing, it will inevitably make your towels turn pink. If you don’t take note on time, your towels will completely change to the colour that is stained in the washing machine.

That’s why it’s important to constantly check and clean your washing machine. In short, make time and if necessary clean your washing machine properly.

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If your towels are turning pink, ironically the reason may be that you just started using a new detergent that you either saw in a commercial or was recommended to you by a friend.

Either way, if the detergent is not ideal for your towel fabric, it may react in a way and begin to change colour. This is why your towels may be turning pink and taking a different hue.

Always stick to what your know, use the recommended detergent ideal for your towel fabric and avoid cheap detergents.


If your plumbing is faulty and your reservoir is contaminated, it could cause your clothes to begin to discolour. This discolouration process may inadvertently affect your white towels and cause them to start turning pink. Always check the state of your water before you pop your clothes in the washing machine, especially if the clothes are white.

Bad water will not only discolour your towels but will also cause the fabric to weaken and become more prone to ripping, wear and tear.


There are certain chemicals that act as natural dying agents, and if they get on your white towels they may begin to change the colour of your whites.

If your towels are turning blue/pink you should consider what you’ve been doing with your towels recently, have you been to the beach or the swimming pool recently?

If so, you should find out the chemicals used to purify the water so as to rule out the swimming pool. Whatever the reason is, I’m sure it may the reversible depending on the level of damage done.

Surface wiped

I shouldn’t be the one telling you this however, white towels aren’t ideal to be hand towels. If you use your white towels to wipe surfaces like your desk or the kitchen counter regularly. It may be that the residue of some pink substances you wiped off has begun to change the colour of your towels into pink.

Let me reiterate, do not use white towels as wash clothes or hand towels. You can purchase a couple of hand towel-size coloured towels to avoid them getting stained. Like the Classic luxury hand towels.


Did you paint any section of your house recently? Or were you close to some pink-hued paint? If so, it’s possible that you got some paint on your white towels and the paint has gradually started to convert your towel to its spectrum.

If it’s just a case of paint stain, then all you got to do is wash it with a powerful detergent. Not so corrosive that it causes skin irritations though, after a quick wash and bleach your towels should be as good as new.

Maybe it’s always been pink?

What if the “white” towel has always been pink, but is a shade of pink that’s very light or it has been bleached over time to give it a lighter and softer hue.

Well, if that’s the case then you don’t have to worry about external factors. Either way, ensure you rule out every factor in order to get to the root of the problem.

Why do my grey towels turn pink?

Your grey towel might turn pink for a couple of reasons. It could turn pink as a result of cleaners/body wash that might have bleach in them or could be a result of bacteria. Especially in humid bathrooms and if you wish to stop this from happening, I suggest you get white bath towels or keep them from humid environments.

How do you stop towels from discolouring?

You can stop towels from discolouring by using the appropriate detergent to wash them, and always avoid excessive heat also.

How to stop the bleeding from clothes?

Bleeding from clothes can end up ruining your other clothes, it doesn’t matter if they are coloured or not. Here are a couple of tricks to implement to curtail bleeding from your clothes.

Always cold wash

If you notice an item of clothing is prone to bleeding, always cold wash when doing laundry. Hot water loosens the fabric of clothes which makes the dye in the fabric begins to wash out. By cold washing, you avoid this and keep your clothes in their original state.

Colour codes washing

This may be a bit stressful because it involves separating all your clothes and washing them according to their individual colour.

You may end up doing laundry throughout the day, however, by doing this even if a piece of clothing bleeds, all the others are the same colour and it would be negligible.

Use colour retaining detergents

There are certain detergents on the market with colour retaining abilities that help maintain your coloured clothes. By using this to wash your clothes, you reduce the risk of bleeding and also give your clothes a new and fresh look.

Don’t dry under direct sunlight

After washing as I said earlier, heat causes clothes to fade faster by losing the dye in the fabric. This also applies to sunlight, do not dry your clothes under direct sunlight to avoid them fading. If you do, you may not notice till the next time you’re washing when the colour begins to flow into the water.

Purchase quality clothes

Purchase quality clothes, that’s it. The higher the quality the lower the risk of bleeding. Because the quality clothes are made with high-end fabric that are properly made and will not fade. Unless you mess up catastrophically by using bleach on your coloured clothes. Do not do this please and thank you.


How do you get stains out of white towels?

To get stains out of white towels wash them with a strong detergent. If the stain persists, you should apply bleach to the water and wash them again. Bleach is notoriously known to remove tough stains. If this doesn’t get the job done then I don’t think anything else will. Here is a bleach brand you can try Clorox performance bleach.

Does vinegar remove bleed stains?

Vinegar does not remove bleach stains completely from your clothes. The best thing to use if you want to get tough stains out of your clothes is bleach. If the cloth is coloured then you can use vinegar.

Can you wash pink with white?

No, you should never wash any coloured clothes with white together, rather wash them separately to avoid fading.

Why Do My White Towels Turn Pink – Conclusion

If you find out you have a mould problem, take the appropriate action and disinfect your towels to avoid getting skin infections.

If it’s more of a colour issue then there are steps you can also take to reverse the process. If it’s not reversible, you can either get a new towel or use it as is.

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