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White towels/sheets and nightmare of P20

Thanks a lot! I ended up getting most sheets and towels clean (but they cannot be in contact with bleach, the pink stain reappear if I wash with bleach).

I still lost a few towels, pillowcases due to permanent yellow stain. I washed more than 5 times and give up. But I will try to soak them in vinegar, not too confident it will work because I suspect I have put those in dryer and stain already set. Though, next time, I will try vinegar to treat stains :slight_smile:

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Thank you! I will try this recipe in the future :slight_smile:

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You can try hydrogen peroxide - that works for some stains (like blood).

We have white sheets too and have lost several to fake tan.

As they are high end, commercial quality, I didn’t want to throw the stained ones out, so I tried out the icolour dye (from spotlight $15 does 4 kg of fabric) which you can dye in the washing machine.

I couldn’t believe it, but they turned out fabulous. So now we have the white ones, but also some orange ones (there are about 20 colours you can choose from).

ps, I add borax to all my white washes and they stay sparkly clean



I love a creative solution! Dyeing the stained towels & linens is perfect!

I use white towels because I think they look fresh and white goes well with my decoration. I use vanish spray on stains, and don’t wash them too hot as I find this wears them out quickly. They are tumble dried and stay fluffy and good for many, many uses. I hear there is a new washing disinfectant on the market and I will try this, although I know the wash and the tumble drying will kill any bacteria. I wouldn’t use bleach as it alters the make up of the fabric and it never feels quite so good afterwards.

Hi Freya, this is interesting, I have been reading all the comments to your post and I have just had my first pink towel from bleach solution. I too prefer white as it can be easily bleached in whatever solution. I do worry if I had coloured linen that they would be ruined if treated. White suits me! However, I am still tackling the pink towels and at this stage it is only one towel and a hand towel. I soak ALL my towels in vanish oxyclean to sanitise them & remove stains, but persistent stains I try other solutions, hence the bleach. Guests never seem to learn from a request in bathroom asking not to rub mascara and foundation off on towels, instead to use complimentary make-up remover wipes. I have just joined this group after finding it while searching this topic.

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Welcome to the forum!


I had some pale yellow stains on a white sheet. the cause could have been urine perhaps? I tried bleach and was shocked to see the sudden change to bright pink. Fortunately it came off completely after about half an hour’s soaking in hot water and a washing powder called ‘Genie’, which is meant for hand washing without having to rub. (‘Genie’ sans frotter in French)

I find the best thing for blood stains is to rub for a few minutes with neat clear washing up liquid. I use the tips of fingers to rub, and then an old toothbrush; This was a tip from a Spanish cleaning lady

I have had issues with stains and tried every product in the market with poor results. I wasted more money on useless products. I ended buying new sheets and towels. The money wasted on cleansers and spot removers should have gone towards replacement.

Could it be the water there? Also with some things repeated washing helps. I had a towel I swear was stained and I put it in the dog pile. Now after several washings I’m wondering why I’m using that towel on the dogs.


Maybe you’re right about the water. I have hard water and use a water softner.

We have hard water but I have no softener. Maybe you could experiment with treating stains and hand washing in bottled water and check the results.

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Do you use Borax? When I’ve had hard water, I’ve found that it really made difference. It basically helps your detergents to work as they should.


^This. I use Borax in every load with my med-hard water. I also recently started adding 1/2 white vinegar which has made a world of difference in cleaning and deodorizing.

I know others here have said that Shout doesn’t work but I find it does if you have the luxury of time. The product needs to sit on the stain. I agree it doesn’t work if you spray the stain and immediately put the item in the wash. When I strip the beds/gather towels I have the Shout with me and spray any stains as I go then those linens/towels get to sit while I wash other things.

Using the Pre-soak option on my washer with the vinegar and Borax also seems to boosts cleaning.


Borax. First, make a paste with Borax and water. Use a clean toothbrush and scrub the Borax mixture into the stains. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Wash in hot water with laundry soap and more Borax. Check the stains before putting the sheets and towels in the dryer. Repeat and soak for a day if possible. Paste, scrub, soak, wash, repeat. It works, but it’s not fun. It is cheaper than buying new, though.

Borax, unlike bleach or Oxiclean, gets rid of yellow from sunscreens and other body lotions that cause stains.


Regarding white/colored towels and bedding:

We have done both. Started with medium blue sheets in one room and white in the other. Started with medium green towels in one room and white in the other. Started out with medium blue coverlets in both rooms. Started with white blankets in both rooms. All our linens are 100% cotton.

So far, we’ve experienced far more damage to the blue sheets, blue coverlets, and green towels than to any of the white linens. What happens is that guests use some products (don’t know what) that leave bleached out light grayish spots or rust-colored spots on the blue bedding. We’ve ended up with light tan spots on the green towels.

All our original white bedding and towels are still stain-free.

We’ve recently switched to all white sheets, coverlets, blankets, and towels for both rooms.

Toothpaste and tooth whiteners. I have more dribbles from people wiping their foaming mouths on anything… White. All. White…

The product your guest are using that ruin your colored linens is ProActiv. Also, some people’s sweat can cause discoloration.

Give Your Sheets a Proper, Deep Cleaning!

Top 10 Reasons to Use Vinegar in Laundry

The culprit may be benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These are found in all kinds of acne meds, wrinkle cream, facial washes, etc., and other skin preparations.

Thank you for letting me know about P20, that explains a lot! We have 3 rental properties in Marco Island, Fl and believe me there is a lot of sunscreen being used :sunglasses:. On 2 separate occasions our white sheets/bedspreads have had large areas of pink stains. At first I thought the renters spilled kool-aid or a sports drink…couldn’t figure out what cause it. We ended up just replacing everything after washing them a few times and the stain was less noticeable but nevertheless still visible. Now it happened again! So thank you for the warning, at least now I know!! I will try some of the washing suggestions that were offered and hope something will work! Besides telling renters they must shower before bed :wink:I’m afraid this is going to be a continuous problem!

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