How to Clean Spa Towels

Spa towels are a luxurious and essential part of any spa or massage therapy business.

How to Clean Spa Towels

These towels are often used to keep clients warm and comfortable during treatments, and they can quickly become soiled and smelly if not properly cleaned.

Maintaining the freshness and softness of your spa towels is crucial for providing a pleasant and hygienic experience for your clients.

The Importance of Properly Washing Spa Towels

Spa towels are subject to frequent use and exposure to body oils, sweat, and other bodily fluids. If not cleaned correctly, these towels can harbor bacteria, mold, and unpleasant odors, which can create an unsanitary and unpleasant environment for your clients. Proper washing techniques are essential to remove these contaminants and maintain the softness and absorbency of the towels.

Failing to wash your spa towels correctly can lead to several issues:

  • Odor buildup: Sweat, body oils, and bacteria can cause towels to develop a musty or sour smell over time.
  • Stiffness: Improper washing techniques can cause towels to become stiff and scratchy, losing their soft and fluffy texture.
  • Discoloration: Improper washing can cause towels to fade or become discolored, making them look old and worn.
  • Decreased absorbency: Residue buildup from detergents or fabric softeners can reduce the towels’ ability to absorb moisture effectively.

By following the correct washing techniques, you can extend the life of your spa towels and ensure a comfortable and hygienic experience for your clients.

Washing Spa Towels: Step-by-Step Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide to washing your spa towels correctly:

1. Sort and Separate Towels

Start by sorting your towels by color. White towels should be washed separately from colored towels to prevent discoloration. Washing towels of different colors together can cause the colors to bleed and mix, ruining the appearance of your towels.

Key Takeaway: Always wash white towels separately from colored towels to prevent discoloration.

2. Pretreat Stains and Odors

Before washing, pretreat any visible stains or odors on your towels. You can use a stain remover or a solution of baking soda and water to tackle tough stains. For musty or sour odors, add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help remove built-up residue from detergents and fabric softeners.

3. Choose the Right Detergent and Water Temperature

When washing spa towels, it’s essential to use the right detergent and water temperature. For white towels, use hot water and a detergent designed for whites. Hot water helps to remove dirt and stains more effectively, while a detergent specifically formulated for white fabrics can help maintain the towels’ brightness.

For colored towels, use warm water and a color-safe detergent. Avoid using too much detergent, as excess detergent can leave residue on the towels, causing them to become stiff and less absorbent over time.

4. Avoid Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets

While fabric softeners and dryer sheets can make towels feel soft and smell fresh, they can also leave a waxy buildup on the towels, reducing their absorbency. It’s best to avoid using these products when washing spa towels.

5. Don’t Overload the Washing Machine

Overloading the washing machine can prevent the towels from getting properly cleaned. Stick to the recommended load size for your washing machine to ensure that the towels have enough room to agitate and rinse properly.

6. Shake and Fluff Before Drying

After washing, shake out each towel to help fluff up the fibers and prevent them from becoming matted or tangled. This step helps to maintain the towels’ softness and absorbency.

7. Dry Thoroughly

Make sure to dry your towels thoroughly before folding and storing them. Leaving even a small amount of moisture in the towels can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, causing unpleasant odors and potentially damaging the towels.

Use the appropriate heat setting for the type of towels you are drying. For cotton towels, use a high heat setting to ensure they are completely dry. If you are using a dryer ball or tennis ball, add a few drops of essential oil to the ball for a fresh, natural scent.

8. Store Properly

Once your towels are completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in damp or humid areas, as this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. If you need to store towels for an extended period, consider using a moisture-absorbing product, such as silica gel packs, to help keep them dry and fresh.

Maintenance Tips for Keeping Spa Towels Fresh

In addition to following the proper washing techniques, there are several maintenance tips you can follow to help keep your spa towels looking and smelling their best:

  • Wash towels frequently: Aim to wash your spa towels after every three to four uses to prevent the buildup of dirt, oils, and bacteria.
  • Rotate towels regularly: Use a rotation system to ensure that each towel is used and washed regularly. This will prevent any towels from sitting unused for too long and developing musty odors.
  • Air out towels: After each use, hang or drape towels over a towel rack or bar to allow them to air out and dry completely before storing them.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners or bleach on your towels, as these can damage the fibers and cause discoloration.
  • Replace towels regularly: Even with proper care, spa towels will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Plan to replace your towels every few years to maintain a fresh, clean, and comfortable experience for your clients.


Can I wash spa towels with other linens or clothing?

It’s generally not recommended to wash spa towels with other linens or clothing. Towels are heavier and require more agitation to get clean, which can cause damage to more delicate fabrics. Additionally, towels can shed lint and fibers, which can transfer to other items in the wash.

How often should I replace spa towels?

The frequency with which you need to replace spa towels will depend on several factors, including the quality of the towels, how often they are used, and how well they are cared for. As a general rule, you should plan to replace your spa towels every 2-3 years to maintain a high-quality, comfortable experience for your clients.

Can I use bleach on my spa towels?

It’s generally not recommended to use bleach on spa towels, as bleach can weaken and damage the fibers over time. Instead, use a detergent specifically formulated for white fabrics and hot water to keep your white towels looking bright and fresh.

How do I remove stubborn stains from spa towels?

For stubborn stains on spa towels, try pretreating the stained area with a mixture of baking soda and water. Let the paste sit for a few minutes before washing to help lift the stain. You can also try using a stain remover specifically designed for use on towels and linens.


Maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your spa towels is essential for providing a comfortable and hygienic experience for your clients.

By following the proper washing techniques, using the right detergents and water temperatures, and avoiding harsh chemicals and fabric softeners, you can extend the life of your towels and keep them looking and smelling their best.

Remember to wash towels frequently, rotate them regularly, and replace them every few years to ensure your clients always have a clean and inviting experience.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.