How long will hotel towels last ? This is one of the most common questions and the answer is almost impossible to answer. The 3 key factors that determine the life of a hotel towel are 1) Occupancy Rates, a property at 40% is not putting the same use on towels as a property at 90%. 2) Washing chemicals, anything with an acid will damage the cotton. Bleach is an acid and so are some other types of products. 3) Laundry machinery, the new high efficiency washers are especially damaging to towels. The very high revolutions during the final extraction cycle put a huge amount of stress on the cotton. In addition newer washers that use less water do not remove all of the detergent in the towels. They push the detergents that are left after the rinse cycle to the edges of the towels during the extraction cycle. On the edges of the towels they become concentrated causing the towels to eventually rip on the edges.