A couple of years ago I had an unfortunate accident involving boiling hot water, a cheap glass pitcher and a second degree burn on my right thigh. After a daunting tetanus shot (but the first shot in years where I didn't pass out--yay!), a couple of nurse techs who had no idea what they were doing, and a huge ace bandage wrapped around my leg, a nurse (who DID know what she was talking about) came in and listed of a bunch of Do's and Don'ts for the next week. One of the Don'ts was "Don't use colored towels. Go for white."
As it turns out, she admitted that the dye in colored towels tends to have components that could cause infection, so it is best to stick with white towels.
I marveled that no one tells you this stuff until AFTER you have something serious like a second degree burn. But, for all those never-burned-my-leg-because-I-was-smart-enough-to-keep-hot-liquid-out-of-a-cheap-glass-container people, this fact would never be known and you would continue rubbing colored towels all over your own bodies and, more importantly, your newborn babies' bodies.
When I registered for my baby, organic towels were at the top of the list. And when I buy new towels and washcloths--it's white for me! Not to mention, most of the stores I model my house after usually have a bathroom stocked with white towels, so fashion is not compromised.
I must admit, I have had trouble keeping white washcloths white (I think there's some rust in my water, and my husband works in construction, so . . . ) But the same rule for cloth diapers applies here--hang them in the sun, a natural bleach.
Above image found on Corbis.