DEFY S. McQUAID! #55: A basic question…

The Question

Meghan asks:

Just out of pure curiosity, what exactly would have to be different about a person’s body chemistry to allow them to alter the color of a bath towel simply by drying themselves with it? This is a purely objective question, mind you. I CERTAINLY don’t know ANYONE who has EVER done this…*coughshauncough*

The Answer

Well, that person would need to be very special indeed.

There is one easy way to affect the color of a towel – you can bleach it! That will change the color of it. However, I think we can assume that the person in question does not exude bleach. So how could this have happened?

Well, think about bleach, for a moment. What is the defining trait of bleach? Why, that it’s extremely alkaline, that’s what! So perhaps the person in question also was very alkaline (like a human battery, perhaps). That would definitely affect the color of a towel.

Or, perhaps they had something that was very alkaline on them – like soap! Unless they were using Dove (which is PH balanced, of course), the soap might have been very basic, and said person might not have rinsed themselves off completely.

Or perhaps, the water in the shower had some strange trait. Perhaps it was softened? This, in combination with a slightly alkaline body chemistry, could potentially change fabric colors.

I think the most likely solution is a combination of all three items. So we have softened water, an incomplete rinse cycle, and a human battery. No wonder the towel changed color in the presence of so much POWER!

4 thoughts on “DEFY S. McQUAID! #55: A basic question…

  • 2/7/2006 at 8:27 am

    Would these “Battery People” have electric personalities?

  • 2/15/2006 at 10:40 am

    also, benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient found in many a “clear skin” product will bleach towels if it isn’t fully rinsed off of one’s face and hands before they are dried on said towels.

  • 2/18/2006 at 10:33 pm

    This summer, I found myself in Pennsylvania, desperately needing to take a shower, but having no means of drying myself off afterwards! I went to the grocery store and bought the cheapest towel I could find. I think it was under $1.50. Perhaps even under $1.00. It was made of some synthetic fiber, so it did not absorb any water at all! I had to use it like a squeegee. AND all the blue dye came out of the towel, and took up residence in my skin! I had blue skin for at least a day! I will never buy a $1.00 beach towel again!


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