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How Often Should You Wash Your Towels?

Get ahead of bacteria and fungi.


Right now, we’re all doing our best to keep our hands and our homes clean. The bathroom is often the place in the house that contains the most germs, so it’s extremely important that we take the proper precautions to disinfect everything in it the right way. We looked into this, and to our surprise, we may actually need to wash our bath towels a lot more often than we thought.

We might assume that since we’re clean when we get out of the shower to use our towels, this means they stay clean, too. But towels hang wet in the bathroom for long periods of time, and that moisture provides the perfect breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.

According to the Cleaning Institute, we should all be washing our towels after just three uses. That’s right — according to their data, we should be rotating towels at a minimum of twice per week, assuming that we take a shower everyday. 

This might seem a little excessive, but other experts agree. Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at the New York University School of Medicine, told Tech Insider, “A damp towel is growing. If there is odor coming from the towel, wherever there is odor, there are microbes growing so it should be washed.” Yuck!

Other factors can call for even stricter measures. For example, if your bathroom isn’t properly ventilated and your towels tend to remain damp for over an hour, they will require more frequent cleaning to prevent harmful microbes from multiplying. Gym towels or other towels that are used to soak up sweat should be washed after a single use to stop bacteria and fungi from growing. Furthermore, if you have a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, it may be beneficial to wash your towels more often to avoid reactions and irritation. And if you haven’t been already, always be sure to let your towels dry fully before throwing them into the hamper. 

So if you’re on a disinfecting mission like many of us are, be sure to grab all your towels and throw them in the laundry. Standard washing machines and laundry detergent do a fine job of cleaning your towels, but some experts say that using the hottest water setting for towels is best. 

Now that you’re washing your towels more often, maybe it’s time to stock up on a few more. Check out some of the most luxurious, fluffy towels on the market, here.

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