When To Wash Your Towels
If you're using your towels and taking a bath or shower every day (like you should be), then you may be wondering how often to wash towels before they begin to harbour germs and bacteria. Most people give their towels a nice, good sniff to see if a towel is smelly before they chuck towels into the hamper, but by the time a smell becomes noticeable, the towel will already have been home to a colony of bacteria for a while.
In instances like this, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Before your towel even begins to register an odour, you should already be chucking it into the wash. Most experts recommend cleaning your towel after two or three uses, provided that you let them fully air dry between uses.
If it's your first time using a brand new towel, then you can be a bit more lenient, using it for about a week before putting it in the washing machine. If you're washing new towels though, it may be wise to wash them separately from the rest of your laundry, at least for the first couple of times.
Why Towels Should Be Washed Regularly
When you use your towels, they absorb the water that is on your body. Now, this moisture may not be dirty per se, but a damp towel is a haven for germs and bacteria to breed in, especially in hot or humid climates. The reason that towels begin to smell in the first place is the amount of bacteria that's on them in the first place. The more bacteria, the smellier your towel becomes.
The longer you use your towel without giving it a proper wash, the less effective it will be at actually cleaning you off. What most people may not know is that the first time you use your towel after a shower, bacteria has already started to breed. This is generally fine for a few days, but after around three to four uses, it’s in your best interest to throw in the towel.
It is recommended that you have at least one backup towel so that you have a fresh towel while your other towel is on its way to be cleaned.
When To Replace Bath Towels
Usually, you’d want to replace a towel after a couple of years of active use, especially if your towels are starting to feel a little bit coarse. If you’re already looking to replace your existing towels with something a little more durable, go for something a made of a higher quality material.
Over time, cheap towels will lose fibres and will start to shrink and can change shape. But a well-made towel can last almost forever if it’s taken care of!
How To Properly Use And Care For Your Towels
There are a few things you could do to ensure that your towels last as long as possible:
- If at all possible, you should wash your towels in warm water, and then gently tumble dry it on the low setting. Ideally, you’d wash your towels separately from the rest of the laundry and the other towels, but if that’s not possible, that’s completely fine.
- Make sure that nobody shares towels. Each person in a household should have their own towel, especially if you have kids. Sharing towels is pretty unhygienic and can possibly transmit diseases like the flu, so avoid it if you can.
- The most important part of using your towel is waiting for it to completely dry before you use it again. Remember, the longer a towel is wet, the more bacteria and smell it accumulates. Using a towel while it’s wet also degrades the fibres of your towel.
- Make sure you have a different towel or washcloth for every part of your house that needs one.
As long as you take care of your towels, they’ll take care of you. A little bit of effort will keep your towel—and yourself—clean as a whistle.
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