Hygiene Alert: Are You Changing Your Towels Often Enough?

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.15 - 2024 6:48 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Are your towels as clean as you think? Hygiene expert Kelly A. Reynolds reveals how often you should wash your towels to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for bacteria.

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Stepping out of a shower and wrapping yourself in a soft towel is one of life’s simple pleasures. But when was the last time you washed that towel?

According to hygiene expert Kelly A. Reynolds, most people don’t change their towels nearly as often as they should to maintain optimal cleanliness.

Understanding Towel Cleanliness

It's common for towels to be used multiple times before washing, often based on a weekly schedule. Reynolds points out that this practice might not be sufficient for maintaining hygiene.

"Many of us hang our towels to dry and reuse them throughout the week. However, this habit could be turning our towels into bacterial hotspots," she explains.

The Three-Use Rule

Reynolds recommends washing towels after every three uses.

This guideline helps prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold, which can proliferate on damp towels. According to Reynolds, "if a towel doesn't dry completely and is used multiple times, it becomes a fertile environment for microorganisms,"

The key to keeping towels fresh between washes is ensuring they dry thoroughly and quickly after each use. Reynolds suggests using a designated towel rack to improve airflow and speed up drying times, which can significantly reduce the risk of bacterial growth.

"Properly drying your towel after each use is as crucial as washing it frequently," she notes.

The unpleasant odor that can develop from used towels is primarily due to the accumulation of dead skin cells, which serve as food for bacteria. This is why it's essential to launder towels regularly and ensure they are dry before reuse.

Best Practices for Towel Care

To keep your towels hygienic and smelling fresh, consider the following tips:

  • Hang towels spread out on a rack instead of folding them over a bar, which can restrict airflow and prolong drying times.

  • Ensure your bathroom is well-ventilated to aid in the drying process.

  • Consider using thinner towels that dry faster, especially in humid climates.

Regular laundering and proper drying are essential for maintaining towel hygiene. By following Reynolds' advice, you can ensure that your towels remain fresh, clean, and free from harmful bacteria, keeping you and your family safe and healthy.

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