TLC For Towels

How Often Should You Be Washing Towels?

Those of you looking to lessen your laundry load may want to avert your eyes. Sorry green cleaners and laundry loafers, it seems that many people don’t actually wash their household towels enough. 

Starting with the bathroom towels, experts say frequency of use rather than days used, is what matters. Bath towels that are being used once a day to dry off after a shower can be used up to three times before needing to be washed. Read carefully here, they can “be used up to three times before needing to be washed,” not necessarily for three days if you are showering more than once per day or use your bath towel for any other reason in between. 

The reasoning here follows the principle that you wouldn’t want to put dirty clothes – especially underclothes — on a clean body after your shower. And while when you get washed in the shower or bath you clean most bacteria away you don’t clear it all.  So when you’re drying off some of that residual bacteria may find its way to your towel where it will happily grow and multiply in its perfectly conditioned moisture-laden bathroom habitat. 

And hand towels are another story as well, the suggestion being that they should be changed every one to two days as they get more frequent use and, especially if you have little ones, might be washing hands that aren’t always completely clean. After a bout of illness strikes your household, it is also advised that towels be disinfected with bleach or another other sterilizing cleaning agent. 

Face towels and washcloths should be even more frequent flyers to the washing machine. At the very least consider your complexion! When you wash or dry your face with a dirty washcloth, you are reintroducing all that dirt and bacteria back to the skin. Not exactly the way to get your glow on.

Kitchen towels may be even more concerning as they are used so many times throughout the day. If you use a dirty dish cloth or towel to dry with  you might be exposing you and your family to hundreds of thousands of bacteria with one fell swipe of your drying cloth. Ideally kitchen towels should get tossed in the wash after each use. This may not sound practical but it’s the hard truth.  

The next best option is to dip them in a diluted bleach solution between uses, and let them air dry. Just two teaspoons per gallon of sink water is enough and will postpone your kitchen towels’ next laundering. It’s also important to remember that moisture breeds mildew and most. So if your cotton dish towels aren’t completely dry they will become a breeding ground for mildew and unpleasant odor. In effect you’ll just end up having to wash them a few extra times anyway to get rid of the smell! 

Laundry never ends and can take away from the many other “to-dos” on your list, not to mention precious family time. If you think it might be time for a little assistance with your household chores, A la Maid offers top to bottom, detail-oriented cleaning service. We even do laundry. Interested? Call or email to book a free estimate today!

References: (Reader’s Digest)