This Is How Often You Should Actually Wash Your Bath Towels
Everybody's different. Some people will use their bath towel once and consider it ready for the laundry basket. Others will diligently use their towel every day for a week (or more), ever conscious of the environmental and financial costs of doing laundry. If you've inherited a washing machine with a one-star energy rating and a two-hour spin cycle, you probably tend towards the latter.
When it comes to how often to wash your bath towels, it all comes down to what happens to the towel between uses, but there is a general time period to work from.
The purpose of a bath towel is to dry you off before you slip into your linen PJs or luxe cashmere loungewear. Having just showered, you're as clean as you can be, so why assume your towel is now "dirty"? It's not, per se, but it has definitely picked up a few dead skin cells. Moreover, it is now somewhere between slightly damp and quite wet, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Even if you give your towel its best chance of drying completely before its next run through the washing machine, there is still enough time for bacteria to form.
So, how often should you actually be washing your bath towels? According to the Cleaning Institute, towels should be washed after every third or fifth "normal" use. This assumes that your towel dries completely between uses, so if your towel is sandwiched between your housemates' towels or your robe, it's probably not drying completely. Make a mental note next time you go to shower.
Tips for good towel care
- Wash after every third use, or sooner if you notice an unpleasant smell or persistent dampness. Keep this in mind for hand towels as well, which tend to get used more frequently than bath towels.
- Replace your towels every few years.
- Between each use, hang your towel somewhere ventilated and allow it to dry completely before using it again. Ideally, somewhere other than your bathroom.
- If someone in your house has been sick, wash all of the towels.
- Opt for lightweight, low-pile linen towels instead of bulky, high-pile cotton towels. Our range of 100% Linen Waffle towels, for example, are naturally moisture-wicking, which means that they will dry much faster than your traditional bath towel, which means they are less likely to breed bacteria between uses.