Cleanliness is next to Godliness, they say. Honestly, how many of you have ever thought of changing your Bath Towel before it turns fray and loses its absorbency? Our answer is the same as yours, ‘Never thought about it before.’ Well, experts suggest otherwise. According to the experts, you should change/wash your towel within two to three uses. Covid-19 made us aware of the germs and viruses around us and made us realize how important it is to clean oneself during these troubled times. Bath towels and hand towels are a necessity when it comes to cleaning.
Many of us wonder how a piece of cloth can be so important to clean regularly. But we wipe our clean body with that, so it has to be clean, right? No, our body has microorganisms, which tend to end up on our towels. Should you be using the same towel when you shower everyday? So, today we will tell you the benefits of washing your towel and is it necessary to change your body towel. Let’s get started!
What could be in your towel?
Your towel is the best place for breeding unwanted germs. Most of our dead cells are brushed off in the shower, but many end up on our bath towels every day. A towel absorbs water which keeps it damp, and it helps the bacteria, fungi, and viruses to grow in a large number. Now, our skin can produce acids that can stop these germs from multiplying, but a piece of cloth doesn’t come with this advantage. An estimate by ‘Inside Edition’ suggested that bacteria count on a bath towel on Day 1 was 260 thousand which multiplied to 650 million by Day 7. E.coli was found on the towels, with 5 other types of bacteria and fungi. It sounds awful—doesn’t it? This is all the more reason why you need to change your bath towels regularly.
How would an unclean towel affect your health?
Dirty towels help in spreading viruses, bacteria, and fungi. But don’t worry, most of these do not negatively affect your health. Yet, the possibility of developing folliculitis remains. This condition occurs when you develop a bacterial infection in a hair follicle, and it is completely treatable with medications like antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Rubbing the towel vigorously on your skin results in small cracks which are not visible to the naked eye, and then the bacteria enter through those pores which result in acne. Bacteria that cause highly contagious Staphylococcus infection, can spread through towels and can penetrate through those small cracks to go into your body.
Even if you don’t change your body towel frequently and use the same towel from last week, you might not contract any infection. But if you share a towel, for example, hand towels, then the chances of spreading infections increase significantly.
How often should we wash our towels?
The Cleaning Institute recommends washing bath towels after two to three uses. That means that if you shower every day, then you need to wash it twice a week. Regular cleaning can ensure the removal of any germs that are starting to accumulate.
Sometimes you need to wash your bath/hand towels more frequently and change your body towel for better hygiene. Here are some points you need to keep in mind:
- Any towel which has body fluids/sweat on it should be washed after one use.
- Gym towels that stay damp in your bag for hours should be washed immediately.
- Damp towels in the bathroom that don’t dry fully should be washed daily.
- If you have sensitive skin, wash your towel after one use to prevent further irritation.
- After using your towel, don’t throw it on the floor as it will have more difficulty in drying and will be prone to collecting germs. Try to hang it up neatly for next time.
- Hang your towel as neatly as possible on a towel bar or your usual hanging spot. Try not to leave the towel bunched up with other materials, as it would have trouble drying.
- If you have a fan in your bathroom, try turning it on and letting it run for a few minutes. The fan helps to clear out the moisture, which is indeed beneficial for the towel.
- People make mistakes by adding too much soap to damp towels that have started to smell. Soap helps the wet towel grow funk, so less is always better. A double rinse is also a good idea.
- Towels develop a musty smell. Try using vinegar to kill the smell. You could also try to hang them under sunlight, as it is pretty effective for removing odor.
When should I replace my bath towel?
Like all good things, your relationship with your bath towel also has to come to an end! The life cycle of a bath towel depends on its quality. A cheap towel may unravel more quickly than an expensive one. Then again, many factors play a huge role, like if the water’s too hot, the fabric tends to break. Using too much bleach could also affect your towel’s life.
So when should you replace it? Elementary, my dear Watson. If you feel like it has lost its soaking ability, or your towel has holes in it, or it smells musty even after your vigorous washing, then you should change it. There is no fixed duration for a towel as it entirely depends upon you and your usage. So feel free to buy a new one whenever necessary.
Thus, we come to the end of our article. In short, yes, your towel normally contains millions and millions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and you probably won’t experience any major ill effects from reusing your towels for multiple days or even weeks. But if you are trying to go that extra mile to keep yourself clean, this could be the perfect start for you. You could also change your bath towel by keeping some extra towels in your home if you are not a fan of laundry, like me.
Thus, we come to the end of our discussion on the longevity and cleanliness of your bath towels. If you found this article to be helpful, then do share it with your friends and family members and spread the good word. If you have any ideas that you want to share with us, feel free to do so. Thank you for reading this article, and have a great day!