How often do towels change? Studies confirm unusual rules

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 13, 2022
Updated 2022/01/13 at 1:38 PM

The bathroom is actually a place where hygiene plays a major role. You wash up there, brush your teeth, get ready to go out. You usually use a towel to do this every time, and this is where the problem arises. Because the dirt from several days gradually accumulates in these very textiles. The answer to the question how often you should wash towels.

How often do you really wash towels? Microbiologist advises uncomfortable rule

Every time you remove dirt from your face, hands, body, or hair, use a towel to leave it behind. The textiles are also often not far from your toilet, which can throw germs up to six meters when the toilet lid is open. You can guess how often you should really wash your towels.

In fact, the answer to that is a little more drastic than many might think. At least if, according to the microbiologist Professor Dr. Charles Gerba leaves. Because, in his opinion, you should be yours Wash towels after each use (in some cases), but in general after three days at the latest.

“Our tests show that face and bath towels should be changed at least every three days.”

Dr. Charles Gerba, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Public Health at the University of Arizona (via Mindbodygreen)

A few years ago, Gerba carried out several studies on the use of towels. He and his team found that 80 percent of the towels that had not been cleaned for three days or more Fecal bacteria. These got into the textiles through hand washing and could multiply there due to the damp conditions.

Expert tip: Pay attention to one detail when washing towels

Apart from how often towels have to be washed, according to Gerba it also depends on how this is done. His investigations further showed that many of the said bacteria survived washing too cold. He attributes this, among other things, to the thickness of the textiles, which would make it difficult to remove.

Washing towels hot is therefore the better alternative. This also corresponds to the common rule on water temperatures of at least 40 degrees, but 60 to 95 degrees for hygienic cleanliness to build.

According to Gerba, anyone who uses a dryer should also set it to a higher setting. If, on the other hand, the towels dry in the air, it is advisable to only pack them away when they no longer contain any residual moisture. Complete dryness is also recommended before the next use.

How to wash towels properly (instructions)

Aside from having the right temperature to effectively kill germs, the cleaning procedure is also important. So if you want to wash towels properly, follow these steps:

  1. Sort towels by color and material
  2. Fill the washing machine drum optimally
  3. Select the right washing program and detergent depending on the towel
  4. Towels spin at 1400 to 1600 revolutions
  5. Use the dryer for particularly soft towels

Extra tip: If the towels are new, wash them before using them for the first time. Due to the impregnation by the manufacturer, they are initially less absorbent for moisture.

More about proper hygiene: that’s what science advises

In addition to the question of how often it is actually recommended to wash towels, other and similar facts have also been examined scientifically. For example, studies offer advice on how often to wash bed linen. But there are also interesting findings about personal hygiene. This includes a method of washing hair and an unusual recommendation on how often to shower.

Sources: University of Arizona, Mindbodygreen

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