Here's how often you really should wash your towels (JSYK it's more than you think)

BRB, laundry time!

White rolled towels on pink soapy background
(Image credit: Future)

Unlike clothes, when you use a towel you’re clean, right? So surely they don’t need washing all that often — or do they? Admittedly, there’s nothing as nice as getting out of the shower to a fluffy, soft towel, but how often do they need to be cleaned? 

Despite the fact that you’re already clean when you reach for a towel, they do get dirty far quicker than you might think. It’s kinda gross but when you dry yourself (whether it’s your hands, hair, or body) you transfer dead skin cells and oils to the towel, and this combined with the moisture from your wet skin can turn your towel into a bacteria breeding ground. *Inwardly shudders.* 

So, with that rather icky fact in mind, RN you’re probs wondering how often to wash your towels. Especially if they're your favorite ones, like these Target towels. Luckily for you, we’ve chatted to an expert and have the answers you need. 

How often should you wash your towels?

Okay okay, we get it, towels get gross hella quick. But how often should they be washed (and why)? 

George Hughes, Founder of organic towel and bedding company Dip & Doze, is clear on the subject of washing towels and recommends that “ideally, you should clean your bath and hand towels after every three to four uses”. 

If you suffer from allergies, eczema, or any other skin condition, he recommends you should wash yours after every single use. Oh and, FYI, face towels should be washed more frequently than body towels. 

As for towels that you take outside the house, such as to use at the gym, the pool, or the beach, he recommends washing them after every use as they come into contact with sweat, airborne bacteria, and other contaminants. 

Oh and, JSYK, always make sure to hang used towels up, allowing them to dry evenly.

What’s the best way to wash towels?

Listen up besties, washing your towels is seriously easy. So there’s no need to stress. It's just a case of knowing how to wash towels effectively, that's all.  

So, for best results, here's what you need to do.

  • Wash white towels at a high temperature (this helps to keep them looking nice and bright)
  • Clean colored towels on a warm (not hot) cycle
  • Only use fabric softener sparingly as it can impact the absorbency of towels — white vinegar is an effective alternative
  • The best way to dry towels is in the tumble dryer with a couple of dryer balls (or tennis balls)
Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.

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