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

Towelling expert explains why you should wash your towels more often, and how often you should do it depending on how you use them

Bath towel by Dip & Doze
(Image credit: Dip & Doze)

Fluffy bathroom towels are one of life's great joys. Washing towels? Not so much. They're heavy, they take up all the room in the washing machine, and, if you don't use a tumble dryer, they take ages to dry. 

And yet, to do these essential home items justice, you have to learn how to wash towels correctly, and you should do it more often than you probably do, according to a towel expert. Here's why – and how often exactly you should be washing yours. 

Bathroom with towel, pebbles, and candle

(Image credit: Dougal Waters/Getty)

How often should I wash my towels?

George Hughes, Founder of organic towel and bedding company Dip & Doze, is clear on the subject of washing towels. 'Ideally, you should clean your bath and hand towels after every three to four uses', he explains. 

If you suffer for allergies, eczema, or any other skin condition, you should wash yours after every single use. This especially applies to face towels you use to cleanse your face, but equally goes for body towels if your skin is sensitive. 

Man with stack of folded towels

(Image credit: Gary John Norman/Getty)

What if I'm going to the gym?

Again, Georges instructions are very clear: if you take your towels outside the home to use in the gym, public swimming pool, and so on, you must wash them after every use. 'Gym towels should be changed after every use as they come into contact with sweat, airborne bacteria and other contaminants if you use them to wipe down equipment, along with towels used at public swimming baths', he says. Don't leave them in the gym bag, either, as this could make them go moldy. 

What about beach towels?

The main thing with beach towels is keeping them separate from your bath towels. George says it is 'a really good idea to have separate beach and bath towels as well - even if that means packing twice as many - as sand can be hard to remove.' Pack your beach towels in a separate compartment of your suitcase after your holiday is finished, and wash them on a separate cycle from your bath towels after you get back.

Worried about what all this washing will do to your towels? As long as you wash them separately from your clothes and don't put them through very hot cycles too often, you needn't worry. It's all about choosing the best towels to begin with, George says: 'The best way to care for your towels is to make a sound investment at the beginning. High quality, 100% organic and Fairtrade cotton is a great way to start.'

We couldn't agree more – organic towels are more durable and better for the planet.

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.