Your Used Bath Towels Are Dirtier Than You Think

It’s not excessive, it’s just good hygiene.

Let’s be honest, how many of us actually know how often to wash our towels? Do we wash them after every use? After several uses? Either way, we probably don’t wash our towels as often as we should. But it’s very important that we get the washing ratio right seeing as our bathroom towels can become a breeding ground for germs.

Even though people believe that they’re clean after taking a shower, this isn’t the case and germs can still be transferred to the towels. As GE Appliances found through a survey they conducted, a lot of people believe that they’re clean after a shower so about 50% of those polled don’t wash their bath towels until after around 5 uses. Additionally, GE revealed that 14% of those surveyed won’t wash their towels until after 8 uses.

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However, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, Charles Gerba, did a study which found that almost 90% of bathroom towels contained coliform bacteria and around 14% of towels carried E. coli.

Gerba said, “After about two days if you dry your face on a hand towel, you’re probably getting more E. coli on your face than if you stuck your head in a toilet and flushed it.”

That is definitely something to think about. Even if we have good hygiene routines or we have clean bathroom environments, our towels are still a place for germs and other bacteria to multiply. The reason for this is because our towels are normally damp and absorbent. They’re in warm and dark bathrooms that probably aren’t the best-ventilated rooms in our homes. Therefore, our towels create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

So, what is the frequency with which we should wash our towels? Gerba suggested washing all bathroom towels after two days of use. And don’t put your towels on a rinse or cold water cycle. As Gerba pointed out, bacteria can easily endure normal detergents, therefore you should put your towels to wash in hot water, as well as use an activated oxygen bleach product to kill all bacteria and germs on towels.

It’s not excessive, it’s just good hygiene. Especially since we use towels to dry our faces on a regular basis.