How often should you wash your towels?
You wouldn’t wash certain articles of clothing—like jeans—every time you wear them, but what about your towels? Do hand, body, and kitchen towels share the same rules?
Buzzfeed asked an expert for the definitive answers.
“Towels used after bathing or showering that are just damp could be hung to dry and used up to three times,” Kelly A. Reynolds, Ph.D., an environmental health science professor at the University of Arizona tells BuzzFeed Life. “Bacteria and mold will begin to accumulate but growth will be slowed as the towel dries.”
Got that? Wash your darn bath towel after every three uses.
But what about your wash rag and face towel?
“Washcloths typically become soaked and heavily soiled during use,” Reynolds says. “When used to scrub skin, soils from makeup or dead skin cells can rapidly accumulate. Being wet and not just damp means there is a longer dry time. This lengthy condition of moisture creates the perfect environment for bacteria and mold to grow to unacceptable levels.”
That means wash them after every single use.
And kitchen towels or dish rags?
- “Kitchen cloths tend to readily attract harmful bacteria, remain damp due to soaking or frequent use, pick up food particles from kitchen practices, and are generally in close proximity to our food,” says Reynolds. “This condition creates a perfect scenario for collection, growth, and transmission of germs.”
Be sure to dip them in bleach or throw them in the laundry after each use, or you’ll just be spreading all that bacteria to surfaces you eat off of.
– Q13 FOX News Staff