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Here’s how often you should wash your towels, according to a cleaning expert

One of the best parts of any shower is drying off with a plush, cozy towel. But when did you last wash that towel hanging in your bathroom? If you aren’t keeping track, chances are you could use a little education on towel maintenance. Consider it another thing they don’t teach you in school.

Here’s the truth: When it comes to cleaning your bath towels, experts recommend laundering your bath towel — or swapping for a clean one — at least once a week.

“You should wash your bath towels after every three uses, or at the very least once a week, to maintain truly clean towels,” Brooklinen designer Ruthie Osswald tells In The Know by Yahoo. Regardless of the towel fabrication, you should always follow the care label instructions to best preserve [a towel’s] lifespan and performance.”

Now, that’s the recommendation for bath towels. When it comes to washcloths and facecloths, the experts at Cleveland Clinic recommend swapping those out even more often. Twice a week or more — depending on factors like makeup buildup or overall nastiness — should do the trick.

With that in mind, you should wash your towel more frequently if you’re sick or especially dirty. It’s also important to launder more than weekly if the humidity in your house is high, particularly during summer.

Why does it even matter?

Caring for your towels may seem like a frivolous topic, but proper hygiene is essential. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the longer a towel stays damp after you dry off, the more time yeasts, bacteria, mold, viruses and more nasties can stay alive and active on the surface. Dirty towels also can cause flare-ups of eczema or atopic dermatitis. Then there are those unsavory locker room skin conditions like toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch, warts and more. Yikes.

If that’s not enough to convince you to take towel washing seriously, it may actually save you money in the long run, too.

“If you are properly caring for and using a well-made, durable towel of high-quality materials, the towel can last up to two years or more,” Osswald says.

Dry your towel between uses

Even if you aren’t due to wash a load of towels, it’s important to air dry your towels between each use. According to Cleveland Clinic, hanging your damp towel spread out on a bar for quick drying is best. Avoid hanging it on a hook or — oof — throwing it on the floor.

“We recommend using a towel rack or bar instead of a hook to ensure that your towels dry quickly and to reduce any bad odors from developing,” Osswald agrees.

How to wash your towels

So, is your towel due for a wash? Well, here’s how to do it right: Osswald recommends washing your towels separately from clothing, tailoring the cycle with the longevity of your towels in mind.

“We always recommend washing your towels on a cold cycle with our Essential Detergent and tumble drying on low heat,” Osswald shares. “Fabric softeners can decrease the absorbency of your towels, so skip those if you can!”

Brooklinen Essential Laundry Detergent, $22

Credit: Brooklinen
Credit: Brooklinen

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If your towels look a little raggedy after some neglect, you can check out some great options for a much-needed upgrade below now that you know how to take care of them.

1. Brooklinen 2-Pack Super-Plush Bath Towels, $79

Credit: Brooklinen
Credit: Brooklinen

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Brooklinen sells a variety of towels, but the brand’s Super-Plush line is its best-selling towel weave. Billed as “ridiculously soft and luxurious,” these spa-quality towels are 100% Turkish cotton at the brand’s heaviest weight.

2. Parachute Waffle Bath Towel, $49

Credit: Brooklinen
Credit: Brooklinen

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These minimalistic textured towels by Parachute bring a touch of sophistication to your towel collection. Made of 100% Turkish cotton, these honeycomb-weave towels are lightweight and quick-drying yet durable.

3. American Soft Linen 6-Piece Towel Set, $39.99 (Orig. $66.99)

Credit: <a href="https://www.intheknow.com/post/amazon-subscription-services/?utm_source=internallinks&utm_medium=internallinkstransactions&utm_campaign=internallinksamazon" data-ylk="slk:Amazon;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Amazon</a>
Credit: Amazon

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As the best-selling bath towels on Amazon, American Soft Linen’s six-piece set gives you considerable bang for your buck. These 100% Turkish towels are super soft and absorbent, earning more than 38,000 five-star reviews from buyers worldwide. In this set, you get two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths for under $35.

4. Ettitude 2-Pack Waffle Bath Sheet, $124

Credit: Ettitude
Credit: Ettitude

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Ettitude brings sustainability to your towel collection without sacrificing quality. The brand’s towels are 100% bamboo lyocell, a more sustainable option than cotton. The towels are breathable, lightweight and ideal for sensitive skin. Ettitude makes both standard bath towels and bath sheets, ideal for anyone who likes a little more room in their towels.

The post Here’s how often you should wash your towels, according to a cleaning expert appeared first on In The Know.

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