How To Know When It's Time To Replace Your Towels

Your Complete Guide To Proper Bathroom Towel Care

Life is all about enjoying the details, and one of the often-underrated joys is enveloping yourself in a freshly washed, fluffy towel when getting out of the shower. If you stop to think about it, you realize just how important a clean towel really is — you use it every day and rely on it to do its job. 

 Yet all too often, people continuously use old, dingy towels that are not only no longer fluffy, but could also be harboring bacteria. Here is everything you need to know about why cleaning towels is so important, how often you should be washing towels, and the signs it is time to replace those towels.

Why Is Cleaning Towels Important?

You use bathroom towels when your body is at its cleanest, so the last thing you want is to put bacteria right back on your skin. You wouldn’t think about rubbing the toilet brush on your freshly cleaned skin, but many towels harbor just as many germs if they are not washed regularly. 

This is due to the fact that they retain moisture, causing a breeding ground for bacteria every time you get dry. Not only is this unpleasant to think about, but the bacteria can lead to acne, fungal infections and rashes. 

If someone in the household is ill, shared, unclean towels can also spread illnesses from one person to the next. The only way to prevent this is to follow proper towel care.

How Often Should I Be Washing Towels? 

Clearly, towels should be washed frequently so you can minimize bacteria growth and keep yourself and your family healthy. Here is what you need to know about how to effectively clean towels:

  • Wash your bath towels every three or four uses. Note that you can only go this long if you are fully spreading the towel on a towel bar after use. If it is left bunched up, the moisture will not be able to fully dry and bacteria will start breeding much sooner. 
  • When washing towels, use hot water and run them through two cycles — one with just vinegar and water and another one with standard detergent.

How Frequently Should I Be Replacing Towels?

Bath towels don’t usually make the priority list when it comes to spending. Regardless, if you’ve had your towels for several years, they should be. 

When towels are too old, they are no longer effective. They don’t dry you thoroughly and are likely home to unseen germs and bacteria. How do you know when you should be replacing towels? In general, experts advise you should get new ones every two years. If you are still unsure, look for these signs:

  • You have to run the towel over your body several times just to remove the water. Towel fibers inherently break down with use. If they aren’t absorbing the water as well as they once were, it’s time to say goodbye.
  • The towel starts to smell after just one or two uses after it is washed. This is a sign there is bacteria within the fibers that is not getting cleaned properly. 
  • There are holes, tears or frayed edges on the towel. If you had a towel long enough for it to show these signs of wear, then it is undoubtedly time to replace it.

Now that you know how often you should be washing towels and signs it’s time to replace them, you can be sure that you and your family are only drying with towels that will help you instead of harm you.