How often should you change your towel?

Let's talk dirty...
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That towel has been hanging in the bathroom for a while…

Forget the sniff test – how often should you really be washing your towels?

Bath towels

Bath towels can get stinky fast, especially damp towels that haven’t been aired out properly on a towel rack. If you’re using yours every day to dry off after a shower, it can be used up to three or four times before you should replace it with a new bath towel. 

If you or your family members sweat a lot during the day, or you have kids who’ve been playing outside, then consider throwing those dirty towels in the washing machine on a hot water cycle more frequently.

If your towel is covered in stains and rips, then it is time to consider throwing it away for good. Come on, treat yourself to some fresh towels!  

In fact, Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, told Time that around 14 percent of bath towels carried E. Coli, and some even carried traces of salmonella. 

Dr. Gerba added that  nearly 90 per cent of bathroom towels were contaminated with coliform bacteria – otherwise known as fecal organisms. Ewww…

Hand towels 

Used by multiple people after a trip to the toilet, hand towels need to be washed every one or two days. Yes, really. While we might all have the best intentions, sometimes hand towels in a bathroom are drying hands that aren’t completely clean. The bathroom is the place where you’re supposed to get clean, but it’s actually a perfect breeding ground for all sorts of nasties. 

Tea towels

Tea towels can harbour nasty bacteria. To stay safe, you need to launder your dirty tea towels daily and only ever use them to dry clean, washed dishes. And always allow tea towels to air dry completely between uses – never use a damp tea towel.

How should I wash my towels?

To keep all your towels fresh and clean, wash in warm water in your washing machine, then tumble dry on low heat. It’s best to wash towels separately – and be careful not to overload the washing machine!

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