An expert has explained how often people should wash their towels – after some admitted to only washing them four times a year.
There’s something undeniably satisfying about wrapping yourself in a warm, fluffy towel after a refreshing shower.
It’s like a comforting embrace that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.
But amidst this daily ritual, how often do you toss your trusty towel into the laundry for a much-needed wash?
New research conducted by bath experts at Showers to You has shed light on some startling towel-washing habits in the UK.
Despite towels harbouring a staggering 94 million counts of bacteria after just one week of use – a rather unsettling statistic – the study reveals that nearly two million Brits choose to wash their bathroom towels only once a year.
Yes, you read that correctly, once a year!
The research uncovered a gender disparity in these laundry habits, with men being five times more likely than women to admit to washing their towels just once a year.
The study also found that approximately one-third of the UK population confessed to washing their bathroom towels only once every three months.
This equates to roughly 17 million individuals who adopt a rather lax approach to towel hygiene.
The research points out that towels are particularly attractive breeding grounds for bacteria and germs, thanks to their perpetually damp state.
All this raises the question of how often should you be washing your towels – so let’s find out.
According to Suze Dowling, who is the co-founder and Chief Business Officer for Pattern Brands, you should use a fresh towel every three days, as per NYT’s Wirecutter.
The expert explains that this should be a rule of thumb – and applies to all types of towels – but that you can change them even more often than this.
It all depends on how much you shower or bathe.
But towels used at the gym should be washed after every use as they come into contact with a lot of airborne bacteria.
It is also important to consider how you wash your towels and whether you’re doing it right.
DIY expert at Only Radiators Tom Drake says the optimal temperature for washing towels falls within the range of 30 to 40 degrees celsius.
He highlights the fact that the accumulation of soap and detergent can lead to towels feeling less absorbent and developing a stiff texture.
Ironically, using too much fabric softener and opting for a hot wash can exacerbate this issue.
In an interview with the Daily Express, Drake explains that warm water is more effective at absorbing detergent, leaving fewer chemical residues on towels and thus preventing them from feeling stiff.
He says: “Towels can feel hard and stiff due to the build-up of soap and detergent which causes a less absorbent layer on your towels.
“You may think that a lot of fabric softener and a hot wash will keep your towels fresh, but this can actually have the opposite effect.”
He adds that warm water ‘absorbs detergent better’ and leaves fewer chemicals on your towel so they aren’t as stiff.