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Washing a Bath Towel After Each Use Is Too Much: Here's How Often You Should Wash It
  • Towels are among the home items that we use most often, which means they can easily get worn out, especially if they are not cared for well. You might find that your towels are no longer very absorbent, or that their colors are fading, or that they are starting to look worn. But how should these items be cared for, and when should these be replaced?

    How often should towels be washed?

    Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute says, "It's a matter of personal preference, but washing them after every use is a bit excessive," she says.

    Experts advise to wash towels after every three uses, but Forte says you can use it more before tossing in the laundry basket if you hang towels on a towel bar and let it dry thoroughly after each use. Don't hang and dry towels one on top of another because that's asking for mold and mildew. (And speaking of towels, it's your HAND towels that may strictly need washing after three uses.)

    "Washing and drying towels too often will make them wear out faster, and it's just a waste of time and energy," Forte adds.

    Forte also discourages using more than the amount of detergent recommended by the detergent manufacturer can ruin towels. It will leave the towels rough and stiff. Don't overdo the fabric softener either. Fabric softener can create a waxy build-up in the towel fibers, and this build-up will reduce the absorbency of the towel.

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    If you use a washing machine to do your laundry, experts suggest not to wash towels and clothes in one load to help prevent pilling, which happens when the fibers of textiles rub up against one another and form small knots or tangles attached to the fabric. And avoid washing white towels with colored ones.

    When to replace your towels

    Replace towels when they have become too worn and no longer absorbent. According to experts, this will take place after about two years of use.

    “Because towels are used daily and washed frequently, they tend to fray and tear after a couple of years,” Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at home cleaning service provider The Cleaning Authority, tells POPSUGAR. “They typically lose their absorbency around the two-year mark, which is a good indicator that it’s time to replace them.”

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    However, the time when you should replace your towels can differ, depending on, for instance, the materials they are made of. Some types of towels may last longer, such as ones made of cotton.

    It is possible that some find it a bit wasteful to simply get rid of towels every two years, but there are other things you can do with your old towels aside from throwing them out. For instance, they can be re-purposed as cleaning rags for you to use in other parts of your home. You can cut them up into smaller pieces to make for multiple rags!

    But in the meantime, don’t forget to make sure the towels you and your family use daily are kept as clean as possible, for the sake of your health and safety!

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