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Here’s How Many Times You Can Use a Towel Before It’s Gross

Two towels hang on a towel rack in a bathroom.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Getting out of the shower and reaching for a clean, fluffy towel can be a spa-like experience. But, then you hang that towel back up and use it again. And again. And maybe again.

How long do you wait before washing towels? More importantly, how many times can you use a towel before it’s actually gross?

You might think that using a towel multiple times is no big deal. You’re fresh and clean from the shower, right? Unfortunately, your body is still full of dead skin cells and bacteria. Using the same towel over and over can cause a buildup of those things. Plus, using it every day prevents it from fully drying out. Moisture creates a breeding ground for even more bacteria.

American Soft Linen Luxury 6 Piece Towel Set

Keep your towels soft, fresh, and clean by washing them frequently!

The New York Times spoke to Patric Richardson of The Laundry Evangelist, who swaps out his towel every day so he isn’t drying his face with the same part of the towel that was used to dry off…other areas the day before.

But if you’re not ready to do that much laundry, a good rule of thumb is to change your towel once every three days if you’re showering daily. If you shower more often, change it sooner. Swapping it out daily ensures that no bacteria buildup.

When you’re ready to wash your towel(s), put them in the machine on a cold, delicate cycle to maintain color and softness. Doing laundry in hot water is only necessary if someone in your house is sick or if a guest used one. Make sure you’re using the right amount of detergent, or you’ll risk residue build-up.

Whether it’s a bath towel or a hand towel, things can get gross pretty quickly. Wash your towels as frequently as possible to reduce your risk of getting sick, and you can enjoy that spa-like experience more often.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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