Tips For Keeping Your Towels Germ Free
How often do you wash your towels…every other month? Every other week? If you’re like most of us, chances are that you’re not washing your sheets and towels enough. According to experts, after just three uses of your bath towel, there are millions of dead skin cells that call that towel home. Researchers at the University of Arizona found that 89% of in-home kitchen towels hold coliform bacteria on a regular basis. Not to mention, every time you dry your face off with an already-used face towel, you’re simply patting your pores with bacteria, according to dermatologists. Yuck! Read on to find out what kind of filth could be kept within your towels and sheets, and how often you should wash them to keep them free of germs.
What Lurks When You Don’t Wash Enough?
Sweat and Dead Skin Cells
Whether you like to keep your room as cool as an icebox or toasty warm, it’s natural for the body to release sweat at some point during the night. Not to mention, it’s completely normal for the skin to shed it’s dead cells at night—tossing and turning in the sheets helps with the process. Although you can’t see actual flakes of dead skin, they’re there. Another thing to keep in mind is who—if anyone—you roll around within the sheets. Is it the committed boyfriend or a late-night booty call every once in a while? No judgment here, but it’s worth considering when taking into account how much sweat and dead skin cells are in the threads of your sheets.
For better or worse, dust mites come along to feed on the dead skin cells that we leave behind. In fact, these microscopic bugs feed on millions of our skin cells daily, but although they’re tidying up they’re also known to lower the immune system and even trigger asthma symptoms.
Although we don’t condone it, there’s really no preventing it, these days. If you’re eating in your bed, there’s bound to be food particles of sorts.
When Should You Wash?
Yikes! The above is just the start of a very long list of things that accumulate in your sheets, as well as in the fibers of your towels. Below are some general guidelines for keeping your towels and sheets germ-free.
Although kitchen towels might not house as many dead skin cells as your bed, they are the hope to hundreds of thousands of germs and bacteria. In a perfect world, you should wash your kitchen towels after each use. However, a more practical—but still clean—approach is to wash them at least once a week. Be sure to use a color safe bleach and use the sanitize cycle (if you have a newer washer).
Try to wash your bath towels every three uses. If you’re already washing them more frequently, no worries! If not, try to get into the habit of washing after the third use.
If you wash or dry your face with a dirty face towel you might want to wash your face again. Even if the towel has had the chance to dry, your reintroducing loads of bacteria right back onto your skin. Throw these in the dirty hamper after each use.
Just the thought of dust mites might make some want to wash their sheets every day, but we know how unrealistic that is. So, try to wash your bed sheets once per week. If you don’t get around to it, it’s okay to wash them every other week…but try not to push it out too much longer.