With so much laundry, losing track of how often you wash your towels is all too easy, but it’s something we should be mindful of.
Only washing home and gym towels once a week? The chances are you're not doing it enough. Face, hand, bath and other towels an be a hotbed for germs, so learn how to keep your towels clean and your family safe. "Washing towels properly will also help them to stay soft, fluffy and fresh for longer, but only if they're made well," says Tielle linen expert, Robert Lancaster Gaye.
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How Often Should Towels Be Washed?
How often towels should be washed can depend on many factors including how often they’re used, where they’re kept between uses and whether they're shared. Dirty towels can carry a huge variety of microbes, so as a general guide, wash towels after 3 to 4 uses and avoid sharing. Research by Drench revealed 90% of towels are contaminated with faecal bacteria, and that 56% of romantic partners spread faecal bacteria when they share bath and shower towels. Ewww!
Other ways to keep towels clean include:
- Keep your germs to yourself by not sharing towels
- Dry towels between use as damp towels are the perfect breeding ground for bugs and germs
- Wash towels separately to prevent any bodily fluids spreading germs
- Avoid shaking towels as this can spread viruses through the air
- Clean and disinfect laundry baskets as these can be a hotbed for disease.
- Never use the same towel for your face and body as this can lead to acne breakouts – just as not changing your pillowcase regularly can.
Recommended Washing Instructions for Towels
Just as coughs and sneezes spread diseases, so can clothes and towels. If you’re unsure what degree to wash towels, refer to the towel washing instructions. The NHS also recommends washing shared towels at 60 degrees. This needs to be combined with a good detergent to effectively kill germs. If you’re worried your towels will lose their softness when washed in hot water, invest in the best towels – most luxury hotels go for a 650gsm made from a high quality yarn. Good quality hotel quality towels can be washed at temperatures up to 90 degrees and still look and feel good as new.
How to keep towels soft and fluffy:
- Wash towels after every third use
- Avoid washing towels with fabric softener, velcrose, zips and hooks
- Prevent piling by line drying or tumble drying on low
- Hang towels on a towel bar to dry, rather than a hook (hooks traps moisture between the folds)
- Only fold and store towels when completely dry
You may also want to add items such as baking powder and white vinegar to your cleaning arsenal. Whites can be made whiter by adding half a cup of white vinegar to your washer’s rinse cycle. Stiff towels can soften when washed with a half-cup of baking soda either alone or mixed with detergent. See our guide to choosing the best bedlinen for advice on removing stains from sheets.
How To Find Perfectly Fluffy Bath Towels
Where you prefer to kickstart the day with an invigorating shower or unwind with a shower at night, nothing feels nicer than wrapping yourself in a soft fluffy bath sheet or bath towel. Here’s how you can turn your bathroom or en-suite shower room into a spa-like sanctuary day and night.
Much like anything you buy, no two towels are the same. The best luxury spa towels are made using long staple cotton. This extra fine yarn creates a soft, snug and super absorbent towel that will make stepping out of the shower something you look forward to, rather than dread. Towels made from long staple cotton are also strong and durable, ensuring they look great and feel skin-soft wash after wash. They also last longer, making them ideal for the eco-friendly home.
How Often Should You Wash Bath Robes and Bath Mats
Nothing beats sinking your toes in a fluffy bath mat, or the feel of slipping on luxury bath robes. While these towelling products won’t need washing as often as towels, you can wash Tielle’s luxury bath rugs and robes in the washing machine, just as you would wash Tielle cotton towels.
Washing bath mats is easy. Simply shake off loose particles or dirt and wash your mat in the washing machine as per the manufacturer’s washing instructions. Select a warm cycle for a deep and thorough clean, then line dry if possible. Alternatively, dry on an indoor airer or tumble dry on a low heat.
Keep cotton bathrobes and spa robes clean and fluffy by washing them on a warm setting. Lay the robe flat on an outdoor airier, or if that’s not possible, dry flat on an indoor airer or tumble dry on low.
How To Know When You Need To Buy New Towels
If your towels start to feel less soft, pill or lose their colour, it may be time for an upgrade. Knowing when to replace towels will depend on many factors, but most importantly, the quality of the yarn. “Towels come in a range of weights but just like a linen’s thread count, a towel’s weight (gsm), isn’t always an indicator of quality. A 500gsm towel made from high quality long staple yarn can be more luxurious than a 700gsm towel made from inferior yarn”, says linen expert, Robert Lancaster-Gaye. Cheap towels will need replacing more regularly than, for instance, a luxury towel set made to last.
Unsure how to choose towels? The most luxurious suited hotels generally choose 650gsm cotton towels made from a high quality yarn for their guests. This weight offers the best of all worlds: luxurious softness, high absorbency and strength. Towels that weigh more than this can take longer to dry, resulting in longer tumble drying times and a shorter lifespan. Washing towels with care will also make them last longer.