How Often Should You Wash Your (Germ Magnet of a) Bath Towel?
You step out of the tub or shower feeling clean and fresh — but do you wipe away all that healthy hygiene with a dirty towel? A dermatologist offers 5 tips on fresh towel tactics.
There’s nothing like a good bath or shower. You lather up, rinse off and step out feeling clean, refreshed and energized. Then you grab a towel — and all of that healthy hygiene may go right out the window. Let’s see now, when’s the last time you washed that towel anyway?
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Yes, your towels need pampering too. When you think about it, they have a rough life.
“The longer towels stay damp, the longer the yeasts, bacteria, molds and viruses remain alive and stay active,” explains dermatologist Alok Vij, MD.
“They can cause an outbreak of toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch and warts, or cause these skin conditions to spread,” he says. “And dirty towels can certainly cause a flare-up of eczema or atopic dermatitis.”
Well then! Put down that germ haven. Here, Dr. Vij offers some helpful tips for adopting healthier towel tactics:
One final towel tip before you shop
Now that you realize you need to pay more attention to your towels, maybe you need to go shopping? That way you’ll always have a clean one within reach.
As far as fabric choice goes, plush towels with a high thread count are fine (and they feel so good on your skin) but keep in mind these towels take longer to dry.
“Microfiber towels dry faster than cotton, so they’re better for the gym,” Dr. Vij advises.
And, yes, always make sure your towel passes the smell test. A stinky whiff? Time for a fresh towel.