So how often would you estimate you wash your bathroom towels? Every week? Every other week? According to experts, it should be much more regularly – especially in light of the current pandemic.
As Dr Ross Perry GP and Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics, explains: “Ever since the pandemic kicked in, there has been constant advice and reminders for basic hygiene skills. This is mainly advice on how to wash your hands properly but there’s also been a number of different theories on what we should be doing to keep surfaces and our home clean to avoid germs and infection.
“It appears we’ve all upped our game in order to keep ourselves and our homes super clean and it’s no surprise that cleaning materials and sanitisers are the first to fly off the shelves.”
We’ve already advised on how long you should be showering for – and the crucial body part you often forget to scrub – so now we are turning our attention to your post-shower experience: the towel drying situ.
Rather grossly, oil, dirt, and makeup deposit onto your towels after using them, which unsurprisingly creates a breeding ground for bacteria and germs that you’ll keep transferring onto your skin. These deposits can cause acne and skin rashes. Plus, if you leave your towel to dry in a humid environment like the bathroom (guilty), the growth of bacteria and fungus only worsens.
So where does this leave us on washing towels? Dr Perry acknowledges that there has been mixed messages as to how long Coronavirus could potentially live on textiles and surfaces. “Firstly, there are no set rules but you should just be sensible when it comes to how frequently you’re washing clothes, bedding and towels,” he explains.
He notes that most people generally wash their towels around once a week.
He does, however, advise that bath towels should in actual fact be washed every 3 to 5 uses, so around twice a week, particularly if it’s also being used as a hand towel. “Towels needs to be washed on a high temperature and should be dried completely in between washes.”
Anyone else making a mad dash to the washing machine?
If so, Jo Ross, General Manager of Design at Sheridan, has shared her top tips on towel care and how we can get the best results…
- A 40 degree gentle machine wash and avoid dry cleaning
- For whites, optical brighteners are fine to use, but avoid using on coloured washes, and try to keep them separate to avoid colour running.
- Attending to stains immediately as they occur will result in more effective removal, and to do so, is recommended the use of oxygen-based stain removers.
- Never use bleach to clean and make sure bathroom cleaning products containing bleach are kept separately to avoid any bleach stains.
- When doing a load of washing, try not to overcrowd the machine so it has plenty of water around them to soak and wash.
- It’s recommended the occasional deep clean on a warm to hot cycle to remove any bacteria and oils; 40 – 60 degrees is ideal for this.
- Avoid using silicone-based fabric softeners and conditioners. These will repel water and will reduce the absorbency of the fluffy towels.
- To protect the fibres, is recommended the use of a gentle eucalyptus-based washing detergent for superior colour retention.
- Line drying your towels in the shade is ideal and it reduces electricity usage. Tumble drying your towels for a few minutes when they are almost dry off the line will maximise their softness.
- Dry your towels on a medium to warm setting and ensure they are completely dry before storing in your linen cupboard.