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How often do you wash your towels? There’s bad news if you are not washing it frequently

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 06 August 2019, 11:58 AM
Experts on how often should we wash our towels (Photo: Instagram)
Experts on how often should we wash our towels (Photo: Instagram)

As part of our daily hygiene routine, we are asked to change our pillowcase, bedding twice at least once a week, what then about the bath towels we use every day? If you are one among those who do not wash their towels until an alarm starts ringing by emitting a mildewed stench, then there’s bad news for you. Dirty towels are a honey trap for microbes and can a carry a huge variety of microbes like Escherichia coli or even Salmonella. This is because towels offer the perfect environment for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow as towels are often damp, warm and absorbent, and hung in dark bathrooms.

Rubbing down with a dirty towel, especially when you have sensitive skin can up the infection risks. “When you use a towel vigorously, you scratch your skin,” says Dr. Gerba. Those tiny breaks in your skin give bacteria an entry to your skin. 

Rubbing down with a dirty towel, especially when you have sensitive skin can up the infection risks. “When you use a towel vigorously, you scratch your skin,” says Dr. Gerba. Those tiny breaks in your skin give bacteria an entry to your skin. 

If you’re acne-prone, you might want to wash your towel every time you use it, says adds another expert suggesting that as you rub your skin—especially open pustules—with a dirty towel, bacteria could get on your skin and give you zits.

However, that is not to say that that you should be getting yourself dozens of towels for everyday use though that might also not be a bad option because infectious disease specialist Aaron Glatt, adds that it’s “extremely unusual” to actually pick up a disease from your bath towel. Your own germs won’t make you dead sick, but you increase your chance of picking up a disease when you share towels, says Dr. Gerba.

Bath towels are hence one of the 12 things which should never be strictly sharing with anyone. 

You can’t keep your towels 100% germ-free, experts say, but the best way you can limit is to wash it frequently. “Our bodies are adapted to being able to live in this environment with all of these microbes around,” says Emily Martin, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Given the fact that we can’t keep our towels 100% germ free how often should be frequent the washing of towels? People should wash any bathroom towels after about two days of use, Gerba says, particularly if you have young children in the house. It is also suggested best to use hot water and a product with activated oxygen bleach to thoroughly clean towels as bacteria can survive regular detergent, according to Gerba.  

First Published: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 11:54 AM

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