Truth About How Often to Wash Towels (Really)

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Squeaky is all about the borderline genius hacks and ideas that keep literally every inch of your space pristine.

Since there are many opinions on how often you should wash your towels, we feel that it's time to set the record straight. So, not only are we sharing how ​often​ you should be washing your towels, we're also showing you ​how​ you should wash them, in order to get them really, really clean.

How Often Should You Wash Bath Towels

The truth is, you should be washing your towels — at minimum — after three ​uses​. Not days. If you use your towels multiple times a day, you would need to count each time you actually use the towel towards the number of uses.

Towels should also only be used by one person and should not be shared, especially during flu season or when someone is sick. This will cut down on the spread of bacteria between family members or people sharing the same space.

In between washes, towels should be hung in a manner that they can fully air dry. Towels should never be piled on the floor where they remain damp instead of drying because bacteria grows quickly in damp environments.

How Often Should You Wash Hand Towels

Hand towels are typically found in every bathroom or kitchen. Since they get used regularly, we recommend that you wash your hand towels every few days — at the very least. Hand towels are used after washing dishes, washing hands, teeth brushing, and of course, using the toilet — so they come in contact with bacteria more often than other towels, especially when they are used by multiple people. If you have guests over, be sure to replace your hand towels after they leave.

How to Wash Towels Properly

Here's how to wash your towels ...

Step 1

Separate white towels from colored towels.

Step 2

Wash your white towels on the hottest setting of your washing machine using detergent and non-chlorine bleach or oxygen whitener. Wash colored towels in warm water with detergent. If your towels have a musty odor or mildew smell, add a cup of distilled white vinegar to your wash.

Step 3

Dry the towels on medium or low heat with a dryer sheet or wool balls scented with a few drops of essential oil. Make sure the towels are thoroughly dry before folding and storing.

TIP: Always wash towels before their very first use. Some manufacturers use chemical additives to make towels look fluffy. Washing them before using will also help reduce lint.


Jessica owns two blogs, Mom 4 Real and Pour Me a Cocktail. She has been sharing easy cleaning tips, recipes and ideas with her readers for over 7 years. She has been featured on the Rachel Ray Show, TODAY Parenting, MSN, Country Woman Magazine and more.

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