How Often To Wash Bath Towels, According To An Expert

Bath Towels in Washing Machine
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Laundry can feel like one of the most complicated of household chores between knowing how to care for certain fabrics, how often various clothes and home linens need to be washed, and when it’s time to replace various products. Bath towels can create plenty of confusion, as most of us aren’t replacing or washing them often enough—both of which can reduce their effectiveness. We chatted with Deanna WU, VP of Merchandising at Brooklinen, to learn how to best care for our bath towels to ensure they stay fluffy and effective for as long as possible.

How Often To Wash Bath Towels

“We recommend washing your bath towels once a week at least,” Wu says. However, depending on the size of your bath linen collection, you may need to wash towels more often, as it is advised to use them no more than two to three times before laundering. 

Wu also recommends opting for towel racks or bars instead of hooks in order to ensure your towels have time to dry between uses and prevent mildewing. If your towels are starting to smell or still feel wet between uses, they’ll need to be washed more often to ensure you’re staying clean post-shower or bath. If your towels aren’t getting dry between uses, Wu says your bathroom may be a very humid environment and you could benefit from investing in lighter weight towels to speed up drying time. 

How To Properly Wash Bath Towels

Once you’ve used your bath towel no more than three times, it’s time to retire it to the hamper. If your towel is wet, it’s important to drape it over a hanger or drying rack instead of stuffing it in a laundry basket to prevent further build-up of mildew and other bacteria. Wu advises following the care instructions listed on your towels, as different materials require various washing regimens.“We don’t recommend using fabric softeners or conditioners because they may decrease the absorbency of your towels over time,” she says. “Also, we recommend using non-chlorine bleach as needed because chlorine bleach may weaken the fibers and decrease absorbance.” 

How To Dry Bath Towels

When it comes to drying your towels, it’s better to do so in small batches instead of throwing every towel your family used throughout the week into the dryer at once. Though it may seem annoying, stuffing your dryer as full as possible prevents your towels from receiving a thorough, even dry and will likely keep you returning to the dryer to start yet another cycle. This can damage the fibers of your towel, as too much exposure to high-heat can burn the cotton or other fabric, which will cause your towels to lose their optimal fluffiness that made you buy them in the first place. If your bath towels seem to have lost their absorbency and softness, this may be a sign that it’s time to replace them.

How Often To Replace Bath Towels

“At Brooklinen, we recommend replacing your towels roughly every two years,” says Wu. “Depending on how many towels you have in rotation and if you’re washing your linens regularly, you may have to replace them more often.”

One way to help ensure your towels have long and fluffy lives is to invest in high-quality options. Wu advises seeking products that use long-staple cotton which promotes durability and provides ultimate softness. Brooklinen uses Turkish cotton in its products which are highly durable and make for reliably smooth, soft bath linens that will make shower and bath time feel like a luxury. The good news is that there are plenty of high-quality options available in a range of price points that will be worth a bit of research to ensure your bath towels have a long lifespan.

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