Even though it looks trivial and is often forgotten, towels need to be replaced after some time. The reason is, dirty towels risk inviting disease.
As with other clothing materials, towels can also be a source of germs. If used together by several people, germs can move between users. Germs on towels can also spread when touched by dirty hands or when washed together with clothes or other fabric.
Prevent Spread of Germs Through Towels
Bacteria are on the surface of the skin, in the nose, and in the human digestive tract, although some are harmless. In normal skin, some germs cannot enter easily. However, if there are injuries or disorders of the skin, infection can more easily occur.
Certain skin conditions such as scabies and ringworm are easily transmitted to others through direct physical contact or personal equipment, including towels that are used together. That is why, maintaining a clean bath towel that is in direct contact with the skin becomes very important.
When Changing Towels
For bath towels that are used alone, you should replace every one week. After each use, dry a moist, dry bath towel.
However, the rules for changing bath towels are different for towels used when exercising in a fitness center or gym. You should immediately change the bath towel every time you use it. Likewise, the towels you use when you are sick, the bath towels your guests use at home, or the towels that have fallen on the floor, do not use them anymore and must be washed immediately.
Sharing bath towels, including those used only on the face, also increases the risk of transferring germs. To outsmart the error using bath towels between family members at home, you can enforce color rules. So everyone has a bath towel with a different color. This will avoid the possibility of exchanging germs.
Towel Washing Tips
Washing bath towels should be able to clean the dirt while removing germs. Here are some ways you can do:
- Bath towels and other types of clothing that come in direct contact with the skin, such as underwear, socks, and sheets, should be washed at a high temperature and use safe bleach detergent products (oxygen bleach). If you have sensitive skin, you can use a laundry product that is made from soft and labeled “hypoallergenic”.
- Bath towels that are shared or used by people who have infections, are at high risk of spreading germs. In addition, bath towels that are used after exercise, used when cooking, or that have been soiled by bodily fluids such as urine, vomiting or feces, are also very risky to spread germs. These high-risk bath towels are recommended to be washed using water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius with detergent powder and bleach.
- When washing high-risk towels, you should separate them with towels or other clothing. To avoid infection when washing bath towels or clothes at high risk of infection, wear gloves and wash your hands immediately after washing clothes.
- Finish washing the bath towel, drying in the dry place or in direct sunlight, to help kill germs.
- Avoid leaving the laundry or bath towels that have been washed for too long in the washing machine, because it can cause the development of germs. Dry immediately or move it to the dryer after the washing process is complete. And make sure to clean the surface of the towel or clothing from anything before ironing and folding it.
- Don’t forget to regularly clean the washing machine with disinfectant cleaner.
Although changing the bath towel is recommended to be done every week, but if the towel already looks dirty or smelly, you should replace it immediately. If you notice a skin disorder or other disease, immediately consult a dermatologist. To prevent transmission of disease, it is important to maintain personal hygiene and personal equipment, including towels, and not to share towels with others.