How Often Should You Change Your Towels?

Even if you don’t have any cracks in your skin, if you have a contagious rash on one part of your body such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, impetigo, or molluscum contagiosum, then you can spread that rash to another area of your body if the pathogens are on your towel, says Dr. Kassouf.

How Often Should You Change Your Towels?

Of course, just because it’s possible to get an infection doesn’t mean it will happen. But if you continuously use the same towels and you have a condition like eczema that compromises your skin’s protective barrier, or if you have any microscopic cuts or abrasions, you could theoretically contract an infection, says Dr. Meschke.

How often should you change your towels?

There’s no large-scale research specifically answering this question, but both experts recommend changing out your towels about once a week to avoid excessive microorganism growth. (You may want to change your hand towels more frequently since they commonly stay a bit damp if you use them multiple times throughout the day.) “If you have a towel that’s starting to smell, that smell is probably due to the organisms starting to grow out,” Dr. Meschke tells SELF. He says that it’s best to let your towels dry completely before reusing them, otherwise, the moisture will allow microorganisms to grow. Then you’re just depositing those microorganisms back onto your newly washed hands and body. You can do this by spreading your towel out so it dries more fully or throwing your towel into the dryer if you have one. (And if you want to be really diligent, even just because the idea of stuff multiplying on your towel any more than necessary grosses you out, you could dry your towels outside of your bathroom so they’re away from shower steam.) So, in summary, you probably won’t experience any major ill effects from reusing your towel for multiple days or even weeks on end. But if you’re newly dedicated to keeping fresh towels on regular rotation, it couldn’t hurt to invest in a few extra ones to extend how often you do laundry—you know, so lazy Sunday can remain, well, lazy. (If you’re looking to add to your collection, this very highly rated set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and four washcloths for $31, Amazon, and comes in plenty of color options.)

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