Towels are way dirtier than you realize. It’s basically impossible to notice all the minute bacteria and dead skin cells that stick on them so you might assume that it’s not due for washing. It’s even worse when you use dark colored towels because the dirt easily camouflages.
Either way, a dirty towel puts you at risk of developing serious skin infections which could cost you a lot of money to treat.
Here are some essential towel hygiene tips you need to know.
- You shouldn’t share a towel
Sharing a towel, especially with someone you don’t know is very risky. The bacteria from your skin could transfer to someone else’s skin and vice versa. This is a bad situation because the other person might be recovering or suffering from a skin condition you’re not aware of. If you’re travelling somewhere and you know you’ll stay overnight, carry your own towel. This should also be the case if you’re spending the night at a hotel since can’t be certain how properly their towels are cleaned.
- Use a separate towel for your face
This is one essential hack to avoid infections on your face. Using the same towel can transfer a skin disease from your feet or any other part for that matter, to your face. You might even search for the reason behind your breakouts without realizing that your towel is the culprit. Get a softer face towel to dry off water after showering and use a normal towel for the rest of your body to prevent transfer of bacteria.
- Wash your towel often
The bacteria that collects on your towel everyday multiplies. An infection is bound to occur if you use that same towel for weeks without washing. The best way to get rid of the microbes is by washing your towel after three to four uses. If that’s a little too much at least wash it every week. Another tip is to avoid putting a damp towel into your laundry basket. This will make your other clothes damp and spread the bacteria to other items easily. Dry the dirty towel first then put it in the laundry basket.
- Rinse well after washing
Rinsing properly is an important step for towel hygiene. You should avoid rushing through the process to save time because that could actually cost you later on. You wouldn’t even want to risk harsh chemicals from cleaning products getting into contact with your face or body when you use your towels. Always wash well, rinse properly with clean water and let it air dry completely. Failure to do this will result in a smelly towel.
- Don’t use a damp towel
You should always air-dry your towel immediately after use. A damp environment is suitable for bacteria to thrive which is problematic. Don’t hang your towel in the bathroom or in your bedroom after use. Instead, let them dry outside where the sun rays can eliminate the bacteria and prevent them from multiplying.
- Disinfect your gym towel
While at the public gym, you probably lay your towel on the equipment before using them. Those surfaces have come into contact with other people’s sweat bacteria and dirt, which can settle on your towel as well. Adopt a habit of cleaning your towel with disinfectants after every use. To make things easier, have a few towels which you can alternate with while you clean the other.
- Hang your towels on a towel bar
Bars are better than the towel hooks for many reasons. From a hygienic standpoint, the towel bars spread out your towel to release any trapped moisture. And although towel hooks save a lot of space, they often let moisture get trapped into the towel folds breeding the growth of mold. Upgrade your towel hygiene by hanging them on a bar rather than a hook.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke