How often should you wash your bathroom towels? And what about the bathroom rug? Should you wash it every week? Every couple of weeks?
In my experience, people tend to fall into two categories in the Bathroom Towel & Rug Department.
With towels, people either use one every day/every other day or they only switch once every couple of weeks.
In washing bathroom rugs, people seem to wash regularly once a week or they rarely wash it at all (if ever).
Why You Should Wash Bathroom Towels Frequently
It would seem that one wouldn’t need to change bathroom towels too often. I mean, you are drying off a clean body with a dry towel, right?
Well, that seems logical, but here’s the real deal: every time you use your towel to dry off, you’re scraping off dead skin cells. And those dead skin cells collect in the fibers of your towel. So if you use your towel for 10 straight days, you have 10 days’ worth of exfoliated cells on that towel.
Lovely thought, huh?
Also, your towel got wet when it dried off your body. Any time the fibers of something get wet, the opportunity to harbor bacteria and other germs is greatly heightened.
Wash Bathroom Towels Every 3-5 Uses
It is best to wash bathroom towels every 3-5 times they are used. Notice that I did not write every 3-5 days.
That really is the maximum times a towel needs to be dampened (from drying you off), allowed to dry, and then be used again.
And keep in mind, this rule of thumb only applies if you hang up your towel after every single use. It needs time to dry between uses so yucky things don’t breed and cause mold and mildew.
Besides the fact that mold and mildew are hard to remove from towels, the thoughts of mildew being on a towel I am using makes me cringe.
How Often to Wash Bathroom Rugs
How often you should wash your bathroom rug greatly depends on several factors:
- If the rug has a non-skid rubber backing
- If your bathroom is used frequently
- If a lot of water is routinely splashed on the floor
If your rug has a non-skid rubber backing, it can’t tolerate being washed frequently. It is best to wash a bathroom rug on warm/hot, and the rubber backing will deteriorate quickly if it is washed on hot too many times. Rubber and hot water and not a good mix in terms of durability.
To maintain a bathroom rug that has a rubber backing, only wash it once ever 3-4 weeks.
If a bathroom is used frequently, rugs need to be washed weekly. If several showers are taken in the same bathroom on a daily basis, the rug gets wet/damp multiple times. Since the rug is against a floor that doesn’t breathe well (if at all), it takes a long time to dry.
Because of this poor drying between uses, mold and mildew grow easily. It really is the perfect condition for gross things to multiply quickly.
In a bathroom where water is routinely splashed on the floor, the rug needs to be washed weekly as well. ::Think Kids’ Bathroom::
Again, the rug doesn’t have time to dry out well between uses and harbors all kinds of fungi and mold. Add in a damp, warm bathroom and that mold is just waiting to multiply.
Guide to Washing Bathroom Rugs
All bathroom rugs should be washed on at least a warm water setting. I honestly prefer washing rugs on hot, as hot water routinely gets items cleaner. And I want the item I’m stepping my freshly washed feet on to be clean.
If your rug has a non-skid rubber backing, it is best to let it hang dry. Hang it over the shower rod or use your portable clothesline or a real clothesline if you have one. The rubber backing will stay intact so much longer if you don’t mix it with dryer heat.
If the rug does not have a rubber backing, feel free to put it in the dryer. It will take a long time to dry, since it is so thick.
More Tips on Caring for Bathroom Towels
I’ve written many posts on caring for Towels. If you need towel help, here’s where to look:
- Preventing Smelly Towels – How to prevent smelly towels once and for all
- Does My Washer Make My Towels Smell Soured? – A reader questions if it is her washing machine causing her towels to smell like mildew
- How to Revive Smelly Towels – Have towels that smell horrible, even when clean? Here’s how to fix them.
- Should You Wash Clothes with Towels & Sheets? – 3 reasons why you should not wash your clothes with towels & sheets
- How to Fold Bath Towels
- How to Fold Towels in French-Fold Style
All About the Bathroom
And in case you’re thinking about making some changes in your own bathroom this year, I’ve got lots of inspiration for you! I’ve teamed up with three other bloggers today, and we’re all talking about bathrooms! Go check them out for some great ideas!
Christine from I Dream of Clean is revealing her method for speed cleaning a bathroom.
Andrea from Simple Organized Living is giving instructions on how to clean your shower (and keep it clean) in only 10 minutes a month!
Jami from An Oregon Cottage is sharing her lovely decorating expertise with an ultra-cool project. She’s making a new shower curtain by stenciling on drop cloth!
Nony from A Slob Comes Clean is organizing her bathroom cabinets according to how her family really lives!