Chances are, you don’t wash your towels nearly as much as experts now say you should.
A new peer reviewed report from the University of Arizona found that 89% of kitchen towels carried coliform bacteria. Furthermore, 25% of kitchen towels tested positive for E.coli.
That’s the same stuff we find in animals’ digestive tracts. Hell, It’s the same stuff used to measure how contaminated water is!
How Often Should You Wash Bath Towels?
That musty smell isn’t your imagination — because bath towels are extra-thick, they lock in moisture and harbor odors more quickly.
The answer? When you wash them, use vinegar in place of fabric softener, says laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette. “Fabric softener residue traps odors,” she goes on. “The vinegar strips it away.”
Leverette also recommends running your bath towels through the washing machine as normal, but without soap and just one cup of vinegar. After that, wash again with detergent. Mary Gagliardi, otherwise known as Dr. Laundry — says to give them a “second rinse,” if your washer has that option.
Dry IMMEDIATELY to prevent mustiness.
If you’re lazy about washing your towels every 3 days – consider investing in quality thin Pestemal Bath Towels. They’re made to dry really quickly & avoid that musky smell.
How Often Should You Wash Kitchen Towels?
As mentioned, these are hands-down the most worrisome towels in your home. “You may think you are cleaning the counter where food will be placed,” says Kelly Reynolds, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health. “But if you are using a dirty kitchen rag, you may actually be introducing hundreds of thousands of bacteria.”
The answer? Ideally, says Reynolds, you should launder your kitchen towels after each use. A next-best option, though is to dip your towels in a diluted bleach solution between uses, and let them dry. Reynolds recommends filling your sink with water and a bit of bleach — two teaspoons per gallon of sink water will do the trick and prolong the time you’re able to use your towels between washes. At least weekly, launder them in your washing machine (on an antibacterial or sanitizing cycle, if possible)