(Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)Can you be a proper grownup without a full collection of towels?
But while you may make do with just the two (one for body, one for hair, right?), there’s an obvious issue: if you only have enough towels for one shower, what do you do when those towels are in the wash?
If your answer is ‘I just hardly wash my towels’, you are living life all wrong.
Despite only being used against your already clean body, towels do indeed need to be washed – and likely more often than you think.
Ralitsa Prodanova, cleaning expert with Fantastic Services, tells Metro.co.uk that towels should be washed between every three or four uses.
She says: ‘Every time you use your towel to scrub your body, dead skin cells cling to the material and linger there.
‘If you get a musty smell when you bring the towel up to your nose, that’s bacteria growing on the towel itself.
‘And because towels are often warm and damp, they’re the perfect breeding ground for bugs and germs. It’s why you should keep on top of the cleaning schedule.’
Failing to regularly wash your towels could cause skin irritation and breakouts.
Candice Brown, specialist skin aesthetician with London Bridge Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Clinic, tells us: ‘It’s long been thought that drying your face with a dirty towel can lead to acne outbreaks, in the same way that not changing your pillow case regularly can have the same effect.
‘When you dry your face, you leave tiny amounts of oil, dirt and make-up detritus on it.
‘The towel becomes laced with bacteria. And then, later that day, you smear it all back on your face the next time you dry it, transferring bacteria to your pores encouraging pimples and causing irritation.
‘And if you’ve got really dry skin, or eczema, you’re particularly prone to a flare-up.’
How to wash your towels:
Wash your towels every three or four uses
Wash at a high temperature to kill of bacteria
Cut back on the amount of detergent you use to make sure your towels don’t feel stiff
Avoid fabric conditioner – you don’t need it for towels
Put your towels in the dryer rather than letting them air dry
Put a tennis ball in with your towels in the dryer to keep them fluffy
That’s why some people recommend avoiding towels entirely when it comes to your face, simply letting your skin air-dry after cleansing.
Not everyone has time to hang about waiting for their skin to dry, mind you, so it might be worth investing in multiple towels for your face so you can wash them after every other use.
‘I would advise using facial sponges,’ says Candice
‘These soften when soaked in water for a gentle and effective cleanse or deep exfoliation.
‘Boxed tissues are also recommended to pad the skin dry, as these can be disposed after use.’
When towels aren’t regularly cleaned, they’re not only ripe for bacteria, but may not be as effective as drying you off after a shower.
‘You want your towel to be as clean and as fluffy as possible, so that it remains effective at removing water from your body,’ Ralitsa explains.
‘And to do that, wash them at as high a temperature as possible, but read the label to make sure you’re not going to shrink them.
‘Try to use a bio powder, particularly for white towels, as it contains special enzymes which help to break down dirt and stubborn stains. Most bio powders also have a bleaching agent, too, which keeps white towels nice and bright.
‘Avoid using a fabric conditioner too often, as this reduces the towel’s ability to actually collect moisture.
‘Meanwhile a cycle in the tumble dryer ensures your towels are nice and fluffy.’
That’s important to note – while towels are good at drying your body, they’re not great at drying themselves. Don’t faff around hanging your towel out to dry in your bathroom after a wash, as it’ll sit in damp and start to smell. A go in the tumble dryer is your best bet.
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