The countdown to Valentine’s Day is usually filled with interesting topics, whether it’s about nice gifts for one’s significant other or romantic destinations to visit.
As millions of people around the world wait in anticipation for the day, the topic of how many times towels need to be washed has also cropped up.
So, how often should we wash our towels?
Bathroom experts, Showers to You, carried out a survey in the UK and discovered that many were using their towels for considerably long periods before giving them a fresh wash.
Martin Smith, the founder of Showers to You, said the bathroom should in theory be one of the cleanest rooms in the home.
However, their research shows that many people were ignoring a key step in ensuring bathroom hygiene.
While it’s encouraging to see the data shows the majority of respondents are keeping up with regularly washing their bathroom towels, everyone should ensure they are ensuring a routine of washing their towels in line with guidance from health professionals, especially those who only give their towels an annual wash.
The findings revealed that over 1.5 million people (3% of those polled) only washed their bathroom towels once a year (1,595,646). Approximately 4 million people, or nearly one in 10 (8%) washed their bathroom towels twice a year (4,255,056). Over 17 million people or one-third of those polled (33%) washed their bathroom towels once every three months (17,552,107).
It was revealed that men were five times more likely to clean their bathroom towels just once a year, with 5% of male respondents admitting to giving them an annual wash, compared to 1% of women.
However, it’s not all bad news as almost one in five (38%) respondents stating they washed their towels once a month, almost a quarter (24%) washing their towels once a week and one in 20 (5%) health conscious residents washing their towels every single day.
Visual cleanliness is the most common factor that caused people to wash their bathroom towels (67%), followed by smell (61%) and ‘number of uses’ (58%). Worryingly, however, one in six respondents (15%) stated they only wash their towels once they have become stiff.
While the study found that one in 9 respondents (11%) were not concerned at all about bacteria or hygiene issues stemming from not washing their bathroom towels, the NHS advises that towels can spread germs if not washed frequently.
Dr Hamdan Abdullah Hamed MBChB, a board-certified Dermatologist and Co-founder of PowerYourCurls.com said: “It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene in our everyday routines, including the use and care of bathroom towels. Regular washing of bathroom towels is important to maintain cleanliness and reduce the risk of infections.
“Towels tend to accumulate moisture, creating an environment conducive to bacterial and fungal growth. Bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus can lead to skin infections, while fungi like Candida yeast can cause issues like athlete's foot or yeast infections.
“Additionally, dirty towels may contain allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or skin irritations in sensitive individuals. Therefore, it is recommended to wash towels after every three to four uses to eliminate bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and allergens, ensuring optimal hygiene and minimising health risks.”