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When and How to Wash Linens and Towels

When and How to Wash Linens and Towels

There isn’t much that compares to falling asleep in clean sheets or drying off with clean towels. Since the majority of us can’t permanently live in a hotel, or have a live-in cleaning service, we make do with washing these items on an ‘as needed’ basis. The question is, how often should you wash your linens and towels?

Washing Towels, Washcloths and Bath Mats

We now know how important it is to regularly wash our hands to prevent the spread of disease and infection, however, it’s not often that we think about what we are using to dry off our hands. Used and unwashed bath towels and washcloths store quite a bit of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic organisms. The moisture creates an ideal environment for microbes, that layer on top of the fabric. This translates to germs easily and constantly transferring onto your body during use, at least until the towel is cleaned. The same goes for hand towels and bath mats. Consider when they are communally used, or shared. You may be placing yourself or others at risk of exposure to different bacteria, which may lead to possible irritation of the skin, infection, or illness.

It is recommended towels be washed after three uses or two to three days after use, or even more frequently if you have sensitive skin, and/or are immunocompromised. Here are some other tips to ensure you’re getting the most out of your towel use:

  • Let your towel completely dry before subsequent uses.
  • Bleach isn’t necessary to kill germs.
  • Always hang your towels up to completely dry before placing them in the hamper.
  • Read the label to ensure you wash your towel in the method recommended.
  • Don’t overstuff your machine with towels. Doing so can prevent them from being thoroughly cleaned.
  • Wash your bath mats once a week.
  • Find out how often your washing machine needs to be sanitized. Often running a cycle with just vinegar is enough to kill unwanted bacteria.

Washing Linens

We spend an average of 8 hours, or a third of our day in our beds. Unlike our towels, bed sheets, pillowcases, and comforters don’t need to be washed after a few uses. However, they do collect our natural body oils, dead skin cells, sweat, and bacteria. It is recommended that we wash our linens once a week, including top sheets, and duvet covers. Here are some recommendations to have you feeling like you’re sleeping in fresh brand new sheets. And yes, it’s more than just stuffing them into the washer with extra detergent.

  • First things first, read the label. This will give you specific instructions on how to properly wash your linens.
  • If possible, wash your sheets separately from your clothing. If that’s not possible, then ensure the additional items are smaller in size, and won’t color bleed onto your sheets, or vice versa.
  • A normal cycle should be used if your sheets only seem lightly soiled. Use a heavy/stronger cycle if your sheets are dirtier or have major stains.
  • For lighter-colored cotton sheets, it is recommended that you use warm water. This helps with removing bacteria. For darker colored sheets, washing in cold water will help you avoid color bleeding and fading.
  • Comforters with a top sheet only need to be washed 1-2x a year. The top sheet or duvet should be washed weekly with your bed sheets.
  • Pillowcases can be washed weekly with your sheets. Pillows need to be washed at least three times a year, as the case can only protect it so much over time.

Regularly cleaning your towels and bed sheets may be extra work, but it’s worthwhile in maintaining a clean and healthy environment in your home.

The next best thing to living in a hotel, or having an in-home cleaning service, is to have your local cleaner take care of it for you. Magic Touch Cleaners will pick up and drop off your sheets on your time. We follow industry standards and care for your bath towels, hand towels, sheets, and comforters.

Author: Christina P. Kantzavelos