The truth behind towel washing

Kitchen towels isolated on whiteCold and flu season has once again begun. During this time of the year it is important to keep ourselves and our homes as germ-free as possible in order to help our immune systems stay healthy. With this in mind, a recent article from the Huffington Post discusses one of the most overlooked carriers of bacteria in our homes: towels.

According to the article, kitchen towels especially can be a vessel for bacteria and based on a recent study from the University of Arizona, a carrier of E. coli.  In fact, 25% percent of the towels involved in the experiment tested positive for the harmful bacteria.

In order to keep you and your family safe, kitchen towels should be dipped in diluted bleach and allowed to dry between every individual use. While many households hang towels on the oven handle or elsewhere around the kitchen, the articles states that the best solution is simply to use a clean towel every day.

In addition to kitchen towels, bath towels should be washed more often than most people think. According to the article, it’s best to wash these towels after every third use to remove millions of dead skin cells and bacteria that can accumulate in between washes.

When a family member is sick, even more precautions should be taken to stop the spread of germs. Using chlorine bleach (if the towels are white) or disinfectants like that contain phenolics, have found to be the most effective in cleaning towels and stopping the spread of bacteria.

Face washcloths also pose a risk, and according to the article, need to be cleaned as often as possible. They should never be used twice in a row without washing as they can reintroduce bacteria into the face, which can be especially harmful.

By following these cautionary tips, you can use good-quality towels and washcloths for up to 10 years and do not need to dispose of old towels until they become threadbare.

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