Menu
Lifestyle

Do you know how often you should be washing your towel?

DIRTY, unwashed towels contain potentially disease-causing bacteria, new research has found.

Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, discovered nearly 90 per cent of bathroom towels were contaminated with coliform bacteria, while 14 per cent carried E. coli, reports The Sun.

When you realise how dirty your bathroom towel is you’ll be rushing for the washing machine.
When you realise how dirty your bathroom towel is you’ll be rushing for the washing machine. Supplied

In some cases, Dr Gerba even found traces of salmonella.

He told Time: "After about two days, if you dry your face on a hand towel, you're probably getting more E. coli on your face than if you stuck your head in a toilet and flushed it."

Because of this, people should wash any bathroom towels after about two days of use, Gerba said, particularly if there are children living with you.

A rinse isn't good enough, either. Nor is regular detergent. Gerba suggests using a product with activated oxygen bleach.

So why are they so dirty?

Every time we use a towel we transfer natural skin bacteria into the fibres, along with any other germs we might be carrying.

Towels that remain damp for a while after use also have the potential to become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria.

A 2003 study found "superbug" MRSA on the towels of college football players.

But, while this may sound scary, it's not as dangerous as it seems.

The human body has adapted to being able to live in an environment that has microbes all around.

We all rely on our bathroom towels but they are covered in bacteria.
We all rely on our bathroom towels but they are covered in bacteria. Supplied

We all rely on our bathroom towels but they are covered in bacteria. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

Using your own towel that is covered in your own bacteria is very unlikely to have any negative health effects.

And, even when it comes to somebody else's towel, the chances of getting sick are slim.

Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Centre, said: "As long as it's drying completely between use, there's almost no chance of passing bacteria from one person to another."

Avoid using someone else's towel if you have open wounds or dry skin as this can let microbes into your system.

This article was originally published on The Sun and was republished here with permission.

Topics:  editors picks housekeeping wellbeing

News Corp Australia


LOOK: New Harwood Bridge reaches new milestone

The first U beam being placed on the new Harwood bridge.

Largest bridge pieces start install on crossing

Gallery short-listed for multi-million dollar expansion

Grafton Regional Gallery's multi-million dollar application to the State Government’s Regional Cultural Fund has made it through to the second phase.

Gallery one step closer to multi-million dollar extension

Spirit of giving strong in Yamba

FESTIVE: Ray White Yamba co-principal Daniel Kelly promotes their Little Ray of Giving Christmas appeal.

Christmas giving tree ready to receive donations

Local Partners

‘Love diet’: Tziporah Malkah’s 19kg weight loss

SHE tipped the scales at 120kg and was classified as “morbidly obese” by her doctor. But now the model once known as Kate Fischer has dropped the weight.

Five festive foods to eat guilt-free

Prawns are one of the healthiest foods on the Christmas table. Picture: Alex Coppel

Christmas foods you can eat to your heart’s content

10 girls names shooting up the charts in 2018

Generic baby photo.

Got a little girl arriving in 2018? We got you covered.

'Thirsty' Kmart mums fond of hunky Mackay sparky

Mackay's Laura Ryan was overwhelmed with comments from her post about a make-up table on Kmart Mums Australia, with mums across the nation fawning over her partner Lloyd Westwood snapped mid-DIY project.

A SEEMINGLY innocent post about a DIY project quickly turned viral

The kid earning $14.6m a year

Ryan from Ryan ToysReview is a YouTube star. Picture: YouTube

Meet the kid making $14.6 million a year reviewing toys on YouTube

Mum: ‘completely inappropriate’ to drink alcohol around kids

This mum has had it with the mandatory drinking that goes down at every gathering this time of year

Mum says drinking at 2pm at kids' event inappropriate