How often should you really wash your bathroom essentials?

Apr 12, 2024
Discover the surprising truth about how often you should be washing your bathroom essentials – you might be in for a hygiene wake-up call! Source: Getty Images.

Ever wonder how frequently you should toss your bath towels, bath mats, and faithful bathrobe into the washing machine? Perhaps once a week? Or is it when they start to emit that questionable odour?

Well, wonder no more as Anita Birges, the master of home organisation, has offered her expert insights and how often these bathroom essentials should be getting a wash.

“Don’t forget that these items are hanging around your bathroom. The dampest place in your home, soaking up all that moisture which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria,” Birges highlighted.

“So you need to be washing them more often than you might think!!”

So, how often should we be hitting the wash button? Birges recommends the following:

  • Bath Towels: Every 3-5 uses
  • Bath Mats: Every week
  • Bathrobe: Every week

“A good temperature for washing towels and bathrobes is 40 degrees, but bath mats I would definitely recommend washing at 60 degrees as this is much better at killing any nasty germs,” she added.

If you need more convincing of the importance of regularly washing these bathroom essentials then heed the warning of Will Cotter, the COO of FreshSpace Cleaning, who recently sounded the alarm on the importance of keeping your bath mats clean, sharing expert advice on why neglecting them could pose serious health risks.

Much like Birges, Cotter stressed the significance of regular cleaning, advising homeowners to consider purchasing additional mats to ensure a fresh one is always on hand while others are being cleaned.

“Not cleaning bath mats can make them a breeding ground for bacteria,” he told The US Sun.

“All that moisture can create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, and that’s not good news for anyone, especially if you have a weakened immune system or any open wounds.”

Indeed, the constant dampness of a bath mat provides an ideal habitat for microbial growth. Mold and mildew thrive in such conditions, posing risks not only to the longevity of the mat itself but also to the respiratory health of inhabitants.

“It’s not just bad for the mat, but can also cause respiratory issues and aggravate allergies or asthma symptoms, especially in people who are prone to these conditions,” Cotter cautioned.

But the perils don’t end there. Cotter points out that stepping onto a dirty mat exposes your skin to a cocktail of accumulated “dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells”.

“And if you’ve got sensitive skin or pre-existing skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis, prolonged exposure to these mats can make things even worse,” he explained.

Furthermore, the moist environment of a neglected bath mat provides a haven for unwelcome guests like athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

“Plus, it can make your bathroom smell really bad,” Cotter added.


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