How often should you wash your towels and pyjamas?

By Mariam Digges

How often should you wash your towels and pyjamas?
Towels, wash cloths and pyjamas should be washed frequently to stop the spread of bacteria and gut organisms.

If you’re re-using your towels after a bath or shower, be sure to hang them up after each use. That’s what one expert has warned after startling results emerged from a poll.

According to University of Arizona environmental health science professor Kelly A. Reynolds, towels used after a bath or shower could be used up to three times – but only if they’re hung to dry after each use.

This is because dead skin cells end up on the towel each time we use them.

“Bacteria and mold will begin to accumulate, but growth will be slowed as the towel dries,” she told BuzzFeed.

When it came to wash cloths, the wash cycle needed to be more frequent, as Reynolds explains that makeup and dead skin cells are more present. And because they become wet – not just damp like a bath towel – surface mold grows more readily.

Kelly also advises to wash kitchen cloths in bleach after each use as food particles which end up there result in a higher prevalence of germ and bacteria growth.

What was most surprising were the results of a poll involving pajamas. According to Professor Sally Bloomfield of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the average man wears his for almost two weeks in a row before washing them, while women wear the same set for 17 days.

“Pajamas are against your skin,” she said. “You shed skin cells at a vast rate all the time.

“They are full of microorganisms. We all have skin and gut organisms that are usually not harmful on our skin and in our gut. But if they get into the wrong place they can cause problems.”

She added: “Quite a lot of us carry staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause infections if they get into cuts and bruises.

“We all carry E Coli bacteria in our bowel. Again, most strains are not harmful. But if they get into the urinary tract they can cause infection. That would cause cystitis (a urinary tract infection).”


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