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Can You Wash Towels With Clothes? [WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW]

Can You Wash Towels With Clothes? [WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW]

For a good reason, towels are personal items. Clothing items that you should use alone. Therefore, it makes sense to handle these items with special attention. A commonly asked question is whether people should combine towels with other clothes during cleaning.

For hygiene purposes, you should wash towels separately from your clothes to avoid germ transfer. New towels also produce vast amounts of lint that could affect some of your clothes.

This article will explain why you should clean towels separately from clothes.

wash towels clothes

How Often Should You Wash Your Towel?

You expose your towels to possible contact with skin cells every time you shower. Additionally, it is impossible to guarantee that your towel storage location does not have dirt or germs. The cleaning institute recommends that we clean our towels after every three uses.

Why Should You Wash Your Towel Separately From Other Clothes?

There are opposing arguments about whether you should mix towels with other clothes during cleaning. However, stronger supporting arguments explain why you need to wash them separately.

Towels require special attention for them to provide their desired service. How you clean them determines their effectiveness. The following reasons show why it is essential to wash towels separately.

For Hygiene Purposes

Towels are made with heavier materials such as cotton that easily trap and hold germs and dirt. As a result, when mixed in with other clothes during cleaning, they will transfer germs.

When you shower, you often assume that wiping yourself with your towels assures you that you have wiped away germs and dirt. However, if you washed the towel with other clothes, it could have picked up germs that you will wipe onto yourself.

Towels Are Lint Producers

Just think of a time when your favorite new sweater had lint after cleaning! We can all relate to the feeling of disappointment.

Whereas using a new towel may be exciting, washing it could bring the opposite feeling. New cotton towels produce a lot of lint. When you mix other clothes with your towels during cleaning, they will get lint which is challenging to remove.

Towels Need A Long Hot Cycle

In washing machines, you know that different fabrics require different settings. Regular garments such as t-shirts and trousers use standard settings, unlike towels and sheets, which need heavy-duty washing.

Towels require a hot and long wash cycle for two main reasons. One, they are made of heavy fabric. Second, towels are exposed to constant dirt, germs, and dead skin cells in their period of use. And especially people who do not wash their towels twice a week need to clean their towels every chance they get thoroughly.

Constant use of hot long cycles on regular clothes will age them quickly. Some clothes' elastic will get loose when washed in towel settings.

Washing Towels And Socks Together Feel Wrong

For most of us, towels, socks, and bed sheets are the last items we wash. And the justification for these is either due to the fabric or perceived dirt on the items.

Nonetheless, we look at dirt from clothes differently. Even if it is not valid, somehow dirt from socks feels 'yucky' compared to that from towels. Imagine mixing your towel and three pairs of socks in the same wash.

As mentioned earlier, towels need a longer wash cycle. Some washing machines have a dirty water sensor which changes the washing cycle depending on the cleanliness of the water. Towels are used differently in the house; some you use when showering while you use others to clean around.

When you put dirty towels in the washing machine, the machine will adjust to run a longer wash cycle. Mixing dirty towels with black jeans or lacy underwear in a washing machine may destroy their look and appeal.

Are There Exceptions To Washing Towels And Clothes Together?

Yes, there are. There are a majority of people without the option of separating towels and clothes during washing. Similarly, some circumstances allow you to mix clothes during cleaning. These include:

Water Conservation

If you do not have access to regular water, you can mix your clothes while cleaning to save water which you can use for other tasks.

When The Towel Is Not All That Dirty

If you clean your towel in the recommended three days and do regular laundry, you most likely will have small loads of dirty clothes. If the towel is not all that dirty, you can mix it with clothes such as t-shirts.

However, if you do this, we recommend a warm wash instead of a hot one.

Financial Reasons

In cases where you are looking at saving every coin you have, like the case with college students, you can mix your towel and clothes when cleaning.

Power Conservation

There are widespread calls to be environmentally conservative. Washing machines utilize a lot of power during cleaning. When you wash clothes separately, environmental conservation groups argue that that is power wastage. In this regard, you can combine your towels and clothes.

The Best Way To Wash Towels

Towels accumulate bacteria and dead skin cells every time you use them. Therefore, they need more prolonged and deeper cleaning than other clothes.

As mentioned earlier, we recommend that you clean your towels after three uses. When cleaning, use half the recommended detergent amount and add half a cup of white vinegar when rinsing. Vinegar is used to eliminate detergent residue and maintain your towel's color. If you are washing colored towels, ensure that the settings are warm.

There are two points to remember regarding the use of vinegar. One, never mix bleach and vinegar. Two, add vinegar when rinsing and not during cleaning.

white towels hotel

The Use Of Bleach

You use non-chlorine bleach with white and colored towels. After some time, white towels may appear slightly discolored. Using non-chlorine bleach helps in rectifying the issue.

Getting Rid Of A Musty Smell

Your towel will develop a musty smell if you do not hang it appropriately after showering. Towels should be exposed to air when hung to expose them to air. Due to this, we recommend that you have a towel bar to place them on instead of hanging them on a nail.

To eliminate the musty smell, use half a cup of baking soda in the first wash cycle, followed by the regular detergent in the second cycle. This should get rid of the smell.

Some Important Points To Remember

Regardless of the difference in fabric and weight, towels and regular clothes use the same amount of detergent. It is a standard procedure to use about a tablespoon of detergent per average load of laundry.

Also, note that the products you use while cleaning will determine if you can mix your towels and clothes or not. If you wash white towels using non-chlorine bleach to brighten them, do not wash black garments with the same water.

Due to the bulky nature of towels, we recommend that you dry them separately. Some suggest that you let towels air dry. Ultimately, that decision is yours. Even so, give your towel enough time and room to dry to reduce dampness and smells that emanate from wetness.


Washing towels separately from your other clothes maintain the quality of some of your favorite pieces. Additionally, it allows you to take special care of your towel in cases where you need to use products such as bleach and baking soda.