How Often Should I Wash and Replace Towels and Sheets?

Washing towels

You’ve spent a lot of time and money researching and purchasing high-quality wholesale towels and bedsheets for your business. However, your hard work to provide a great experience for each guest doesn’t stop there. Maintaining your towels and bedsheets requires much more than throwing them in the washing machine every so often and hoping for the best.

When you’re looking to maintain soft and fluffy towels, clean and smooth sheets, take a look at how often you should wash and replace them. A little bit of maintenance and care can help to make the most of out every piece of linen.

How often should I wash my towels?

  • Hand towels

Primarily being used to dry our hands after washing them, hand towels can be used several times a day – by multiple people. Whenever we pat our freshly washed hands dry, we slather a lot of harmful bacteria onto them all over again.

Quite often, we don’t take the time to thoroughly clean our hands after we go to the toilet, handle food, or interact with high-touch surfaces that could be riddled with germs. That means that whatever is left on our hands gets transferred to the hand towels when drying. Unfortunately, damp towels also provide the perfect environment for germs, and the longer we leave them, the more likely they are to multiply.

In an ideal world, you should wash your hand towels every two days.

  • Bath towels

Clean body, clean towels, right? It may seem logical, but towels are dirtier than you’d imagine, even after their first use. Every time you use your towel to scrub your body dry, dead skin cells cling to the material and linger there. What’s more, these towels are often damp and warm – especially those that are used to wrap hair after a shower or bath – which helps to breed germs.

Keep on top of your bath towel cleaning schedule to protect your towels and your skin. Wash them after every three to four uses.

  • Face cloths

Drying your face with a dirty towel can lead to skin irritation and acne outbreaks. When you dry your face, even after cleaning it, you will leave tiny amounts of oil, dirt and make-up on the towel. If you then use the bacteria-laced towel the next day to dry your face, you are transferring germs.

Ideally, swap out your face cloths every day, using a clean one each time you wash and dry your face.

How often should you replace your towels?

For personal use, you should replace your bath towels and bath sheets at least every two years. Because towels are used daily and washed frequently, they tend to fray and lose their absorbency a couple of years after first being used, which is a good indicator that it’s time to replace them.

Commercial use of towels tends to be more vigorous and standards are set higher. While towels will be changed every other day or after each guest has checked out, any damaged and stained towels will need to be replaced with new sets immediately.

Washing your towels with care

If you want your towels to last, there is a right way to clean them properly. The first step is to ensure you are washing them often and when they are dirty. Wash them with warm water and colour-safe bleach (if needed) for coloured towels. Use hot water and non-chlorine bleach (if necessary) for white towels. Always wash similar colours alike.

Put in around half the detergent you would use for a normal load as too much detergent will stiffen towels. Use fabric softener according to directions, but only ever use it every three or four washes. Waxy build-up from softeners can deteriorate the towel fibres over time and reduce their absorbency.

Drying your towels properly is important, yet frequently overlooked. Ensure that they are completely dry before use, as damp towels – even if they are clean – attracts mildew. Finally, avoid over-drying the towels in a dryer, which can destroy the integrity of the individual cotton fibres.

How often should I wash my sheets?

When it comes to hotels, hostels, guest houses and B&Bs, bedding goes hand in hand with towels. The good news is, you can usually combine your cleaning schedule, with sheets also needing frequent washing like towels.

Even though sweating is the last thing you would imagine yourself doing when you’re in a deep and peaceful sleep, the reality is that we sweat a surprising amount every night. You could be losing 25ml of sweat per hour while sleeping. The dead skin cells that you shed every night can also attract dust mites, which can cause allergic reactions and impact breathing in people with asthma. Along with the body oils, saliva, dirt from outside and even urine, it’s easy to see how our bedsheets can soon become filthy even if they may not look it.

Keep in mind that fungi such as athlete’s foot can also be transferred from fabrics such as bedsheets. Infrequent cleaning of sheets and pillows also allows the fluids and germs to seep into the pillows and mattresses, making getting the bed clean a much harder task.

Wash your bedsheets once a week for personal use, but at least after each guest has checked out in a commercial setting. Don’t forget to add the pillowcases and top sheet in the wash along with the duvet cover.

How often should I replace my sheets?

For your personal use, you should completely change out your bedsheets every two to three years. Commercial use can vary, but sheets should be changed after every couple of days of a multi-night guest and after each guest checks out. Businesses should change out sheets when they decline in quality or every other year.

Of course, this largely depends on the quality of the sheet you purchase to begin with, along with how often you clean and care for them. Look for sheets with long-staple cotton to ensure a soft sheet that is durable, too.

Washing your sheets the right way

As always, it’s best to follow the care label in each of the linens. Generally, though, it’s advisable to use a low setting your washing machine to keep the bedsheets from shrinking. Avoid jamming too many sheets into each load as they need a lot of room to get clean, and keep each load similar in colour.

White and lighter-coloured cotton sheets wash well in any water temperature. However, you may choose to sanitise your sheets by washing them on a hot/warm cycle during cold and flu season to reduce allergens. To keep darker coloured sheets from fading, use cool water to wash and rinse.

Fabric softeners aren’t always necessary if you have 100% cotton sheets since these will be soft in the first place. If ironing is needed, use quick and long strokes to get rid of creases more effectively. A hot iron can also help to kill any remaining bacteria on the sheets.

High-quality towels and bedsheets for your business

If you’re struggling to find the right towels and sheets for your needs, then consult the experts at Homefords. We have a wide range of high-quality towels and bedsheets for businesses across the UK. Take a look at our wholesale towels and linens that are long-lasting and low-maintenance. We look forward to hearing from you!

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