How clean are YOUR bathroom towels? Disgusting research will change the way you dry your hands

28 February 2019, 12:13 | Updated: 28 February 2019, 12:28

Is your bathroom towel a hotbed for dangerous bacteria?
Is your bathroom towel a hotbed for dangerous bacteria? Picture: Getty

How often should you wash your bathroom towels? New research claims that disease-ridden bacteria can gather on unwashed towels

Many of us are guilty of neglecting to clean bathroom towels for weeks on end, but our laziness in this area could have potentially dangerous effects - as new research shows these can be a hotbed for bacteria.

How often should you wash your bathroom towels?

Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, has discovered that nearly 90 per cent of bathroom towels were contaminated with coliform bacteria, and 14% carried E. Coli. There were also traces of salmonella found in some cases.

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Regularly washing bathroom towels can minimise the risk
Regularly washing bathroom towels can minimise the risk. Picture: Getty

Dr Gerba 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."

Is it dangerous to not wash your bathroom towels?

By using towels to dry our face or hands, we are transferring potentially dangerous bacteria into the material.

And the fact that the towel remains damp means that germs are able to thrive, meaning towels can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

As frightening as this may sound, however, it's unlikely that using your own towel covered in your own bacteria will have any negative health effects - and the risk using someone else's towel is still very slim.

Are germs lurking in your bathroom towels?
Are germs lurking in your bathroom towels? Picture: Getty

How often should you wash your bathroom towels?

Regular washes should minimise the bacteria risk associated with bathroom towels.

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

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