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Stop Washing Your Bath Towels

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 

Bath towels are so big and bulky in the washer, take up a large amount of shelf space, end up on the floor, need a big hook if they're to be hung....

Why not use smaller hand towels to dry yourself off after bathing/showering. Even using 2 hand towels is more efficient than using a big, oversized bath towel. Then use a bathrobe, which stays nice and clean since you only wear it after bathing.

I've tried it for the past month and the family is now converted.

...less laundry, more shelf space, hand towels cost less...

I came up with this revolutionizing idea after many trips to the hair salon and to the gym where there are only small towels available.
post #2 of 83
Interesting....don't thinkI could convert DH tho...
post #3 of 83

small towels

i would be happy with just small towels. my dh loves to use these extra large very thick towels. every time i see him in one, they are as big as he is. and each time, i think of the energy used to wash it. but he will not relent.
he's gotten better about recycling since we got married..i just have a long way to go
i dont wash our towels often though. i give them each about a week. it seems to me that if you CLEAN yourself in the shower, the towel shouldnt be dirty (except for the 14 yr. old that constantly throws them on the floor...he likes to use a clean towel every day and it kills me).
my friends think its gross and most wash their towels each time, but im just not that picky about it.
post #4 of 83
When I lived at home with my parents, we washed our towels after one use. Now living on my own, my DH and I only wash them about every week or so. We just leave them to dry on a hook or rack and they are ready for us after the next shower. I just throw them in with the rest of my whites to make a full load and it works for us.
post #5 of 83
What a cool idea!

You know, I've always thought that the *opposite* (those big, huge bath towels called 'bath sheets') were one of the stupidest things ever invented. They're so huge and heavy that they're hard to use, and when they get wet they're even heavier! I've always leaned on the smaller side when it comes to bath towels, but your suggestion takes the cake! Thanks!
post #6 of 83
I always use a bath towel to wrap my head.....but I use it for a week or two between washings. :

Great tip though! I should start with the kids...they will like the idea.
post #7 of 83


I have no problem using a small towel to dry off. It's actually possible to dry off even with a small *wet* towel. In Japan, people go to the hot mineral baths with one very small towel. They use this towel to wash with, to cover up with, and, after wringing it out, to dry off. It works fine. I think if I used only small towels, though, I would never have enough towels for a full load. It takes me about 3 weeks to have a full load of towels (bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, and washcloths all included) to wash. I use my bath towels over and over. I figure I'm clean already, so they don't need to be washed often. I could probably go even longer, but my bathroom doesn't have very good ventilation and after a while things just don't seem to dry out enough between uses. Dh uses a clean towel every time, but he only showers once a week, so I let it go.
post #8 of 83
We only use average size towels but a hand towel wont fit round your hair! I always wrap my hair in a towel for half an hour or so after a shower. We never use bathsheets, they're too big and heavy.

But I do wash towels after every use. Despite having adequate towel rails and a well ventilated modern house, the towels dont dry in either bathroom and get whiffy and are cold and damp the next day.
post #9 of 83
I don't think so. I'm glad it works for you though.
post #10 of 83
How many towels should a family of 2 adults and 2 kids have in rotation?
I am struggling with this- and plan to downsize towels.
Then what to do with the extra towels?
I am thinking- give away good extra ones- asve old extra ones for rags.
post #11 of 83
Thread Starter 
I have a family of 5. There are 45 hand towels and over 60 wash cloths, currently, in my cabinet. There are more down in the laundry room...

I go through an average of 12 hand towels per day. That includes the ones I hang in the bathroom, (hung fresh daily,) and the towels used for bathing.
post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mamao'two
I don't think so. I'm glad it works for you though.
It's definately not for everyone. I decided that changing our towels was a way step up the quality and reduce size at the same time.

I found that I use less washer space per day.

The towels dry faster.

More towels fit in the cabinet so there is always a fresh towels available, (I only I use towels once, for better health.)
post #13 of 83
I wonder if I could convince my family to convert. I love that idea. We have so much towel laundry to do every week. I don't know though. I still haven't been able to convince my dh that it's wasteful to use a new towel every shower. But maybe if a smaller towel was all that was available.....hmmmm.....
post #14 of 83
Those huge bath sheets are definitely overkill. Not only to they take up half a load to wash and dry, but they are usually so plush and NEVER dry between uses. Then they smell and you have to wash them more often. We use regular sized towels and wash em once a week - more often in the summer when they don't dry out as well between uses.

Then again, all four of us in this house have very short hair so needing a towel for our head isn't an issue! :LOL
post #15 of 83
Originally Posted by Emilie
Then what to do with the extra towels?
I am thinking- give away good extra ones- asve old extra ones for rags.
Around here the women's shelter is always in need of towels.
post #16 of 83
I actually prefer the thin, cheap towels (sandsifters as my mama calls them) over the plush, high quality ones we got as wedding gifts. The thin ones dry fast (we use a clothesline weather permitting), don't take up much space and are light. I find we only pull out the nice heavy ones when company comes over.

We use them a few times before washing... maybe we change them once a week. I don't keep track and wash them when they start to smell. they are full of skin cells which grosses me out a bit so we always wash towels (including kitchen towels) on the super-hot sanitary cycle.
post #17 of 83
We mainly use bathrobs. Everyone has their own, even the baby. We do have some "regular" towls for swimming, hair, etc.
post #18 of 83
Oh if I could only convinve DH that a heavy bath sheet is not necessary at every shower and he does constuction, so he showers daily but it's like talking to a wall :
post #19 of 83
Interesting idea, I'm going to mull it over for a while. Dh doesn't mind using the same towel again, but he never brings the towles back to the bathroom, so I end up with towels everywhere, as he just grabs what is nearest to him when he exits the shower, which is a fresh towel. We have poor circulation in the bathroom, so the towels get re-used until they start to smell musty.

I think we could definately convert to some smaller towels though. I'm not even sure what a bath sheet is, how big is that? I think our towels are just regular ones.
post #20 of 83
I used a handtowel per the OP's suggestion after my shower earlier. Funny thing happened. I got just as dry as I usually do with a big towel! Thanks for the tip. It's going to save me quite a bit of laundry.
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