Stop Washing Your Bath Towels - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 83 Old 05-11-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I love this idea!! My towels are the thinner type, which I like for hair drying, but with a splashy child around, my whole bathroom gets dried with these towels. So they go straight into the wash. I also find that a wet towel hanging in the bathroom increases its humidity level. But, my towels are getting so frayed and holey. Okay, off to shower and try this out!
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#62 of 83 Old 05-11-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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I could use hand towels to dry with, but I like towels. The normal ones, not the thick big ones. Dh doesn't like the big ones, either. We only use them to mop up big spills. Maybe I'll go shopping and to replace the thick ones we have.

We use towels a week before washing, too. And I have a turbie twist for my hair. Dd only uses a towel to lay down on while we put her diaper on. She has dry skin so we moisturize her without drying off. Once she's potty trained, she won't even need a towel.
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#63 of 83 Old 05-11-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Smaller towels is a really good idea. I'm going to talk to DH about it when he gets home.

DS1 is on board. DS2 is balking. I'm sure he's thinking of mid-January when it feels so good to wrap up in a big, warm towel after his shower.
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#64 of 83 Old 05-11-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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My mother used to have those thick plushy ones, and I don't like them. I always felt like they were leaving little bits of fluff on me, and didn't leave my skin dry. My favorite kind of towel is a gym towel. I like the roughness of it. They're absorbent, smaller than a bath towel, larger than a hand towel. I have long hair--though not as long as it used to be--and I have a special towel for that. I don't know what it's called, but it's thin, a little stretchy, and very absorbent. I probably wash it every 10 days or so. If I'm only using it on clean hair, and allow it to dry thoroughly, it doesn't get funky.

I've downsized my towels (gave them away to a local MDC mom to use for her homebirth), but now I'm thinking I could downsize even further. It's just Sprogly and me, and we could get away with 4 towels, I'm sure.
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#65 of 83 Old 05-12-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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I'm curious if anyone has tried using flat diapers to dry off after a shower? Those take up little space, dry quickly, and are super absorbant. I think I might give it a try (although I doubt I could convert dh).
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#66 of 83 Old 05-13-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilie View Post
hmm.
Question-
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.
Emilie
we have about 8 bath towels and 4 hand towels plus a big stack of washclothes (the kids almost always dry there hands on the bath towels tho -- because the hand towels are hung a little too high for them.
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#67 of 83 Old 05-13-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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We use our towels for a week before washing them. I like using a big towel (actually one for my hair and one for my body)...
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#68 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ilovelife View Post
I'm curious if anyone has tried using flat diapers to dry off after a shower? Those take up little space, dry quickly, and are super absorbant. I think I might give it a try (although I doubt I could convert dh).
This sounds a little strange, but I prefer to dry off with my old linen tablecloths. I give myself a good rub down, and then wrap it around me toga-style, and go have a cup of tea.
Since they are linen, and thinner than towels, they don't take long to dry.
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#69 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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So I've been trying out the hand towel thing. Not so bad! The only I don't like about it is trying to dry off my back, but it's still do-able. I tend to put on a bathrode anyways so it's not a big deal if it's not totally dry.

Thanks for the push in that direction!
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#70 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sherra View Post
On a side note, I got one of those dealies that hangs over the door where you can hang 5 extra towels. That has helped our towel situation with our small storage.
Sherra
Oh, do share! We live in a 1942 home that has one bathroom that is just tiny, and it has been the bane of my existence lately to figure out how to store towels for everyone. Can you tell me where you found one? Thanks!

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Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia View Post
Answer about using a fresh towel for those who asked:
We use fresh towels for every bath/shower too for health reasons. When you dry off you are rubbing off skin cells and bacteria. Yes, you are *clean* from your shower--but rubbing with a clean towel also removes more bacteria. You may need to dry off...err...more delicate areas (front and back) that also carry bacteria and yeast and whatever. Then, I often wrap the towel around my head and wear it as a turban for a while to dry my hair. The last thing I would do after that is hang it back up and use it again tomorrow! I know there are many people who see nothing wrong with re-using the towel, but I am just not into that. Towels can easily grow mildew and carry germs after only one use, so after a week of doing that I think you are defeating the purpose of taking a shower in the first place--and it just seems not so fresh to me. You may totally disagree with me and think I am freaky neurotic clean towel girl--I get that.
Ack! Well, if you're freaky neurotic clean towel girl, you have officially converted me to the ranks of FNCTGdom, I'm now completely squicked out about reusing my towels, and we usually go 1-2 weeks between washings to cut down on laundry. Ick ick ick ick ick. :

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#71 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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Yeah, I don't see myself converting. We have regular sized towels and beach towels (for the beach and pool in the summer) which are bigger if we want them. I like wrapping up.

We also hang our towels to dry, wash them if they smell musty. I'm covered in bacteria already, I'm really not concerned by it. If the towel still smells fresh, its fine.

If the towels are getting musty so quick, you should consider ventilating the bathroom. If the towel can't dry, then you are going to have bacteria everywhere anyway...

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#72 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm the same way, I let my nose be the guide. If I catch a whiff of anything, I'll use a fresh towel. Otherwise, I'm not bothered. I have a pretty sensitive nose, though.

I used to have a (male) housemate who hardly ever washed his towel. I'd walk into the bathroom and gag from the smell. Sometimes I'd take his towel and put it over the doorknob to his room (holding it by the corner with two fingers). He'd get mad...really thought I was a PITA. But dude, it was rank.
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#73 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chellemarie View Post
This whole discussion makes me think just how strange the word "towel" is.
Me too!!

Apparently, I can only read the word "towel" so many times before it starts to seem improbable and generally made-up!

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#74 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ilovelife View Post
I'm curious if anyone has tried using flat diapers to dry off after a shower? Those take up little space, dry quickly, and are super absorbant. I think I might give it a try (although I doubt I could convert dh).
That is a great idea!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#75 of 83 Old 05-15-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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My brother's family (well, he and his ex) use/used swim towels. They are basically chamios type cloths. Pretty cool, super small. I like towels though. We use regular bath towels, not the big things...two per week for the 4 of us unless things get musty smelling.
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#76 of 83 Old 05-16-2007, 08:31 AM
 
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What a great idea!
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#77 of 83 Old 05-17-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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No wonder Americans have the highest energy consumption rate in the world. I had never HEARD of using a fresh towel for every shower until recently, and I grew up in a super clean house. If you hang up your towel to dry right after using it, there is no reason to launder it after one use! Bacteria and mildew BS.

Four star hotels now ask whether you really want fresh towels every day, and I understand it’s cheaper for them not to do as much laundry, but if it were really that disgusting and germ-filled, they wouldn’t ask.

If this really crunchy, earth-friendly community is using towels at this rate, what hope is there for the rest of the country? The mind boggles.

DD1 = 8 yrs *** DD2 = 6 yrs
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#78 of 83 Old 05-18-2007, 03:59 AM
 
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We usually wash towels once a week or so. I try to designate one every few days as the floor towel in the boys' bathroom as it can get a bit wet on the floor when they take a bath.

We have used hand-towels before when I've forgotten to hang up the clean bath towels. They work just as well. We've also used flats. Those work really well too.

I am one who likes to wrap a bath towel around my waist after I shower ... but for people who say they couldn't give up their bath-sized towels because of that reason, why not keep a bath-sized towel where you would normally hang a robe, dry off with a small hand-towel, and then wrap the bath towel around the waist. You could use the same bath towel for quite a while as theorectically you'd be dry already, you wouldn't be sloughing off much in terms of skin-cells, and you could hang it back in your robe/towel spot when done? Just something that came to mind while reading ...

Oh, and do people really do a separate load of towels? I mean, I do a separate load for cloth diapers, but otherwise, everything gets sorted by color. So, if I have some dirty towels, I don't just run a half-load of them, I add some jeans, pants, shirts ... whatever. Sometimes if I just have one towel, I'll throw it in the diaper load. I always throw our kitchen towels in the diaper load (we don't use paper in the kitchen either, so we go through hand towels and washcloths a lot). I guess in some ways, I don't understand the whole thing unless people are running full-length loads for just a couple big towels each week ...

Okay, I really should go to bed as I don't think I'm saying things too clearly! :

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#79 of 83 Old 05-18-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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Definitely one of those suggestions that is very individualized. I love big fluffy towels. We have tons of towels and I don't use the same towel twice without washing it....I cut back in other areas, but not my towels

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#80 of 83 Old 05-18-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Oh, and do people really do a separate load of towels?
I do, but I only wash towels once a week (and I'm American, Literate ). I do it because I like to wash clothes on cold but towels on hot, and I don't use fabric softener with towels. So, they need to be a separate load, but it's always a full load -- I won't just wash a couple of towels at at time, I'll throw them in the hamper and wait until I have enough for a full load.

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#81 of 83 Old 05-18-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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Oh, I'm American. I just find it amazing that I can make it 39 years on this planet before I hear of this practice.

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#82 of 83 Old 05-18-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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It seems an odd practice to me, too. I just wash my towels with everything else. The only thing I washed separately was diapers (we're done with those), and every once in a while I'll wash sweaters on a gentle cycle, but those don't get washed often.
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#83 of 83 Old 05-19-2007, 02:59 AM
 
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I really like the idea of using smaller towels. I am going to suggest this to DH as we don't have anywhere in the bathroom to hang towels. They get draped over the shower curtain rod right now. I have hang-ups about hanging towels above the toilet because so few people (my DH included) will put the lid down before they flush. That is unfortunately the only wall space in the bathroom. And that is a topic for another thread...

Anyway, I keep a laundry basket in the laundry room for dirty towels. When it gets full, I run a load. We change bath towels every 5-7 days, kitchen towels and wash rags daily. I run a separate load for towels because, like a pp, I wash and dry them on hot with no fabric softener. If we've had overnight guests or illness in the house, I will use a detergent with "bleach alternative".

When I was growing up we had neighbors with 7 children. They each used a towel once and dropped it on the bathroom floor. Their mom would go around and collect them all and wash them every day. : Can't imagine that.
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