Stop Washing Your Bath Towels - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously!


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.
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#2 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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Interesting....don't thinkI could convert DH tho...
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#3 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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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.
Rach
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#4 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 04:10 PM
 
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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!
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#6 of 83 Old 07-08-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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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.

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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#7 of 83 Old 07-10-2005, 09:54 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 03:11 AM
 
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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.
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#9 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 03:57 AM
 
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I don't think so. I'm glad it works for you though.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#10 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 10:59 AM
 
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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
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#11 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#12 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
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.)
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#13 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 02:03 PM
 
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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.....
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#14 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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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
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#15 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
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.
Emilie
Around here the women's shelter is always in need of towels.
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#16 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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We mainly use bathrobs. Everyone has their own, even the baby. We do have some "regular" towls for swimming, hair, etc.
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#18 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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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 :

hola.gifElena ~  loving mom to  Alexander 8 fencing.gif Christopher 5.

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#19 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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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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#21 of 83 Old 07-16-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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+

LOL! :LOL Good to hear I'm not the only one who does this. I've been using hand towels as bath towels for about a year now. Not DH, though...he still uses the big towels. It evens out, though, since he showers every day and washes his towel once a week, and I shower less often but use a new towel each time.

God bless!
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#22 of 83 Old 07-17-2005, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boobs
Thanks for the tip. It's going to save me quite a bit of laundry.

I'm glad I could help!
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#23 of 83 Old 07-18-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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What an interesting thread, I was just telling my DH about something I saw on another frugal living board about an older woman who had just realized that she didn't have to use a new towel after every shower, and I was flabbergasted. In my parents' house we changed towels around once a week, and here we have great ventilation in the bathroom so we go more like two weeks before I get squeamish, LOL! Of course, I don't have older kids who would leave them in their rooms or on the floors yet either.

I am definitely guilty of loving those big bath sheets, but then DH and I are...ahem...not small people And for some reason robes bug me, I don't know why, so I wear a towel after a shower instead. I can totally see how the small towel thing would work, but I think it would drive me crazy, LOL!

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#24 of 83 Old 07-18-2005, 05:46 PM
 
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I love my bath towel. I've had to use hand towels before, and it was awful. We only wash our towels once a week. I like to wrap up in mine after I dry myself and while I put lotion on my face. I would really, really miss that if I didn't do it. A bath robe just isn't the same.

We have two bathrooms in our house - I have two nice sets of towels for each. That's all I have. When we have company, it is enough for us and the company. Otherwise, the set that is not being used is in the linen closet.

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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#25 of 83 Old 07-18-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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I used the hand towel yesterday- not bad.
I think I will just cut down to two sets of towels and wash one time a week.
Emilie
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#26 of 83 Old 07-19-2005, 06:42 PM
 
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Great idea! When our current towels wear out, we're definitely going to try it.

I can't believe how many towels some of you have - wow!

We just have our one towel for each of us, which we wash on hot once every 7-10 days and hang straight back up again. But we always hang them up right after showering and the bathroom is very well ventilated. Plus two extras for the baby and a set for the guest bathroom.
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#27 of 83 Old 07-19-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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I was just thinking about this last week! How wet is a towel, anyway, after a single use? You only really need a small towel...unless you like to wrap yourself in it afterward. I don't think I'm going to part with my set of towels yet...probably just let them get old and maybe start again with hand towels.
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#28 of 83 Old 07-19-2005, 07:53 PM
 
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My bath towel by the time I dry my body and hair is wet, I cant imagine dry myself with hand towels besides how would I wrap my hair in a hand towel

It seems to me that it would take more work folding 2 towels instead of one.

I think I'll stick to one bath towel and save the hand towel for my hands.
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#29 of 83 Old 07-20-2005, 12:43 AM
 
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We each have a towel and we reuse it and I wash them once a week. They are smaller sized towels though.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#30 of 83 Old 07-20-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky
More towels fit in the cabinet so there is always a fresh towels available, (I only I use towels once, for better health.)
I'm not trying to be obnoxious or anything, but how does using a fresh towel promote better health? I'm just curious, maybe there's something I'm missing...
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