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How often do you wash your towels?

Many of us usher in the new year with a deep clean, with six in 10 doing so in the days leading up to or following New Year's Day (64%). The new year is a time to reset and declutter, but shocking new statistics show that over a million UK residents only wash their bathroom towels once a year.

While guidance shows that towels should be washed after three uses, bathroom experts Showers to You surveyed 2,200 UK residents and found that many were using their towels for much longer before giving them a freshen up.

Key Findings:

3% of UK residents surveyed only wash their bathroom towels once a year, which equates to over 1.5 million people (1,595,646)

Almost one in 10 UK residents (8%) surveyed only wash their bathroom towels twice a year, equating to over 4 million people (4,255,056)

A third of UK residents (33%) surveyed wash their bathroom towels just once every three months, this equates to over 17 million people (17,552,107)

Those surveyed in Leicester and Glasgow are most likely to go the longest without washing their bathroom towels, with over 4 in 10 (41%) from both cities admitting to only washing their towels every three months at the most

Through a survey of 2,200 UK residents, Showers to You’s research found that men were five times more likely to clean their bathroom towels just once a year, with 5% of male respondents admitting to giving them an annual wash, compared to 1% of women.

However, it’s not all bad news for the nation’s bathroom hygiene, with almost one in five (38%) respondents stating they wash their towels once a month, almost a quarter (24%) washing their towels once a week and one in 20 (5%) health conscious residents washing their towels every single day.

Martin Smith, the founder of Showers to You commented: 

“The bathroom should in theory be one of the cleanest rooms in the home, however our research shows that many people across the country could be ignoring a key step in ensuring proper bathroom hygiene.

“While it’s encouraging to see the data shows the majority of respondents are keeping up with regularly washing their bathroom towels, everyone should ensure they are ensuring a regular routine of washing their towels in line with guidance from health professionals, especially for those who only give their towels an annual wash.”

Visual cleanliness is the most common factor that causes people to wash their bathroom towels (67%), followed by smell (61%) and ‘number of uses’ (58%). Worryingly, however, one in six respondents (15%) stated they will only wash their towels once they have become stiff.

While the study found that one in 9 respondents (11%) aren’t concerned at all by bacteria or hygiene issues stemming from not washing their bathroom towels, the NHS advises that towels can spread germs if not washed frequently.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Hamdan Abdullah Hamed MBChB, a board-certified Dermatologist and Co-founder of, states:

“It is crucial to maintain proper hygiene in our everyday routines, including the use and care of bathroom towels. Regular washing of bathroom towels is important to maintain cleanliness and reduce the risk of infections. Towels tend to accumulate moisture, creating an environment conducive to bacterial and fungal growth. Bacteria like staphylococcus aureus can lead to skin infections, while fungi like Candida yeast can cause issues like athlete's foot or yeast infections. Additionally, dirty towels may contain allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or skin irritations in sensitive individuals. Therefore, it is recommended to wash towels after every three to four uses to eliminate bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells, and allergens, ensuring optimal hygiene and minimising health risks.”



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