You Should Really Wash Your Towels More, Says Science

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When was the last time you washed your bathroom towels? If your answer is “I don’t know” or even “a few days ago,” you should probably throw them in the washer immediately to avoid ending up with a face full of E. coli. That’s because towels—especially the damp ones hanging in your bathroom this very second—are breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty stuff.

“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,” Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, told Time. That’s because most people don’t wash their hands properly. We. Are. Barfing.

He added that in a yet-to-be-published study he conducted, 90% of bathroom towels were lousy with coliform bacteria, and about 14% were covered in E. coli. He recommends washing your bathroom towels every two days.

We’ve taken the rest of the day off to wash all our towels with an excessive amount of bleach.