The Common Mistake To Avoid When Washing Dish Towels

When doing laundry, it's often tempting to throw small items like dish towels into a load with clothes to save time and energy. However, many people choose to use cold water when cleaning clothes to prevent the colors in the fabrics from bleeding. While this is a great idea, throwing your dirty towels into the mix could prevent them from getting fully cleaned. Many people make the laundry mistake of washing their hand towels in cold water and with other clothes. To ensure your towels are fresh enough to dry both your dishes and your hands, it's best to wash them in a load with just towels on a hot cycle.

Kitchen towels are often prone to bacteria, as they're used to clean up food spills. A 2015 study conducted by Kansas State University showed that dish towels are typically the dirtiest items in the kitchen, as they harbor the most bacteria. Germs from food, especially raw meat, can end up contaminating kitchen towels, and when the fabric doesn't dry completely, the dampness can cause mold. That's why it's so important to clean these towels correctly, as this will keep you and your family safe and sickness-free.

The best way to wash dish towels

Dish towels should be washed in their own cycle and with the hottest water that the label on the towel recommends. While some washers close to the water heater will add hot water right away, some that are farther away may need to be warmed up first with a hot rinse cycle. This will prevent your cycle from starting with cold water. By using the hottest water possible, you'll kill bacteria and germs on your towels, ensuring they're safe the next time you use them. Once they're clean, it's best to put your dish towels in the dryer right away to prevent mold from growing.

If you're concerned about germs staying on your white dish towels even after they come out of the washing machine, you could add bleach to the cycle. Additionally, depending on what they're used for, you may need to wash your dishcloths frequently. Towels that are used to wash counters and those that come into contact with food spills should be washed after each use, while hand towels can be reused a few times. Further, there is one exception to cleaning your towels separately from your clothes. If you only have a few kitchen towels to clean, they could be added to a load of whites that's being washed in hot water, as long as the towels don't contain dyes that could bleed and ruin your clothes.