how much do you use a towel?
September 23, 2004 7:34 AM   Subscribe

For how many showers do you use a towel before throwing it in the hamper?
posted by Capn to Health & Fitness (36 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My nose tells me when it's time to change towels. 5 days or more in the dry summer, about 3 in the humid winter.
posted by fuzz at 7:49 AM on September 23, 2004

When it starts to feel less soft and cushy, and more hard and crusty. About a week.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:51 AM on September 23, 2004

Response by poster: > When it starts to feel less soft and cushy, and more hard and crusty. About a week.
This is my new favourite out-of-context quote.
posted by Capn at 7:56 AM on September 23, 2004

posted by cheaily at 8:00 AM on September 23, 2004

In my ideal world I would use a towel once - then wash it. The big compromise I have with my husband is that I'll use a towel twice - then it definately goes to the hamper. He uses his towels for what seems like a week. icky. I grew up in a single towel use family. With 2 sisters - you were bummed when the chore wheel landed on "fold towels".
posted by Wolfie at 8:04 AM on September 23, 2004

I wipe myself down with a face cloth so that the towel gets minimum exposure. About 5 days nonetheless. However, I don't throw it into the hamper, I place it within.
posted by juiceCake at 8:06 AM on September 23, 2004

I usually have a 2x face -> 1x shower -> 1x floor cycle that seems to work out fairly steadily.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2004

We have a large, well-ventilated bathroom, so our towels dry quickly and well. We can go three uses easy, more if I get really, really lazy.
posted by padraigin at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2004

For those of you who use a towel between one and three times before it goes in the hamper, I have a secondary question:

Does someone else do your laundry? If not, do you have a washer/dryer in your abode?

I like to think that I am fairly clean, but I never thought there was anything wrong with using a towel for the whole week. But then again I have to do my own laundry, in a laundromat. Which maybe colors one's perceptions.
posted by bcwinters at 8:17 AM on September 23, 2004

I grew up in a "one towel = one week" household and hated it. As soon as I moved out, the new rule became "one towel = one shower." But then I was doing laundry constantly and I HATE DOING LAUNDRY.

Nowadays it's 2-3 showers between clean towel changes.

Living in Florida means the AC is on pretty much constantly, and that dries the towels out pretty quickly with no musty or mildewy smell.
posted by contessa at 8:24 AM on September 23, 2004

I don't know. I'm still on my first.

Oh, alright.

Generally once a week or so, more often in the summers when I shower more often. (and yeah, I use a laundromat, which might affect things.)
posted by chicobangs at 8:25 AM on September 23, 2004

I use mine for a week.
posted by sciurus at 8:27 AM on September 23, 2004

I "throw in the towel" about every two weeks, with one shower per day, but seeing the responses in here, I think I should start laundering my towel more often. (Scratches at persistent skin rash.)
posted by brownpau at 8:31 AM on September 23, 2004

I grew up in a house where all the towels hung on hooks in the bathroom, no one had a special towel, and we never had guests, almost. As a result, I am completely new to this "Here is your very own towel" thing that people do for guests, though I am trying to learn. We basically use towels until they don't smell clean anymore and then we wash them, so a less than a week for my shower-a-day boyfriend, longer for a-few-showers-a-week me. We also have laundry in the house so often we'll wash all the towels once every other week or so, along with sheets and dishtowels and other non-clothing stuff. We have a lot of towels in our house [15-20?] so all the math works out okay.
posted by jessamyn at 8:35 AM on September 23, 2004

until my girlfriend throws the damn thing in a pile of dirty clothes/towels we're gonna wash. this usually takes a number of days/weeks. she uses 2 new towels every shower. we're very different.
posted by lotsofno at 8:43 AM on September 23, 2004

First and second use of towel: Towel is cleaner than showered me, dirt transfer is from me to towel.
Third or more use of towel: Towel and showered me are equally dirty, equilibrium has been reached. I transfer the same amount of dirt to towel as it transfers to me.
(If the equilibrium is broken, and the towel is transferring more dirt to me than I to it, the inevitable result is that it is getting cleaner with each use!)
Conclusion: In exchange for ending up slightly more dirty after a shower than I would be if I used a fresh towel every time, I can use a towel forever without laundering it.
posted by found missing at 8:47 AM on September 23, 2004

Seriously? People will use a towel for only one shower before washing it? Jesus H, are you people constantly doing laundry? Do you have a thousand good bath towels? Even with up to two showers a day, I really don't see the need to wash a towel after fewer than a week's worth of showers. Looks clean, smells clean, feels clean, I look, smell, and feel clean after using it... This is honestly mind-boggling for me. I feel as though my whole laundry world has been turned upside-down.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:49 AM on September 23, 2004 [2 favorites]

There was a great Dilbert cartoon where the engineer guy argues: "I never wash my towel. I don't have to! The moment I step out of the shower, I am the cleanest thing in the house. That towel probably only gets cleaner every time it touches me!"
posted by scarabic at 8:59 AM on September 23, 2004

On average, I get at least 3 showers per towel. I'll keep reusing it indefinitely, as long as it dries fully and quickly between uses and doesn't end up on the floor.
posted by maniactown at 9:31 AM on September 23, 2004

I do the laundry. I get a 2-3 showers per towel. Offspring does not do laundry, uses 1 towel per shower, and, not infrequently, uses more than 1 shower per day. Hilarity does not ensue.

on preview - I like that cartoon, too, scarabic.
posted by theora55 at 9:36 AM on September 23, 2004

I do the laundry once a week on Sundays and I don't really care to do it more often than that. We have enough towels for both of us to use about three per week if we really wanted to. My husband showers every day. I shower more like every other day. He'll use the towel until it starts to feel or smell rank, so he might go through two or three towels a week. I'm usually pretty clean when exiting the shower, so I'm not likely to use more than one towel a week.

To be honest, I don't even remember using a towel growing up. I still like to air-dry whenever possible since even fresh-out-of-the-dryer towels smell a little off to me.
posted by lynda at 9:40 AM on September 23, 2004

One towel/week, one shower/day. I actually only own one really good towel, so I just throw it in the wash whenever I do my laundry (i.e. once a week.) It never seems to get at all smelly, although I'm careful to spread it out on the towel rack instead of leaving it wadded up (same goes for the shower curtain, BTW.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:52 AM on September 23, 2004

I grew up in a big family, always 2 or 3 towels in the rack in various stages of sogginess with about two days of use between washings, which could be as many as 5 showers each. When I moved out it went to about 3-5 days between washings, but when I moved to humid Japan I found I could get maybe only 2 days. When I moved in with my wife, I realized with amazement that she was accustomed to using a towel only once before washing, and she realized that I was a barbarian. She compromised, and I have tried to shape up a bit. In Japan, dryers are for pussies widely regarded as inferior for the damage and premature aging of garments they cause.
posted by planetkyoto at 9:58 AM on September 23, 2004

A clean towel to dry off my clean body doesn't ick me out. Since it's just me and my husband and the baby, we pull out a few towels every week or so and hang them out, grabbing whichever is driest to use, rotating the ones that get used first to the floor. I would find one towel/one shower to be wasteful (not to mention too much laundry), but then again, when I visit my family in Florida, their towels go sour much quicker than mine seem to here. I'm still a good guest and stick to my two towels for the length of the visit, though, if it's less than a week.
posted by Melinika at 11:15 AM on September 23, 2004

In Japan, dryers are widely regarded as inferior for the damage and premature aging of garments they cause.

Where do they dry the stuff then? I thought space was at a premium.

I mean, seriously, dryers are about the best invention ever.
posted by norm at 11:34 AM on September 23, 2004

once a week. (altho in muggy weather, when i on a 2 or more showers a day schedule, i'll change more often.) I actually now have a tiny washer in my apartment, but no dryer, so i'm getting used to stiff but clean towels.
posted by amberglow at 12:13 PM on September 23, 2004

Yup, shower every day, change towels once a week - spread out the towel on a rod so it dries completely, though. I'm not sure I want to know what ya'll are up to that only two or three uses of a towel - after taking a shower even! - leaves that towel too stinky to use... Looks like most of us who are "once a weekers" seem to share the experience of growing up in a "towel a week" household, for whatever that's worth.
posted by JollyWanker at 12:28 PM on September 23, 2004

Till it smells, basically. Or when the (twice a week) maid finds it on the floor of my room and washes it.
posted by signal at 12:31 PM on September 23, 2004

I don't go more than two or three showers (=days), but doesn't the question beg, WHY DOES ONE NEED TO EVER WASH A TOWEL BEING USED POST-SHOWER? I've never really understood...
posted by ParisParamus at 12:59 PM on September 23, 2004

Because even though you're clean, you are rubbing off oils and skin cells onto the towel. I've read that if you have a problem with body acne, you should change your towel more. Also, the above mentioned mildew issues in some climates.
posted by agregoli at 2:31 PM on September 23, 2004

I once hear from a biology professor once that you should wash a towel after every use, however, I don't buy into that nonsense and wash my towel about once a week.
posted by mhaw at 3:46 PM on September 23, 2004

mhaw - You've got to build up your immunity, man!

One person, one towel, one week.

Adjust equation accordingly for multiple people, multiple towels, etc.

Oh, and the Europeans are right... we are waaay too uptight about cleanliness in the States, to the point of neurosis.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:55 PM on September 23, 2004

Where do they dry the stuff then? I thought space was at a premium.

On a laundry line or pole. When I first arrived in Japan I wrote home a letter describing "Third World panoramic vistas of laundry hanging on high rise apartment buildings." That's pretty much what it looks like with my cultural frame of reference. I bought a dryer, then gave it away as I came to realize the advantages of air drying (in Japan, that is. Wet clothes probably freeze in you hang them out in Nunavut).
posted by planetkyoto at 7:04 PM on September 23, 2004

I use a clean towel for each shower. I'm the one who does the laundry, I'm using a fresh towel, damnit. Actually, I use 2 towels per shower, one for my hair (I have long hair), one for my body. Our bathroom is windowless and towels get funky smelling no matter how you hang them in there. I'm not drying off with a funky towel.
posted by SuzySmith at 10:46 PM on September 23, 2004

same here, two towels. hair towel usually goes back to the rod for daily hand washing uses. The body towle hits the floor to serve as a rug for the next shower since one of my cats won't let us have a REAL rug. Bitch. She will pee on a rug in there in 15 mins of it going down. Every. Single. Time. But she leaves the towels alone. texture issue I think so they get double duty at least. I woudl use them more often, but hubby is a freak for "smells".
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 5:07 AM on September 24, 2004

scarabic, the key quote of that Dilbert strip is the punchline, namely, "Are towels supposed to bend?" I think of that strip every time my towels needs washing. Which is between two and four times a month, if anyone's counting.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:16 PM on October 14, 2004

« Older Parenting a Visionary Child   |   How would you test if someone has trouble... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.