Can You Wash Towels with Sheets? (And Should You?)

Person removing a brown colored towel from a washing machine
Doing laundry quickly can make even the most strident rule-followers feel tempted to cut corners. The average American household does roughly 8 to 10 loads per week. Sound like you? A key to keeping laundry chores under control is to know which items can be safely washed together.

Learn why you shouldn’t wash sheets and towels together and why doing so isn’t worth the time saved.

Why Washing Towels with Sheets Isn’t Worth the Time Saved

There are a few good reasons not to wash your towels and sheets (two vastly different materials) together:

  • It can cause lint to stick to your sheets.
  • Washing sheets with towels can cause the color of light-colored sheets to fade or yellow more quickly.
  • Your towels may get wrapped up in sheets, which may keep them from getting cleaned properly.
  • Towels wrapped up in sheets may also not dry as well and cause bacteria to grow.

Do Your Laundry Regularly

Even if you think doing laundry is one of the most boring chores, it’s one task you want to keep up with.

Our bodies are constantly sweating, secreting body oil, shedding dead skin, and passing along substances we come across in daily life like dirt and bits of food. All that ends up stuck in the fabrics of our clothes and all the fabrics we encounter.

When you wash towels and sheets together, you risk passing bacteria, germs, and odors between fabrics.

Related Topic: How to Wash Clothes in the Sink

How Often Do I Need to Wash My Sheets?

While everyone has a different tolerance for dirty linens, you’ll want to wash sheets and pillowcases weekly. Most Americans wait an average of 24 days between washing their bedding! Washing your sheets removes all the sweat, body oil, dead skin, drool, dust, and pet dander that inevitably gathers on your sheets and pillowcases.

It’s okay to wash your sheets in cold water but consider using hot water after you’ve been sick to help sanitize and remove germs.

How Often Do I Need to Wash My Towels?

Even though we may only use our bath towels for a moment or two, the water they’re exposed to can cause health problems much more quickly. We recommend washing your bath towels after three uses to avoid the germs and bacteria that thrive on moist surfaces. You may need to grab a new bath towel every other day if you keep the ones you’re using in the bathroom. This is due to the room's high humidity levels.

How Often Do I Need to Wash Other Items Like Hand Towels and Dish Towels?

Hand towels and dish towels often get tossed into the bath towel load. Always use hot water when washing kitchen and dish towels, which are home to remarkably high levels of germs and bacteria. Dish towels are especially hazardous. Your kitchen sink has more than 17,000 bacteria per square inch. Even the kitchen faucet, that trusty perch for many a dish towel, has around 13,000 bacteria.

Can I Wash Towels and Clothes Together?

Always wash clothes, towels, and sheets separately and follow the recommendations located on the tags of these items.

Washing towels (and for that matter, sheets, and kitchen towels) with your clothes can expose your clothes to bacteria that has been absorbed into other items. Having these substances on your clothes and next to your skin for extended periods can cause rashes or allergic reactions.

Call in the Professionals to Lighten the Load

You tackle the towels and bedsheets and let Molly Maid handle the rest of your home chores! We provide experienced housekeepers trained and equipped to cross almost everything off your cleaning list. We can create a personalized cleaning plan to meet your specific needs and that works with your schedule. From one-time service to recurring appointments, we’re always there when you need us. To learn more, request an estimate online today!