3-day old unwashed face towels could be as germ-laden as lavatory, warns doctor

Picture courtesy of Rinku Shemar, Unspalsh

Unclean face towels are a breeding ground for severe bacteria and within just three days can become as polluted as a lavatory, one doctor warns. This is not directly apparent to the naked eye, nor is it benign.

The predicament facing face towel users was highlighted by Huang Xuan, a Chinese doctor specialising in the care of critically ill patients. He pointed out that the amount of bacteria on a face towel depends on the frequency of usage, cleaning methods, and environmental conditions when drying. If face towels are not cleaned correctly, the bacteria that sticks to the towel can come into direct contact with the body.

Research has found that the presence of various bacteria on face towels, such as Escherichia coli, which can cause digestive tract infections, and Staphylococcus aureus, capable of causing skin infections, boils, and even more severe ailments such as skin poisoning. Moreover, fungi that grows rapidly on damp face towels can cause respiratory diseases, skin allergies, inflammation, and other symptoms, reported Sanook.

Doctor Huang further explains that the number of bacteria on a face towel will increase with frequency and duration of use. He said that a study by the University of Arizona, USA, notes that…

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“If a face towel is not washed for three days, bacteria may reach up to 80 million, equivalent to wiping oneself with a lavatory.”

Experts, therefore, recommend cleaning face towels “after two to three uses” or at least once a week and completely replacing them every two to three months. As for the cleaning process, the towels can be soaked in hot or soapy water for 10 minutes, then hand-washed or machine-washed, followed by drying in a well-ventilated area. If a new towel is being used, it should first be soaked in hot water.

Furthermore, individuals should avoid sharing towels with others to prevent the spread of diseases. In instances of skin diseases or the necessity to cleanse private areas, doctors recommend using a separate towel to prevent infection from spreading to other body parts.

World News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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