A little-known rule about how to wash towels has completely floored us.

As far as my “adulting skills” go, I would confidently rate myself a solid 6.8 out of 10.

I can cook three meals a day (that doesn’t mean I actually do). I even scrub the toilet every once in a while and I (mostly) pay all my bills on time.

I would say that I also do my washing pretty darn well too but I just discovered that I’ve apparently been doing that ALL WRONG this entire time.

You see, while I do separate my whites and colours, and wash my sheets and pillowcases together in a separate load, it appears that I’ve been breaking a huge rule when it comes to cleaning my towels.

Because apparently, one should never mix two types of towels in the one load.


I was first alerted of my HORRIBLE WASHING WAYS when a user on online forum Mumsnet asked if others washed kitchen towels with their bathroom towels.

“Today I had half a load of bathroom towels and half a load of kitchen towels so I threw them all in on a high temperature,” she wrote.

“I feel like it’s two different types of germs mixing though.”

Wait… what do you mean there are TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF GERMS?! And if that’s true, then how do we decide which type of germ is worse?

smelling towels germs
Image via Getty.

As dirty as kitchen mess can be, the thought of "faecal bacteria and skin fungus" (as one person in the thread so delicately put it) all over your washing is a little... unsettling.

Some responded to the woman's question with detailed descriptions of their own washing routines.

"Kitchen towels and oven glove on a high temp wash. Towels separate—40 degrees. Bed linen separate—60 degrees. Bath mats and bath cleaning cloths separate—40 degrees," one shared.


"My machine is never not on."

Yeah, that just sounds WAY. TOO. HARD.

Others were equally as confused by the statement that towels from two separate areas of the home should never be combined.

Prepare to forget everything you ever knew about washing. Image via Getty.

"Eh? I just shove a load in," wrote a person who I am quite sure is my spirit animal.

Just like me, others also admitted that the original poster's question had sent them into an existential spiral.

"People wash their kitchen towels and bathroom towels separately...What on earth for?????" one wrote.

"I wash all my towels together... but I have never ever considered that I should separate them."

Whatever your washing technique, one thing was very clear: Combined or separated, all towels should be washed on a fairly high-temperature setting.

"We have highly efficient machines designed to clean fabrics at a high temperature, siphon the dirty water, then rinse them again in clean water," one person wrote.

"I am pretty confident that such a machine can handle tea towels and bath towels simultaneously without risk to my health."

"If your washing machine doesn't get all the stuff in it clean and hygienic, why are you using it in the first place?" said another.

LISTEN: According to Mamamia's parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess, this potato hack will make your kids behave.

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