Can You Wash Sheets & Towels Together?

By Kelsi Hicken | Dec 27, 2022

Can You Wash Sheets & Towels Together?

By Kelsi Hicken | Dec 27, 2022

Can You Wash Sheets and Towels Together? 

Can you wash towels and sheets together? Or better question, should you wash sheets and towels together? Read on to find out if towels need to be washed separately and what can happen if they’re not.  

Towels rolled and folded on top of bed

Whether you're short on time or would simply rather be doing anything besides the mountain of laundry staring you in the face, the idea of tossing all your sheets, towels, clothes, and more into one load is very tempting, isn't it? It's certainly more economical and environmentally friendly, right? So, what's the big deal? Is it a bad idea to throw everything into one load together? 

Can I wash sheets with towels in ONE load of laundry?! 

The short answer is nope :) Washing your sheets and towels together is not recommended for several reasons: 

1.) Lint - Towels often shed in the washing machine and dryer as their fibers break down, causing lint to travel around the machines. If your sheets are sharing space with your towels, it is likely they will end up "linty" instead of soft and smooth. 

2.) Cycles - Sheets are often more delicate than towels and may not wash or dry in the same amount of time or on the same cycle. This can be less eco-friendly, causing more money to be spent on electricity, gas, and/or water in the long run. 

3.) Weights - Because towels are smaller but heavier and sheets are larger but more lightweight, you will often find towels rolled up inside sheets when washed together. Finding a balled-up towel inside a sheet means neither one was likely cleaned or dried properly. 

4.) Discoloration - Washing towels and sheets together can cause quicker discoloration of lighter colored sheets. It can also cause yellowing at times. If you accidentally wash deep-colored towels with light sheets, you may end up with an unintended hue to your once-pristine bedding. 

What Can You Wash Towels With? 

The short answer is, towels should be washed with towels, but we’ll expand on that a bit more below. 

Can I Wash Bath Towels with Kitchen Towels? 

Since towels are meant to be washed with other towels, that means it’s okay to wash bath towels with kitchen towels or hand towels, right? Maybe not. Kitchen towels can contain bacteria from food, dirty hands, and unclean surfaces. While the washing machine should take care of all the germs, the cycle and wash settings you choose could expose your bath towels to harmful bacteria from hand towels that they wouldn’t normally encounter. Having even traces of this bacteria on towels you use on your most sensitive skin could cause rashes or allergic reactions. For this reason, it may not be the best idea to wash bath towels together with kitchen towels. 

Can I Wash Towels with Clothes? 

Maybe, but this may come down to personal preference. Washing bath towels with clothes can transfer germs and bacteria that breed on damp towels. Additionally, if someone in your home has been sick, you’ll want to keep towels and other clothing separate from their clothes to help prevent the spread of germs.  

However, if you have only a small amount of clothes and, say, one lightly used towel, it may make more sense for you to wash them together - if they have the same wash settings. 

How Often Do Towels Need to Be Washed? 

Healthline recommends that bath towels be washed every 3 uses. Others, like hand towels, washcloths, or gym towels should be washed after each use to prevent bacteria buildup. If your towels start to smell musty, you know you’ve waited too long. Try adding a bit of vinegar to help get rid of the odor.  

Find laundry tips on how to care for silk bedding and how to wash bamboo sheets with tips from the product experts at Cozy Earth.  

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