Does It Matter How Many Washcloths You Use?

African American woman holding stack of towels

There’s an ongoing argument on the number of wash towels we should use. Some say wash towels aren’t necessary. Others believe you need at least one to wash your body, after using clean hands to wash your face. There are also those who are adamant about using two wash towels (one for your face and another for your body) and replacing them on a daily basis. So, what’s the deal? How many wash towels do we really need?

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The answer is two.

“Two separate towels should be used for the face and the rest of the body. Facial skin is more prone to certain conditions, like acne, caused [by] bacteria (propionibacterium acne). In the interest of hygiene, a different towel is advisable,” said Dr. Jyotisterna Mittal, a dermatologist and venereologist with iCliniq.

To dry your face, Dr. Mittal suggests gently patting your face with a soft cotton towel, instead of rubbing it.

Multiple Towels

While some may find it mandatory to change their towels daily, it’s not necessary unless you are suffering from a skin infection.

If you suffer from a skin infection, like dermatophytosis (more commonly known as “ringworm”), Dr. Mittal advises using a separate towel over that area to prevent spreading the infection to other areas of the body.

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Changing a towel daily is more commonly practiced by those who suffer from delusions of parasitosis or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).