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How often should I wash my washcloth?

Washcloths and Mold

Along with the bacteria that can make itself at home on your washcloth, mold is a likely and problematic invader. Many people have allergies to mold, and it can be difficult to control once it gets a foothold in your home. If you live near an ocean or in a damp climate, you may be more likely to develop mold in your home than if you live in drier environments. But regardless of geography, the bathroom is always a potential hot spot for mold and mildew growth, given the regularly high moisture content of the air in that space [source: Bode].

Mold and mildew, a variety of mold, both fall into the fungus category. Fungi reproduce with the help of tiny particles called spores, which can be dangerous to humans when inhaled. Mold spores trapped in your lungs can cause serious allergic reactions, and many people may experience reactions to skin contact with the spores, such as redness and itching [source: Bode].

Switching your used towel and washcloth with a clean one every few days can help prevent transmitting mold to your skin, but you need to be careful about what you do with your used, damp towels, too. Mold can thrive in wet washcloths and other fabrics left to dry on the counter or floor, in the hamper or laundry basket and even in the washing machine. If you must leave a washcloth to dry in the bathroom, hang it over a bar so air flows around it, speeding the drying process. Otherwise, cycle it through the washing and drying process quickly, rather than letting damp items sit [sources: Bode, Cotton Incorporated, National Institutes of Health].

You should try to keep towels and bathmats as dry as possible to prevent mold from forming. To learn more about how to clean towels to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria, continue to the next page.