Gym towels play a very important part of gym etiquette. People go to the gym to gain fitness, but they must also maintain hygiene and cleanliness.
Towels host a variety of microorganisms that you might not welcome into your hygiene routine. Follow these
Key Essentials to avoid Infections via Gym Towel.
Wash Towel after Every Single Use
Germs are an unavoidable part of gyms. There are different kind of bugs in gyms which can cause flu and cold. Washing your workout towel after every use can prevent infection caused by bacteria and fungi. A report from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), notes that in athletic settings it is important to “assume that individuals are carriers of pathogenic microorganisms.”
The document details how you might catch bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases, including, athlete’s foot, jock itch, staph infections including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, an antibacterial-resistant staph infection), impetigo, herpes simplex, and ringworm during athletic activities, and provides recommendations to help trainers and athletes avoid these common ailments. Frequently washing your towels — and always letting them air-dry before throwing them in the hamper — will deter growth of unwelcome bacteria and fungi.
Avoid Using Fabric Softeners
Silicon is one of the main ingredients in fabric softeners. Fabric softener is created from a silicone oil. During a wash cycle, this oil latches onto towel fibers and makes them slippery, greasy and less absorbent. Since the purpose of a towel is to absorb water, this is a problem. Laundry detergent can be used to wash the gym towels.
Use Baking Soda with Laundry Detergent
Baking soda helps to keep workout towels soft and fresh. This will help to remove odors from the towel. It also helps to loosen towel fibers. Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle helps to remove odors from towels and also softens them naturally.
Use Vinegar in the Last Rinse
Once in a month, use vinegar to remove towel odors and excess detergent. This will help to restore the absorbency. Vinegar will also remove any soap residue from your towels, which is what makes them feel rough and reduces their absorbency. Add a quarter- to half-cup of vinegar to your machine during the wash cycle or wash your towels a second time using one cup of vinegar instead of soap.
Use Warm Water for Washing Workout Towels
Detergent is best absorbed in warm water. This will leave minimum residue on towels. White towels are the best option if you do not want the risk of color fading. They absorb a lot of water and remain damp for hours, which is the perfect breeding ground for unwanted germs. That’s why towels should be washed every three uses.
Know the Accurate Time to Replace your Workout Towels
Gym towels cannot last a lifetime. The towel should be replaced when it is in a threadbare situation. When it is losing the absorbency power you should buy a new one. Ideally, one should start using a new gym towel after every six months. However, this will depend heavily on how often it is used, washed and dried.
Never share a towel with someone you don’t know or someone who’s sick. It’s not the end of the world if you get a few more uses out of your towel between washes, but you and your skin will be healthier the more often you wash them.