Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Politics of Bath Towels

I think I have a secret unfulfilled desire to run for office.

I'm a policy maker, you see. I have a policy for just about everything.

"Milk goes on the top shelf."

"Dishrags may only be used for 24 hours."

"You open it, you close it. You dirty it, you clean it. You take it out, you put it back."

"Shoes on your feet or in the closet."

"The shower door must remain closed."

"A place for everything and everything in its place."

"5 minutes early is on time."

I have other policies too... life insurance, health insurance, car insurance...

You get the drift.

But it has come to my attention, lately, that I have no policy for bath towels.

When I was in college, I used a bath towel (hung on a rack to dry) for a week before washing it. After all, it only comes in contact with a clean body and wicks a little water off -- why does it need to be washed after each use?

But I find that sometimes we sling a towel over a door to dry, and sometimes it goes straight into the hamper. The spontaneity of it all is killing me. I need a routine. I need a... policy!

Reusing would require buying and installing a towel rack ('cause musty towels are no fun), but washing after each use feels wasteful.

What's your policy?

36 comments:

Sjdowers said...

We have towel bars and will use the same bath towel for 4-5 days.  I agree it is wasteful to wash daily and it sure can make the laundry pile never ending. 

Anna Colleen said...

My policy is 2 days (2 showers), after that, straight in the hamper!

anne p said...

Hate using a towel only once...It does seem wasteful..Right now, I am cutting down on clothes that we wear to cut down on not only laundry, but also water. Hate paying higher water bills. A $5 bar, not hook, but bar would pay for itself rather quickly. I hate hooks..Seems the inside of the towel does not dry very well

Mary said...

We have 2 towel rack in the bathroom - his and hers.  Towels are used for a week before being changed.  When I am on the ball, the bathroom gets cleaned at the same time we swap out the linens, but lately...they may or may not coincide.  Lately, it seems the bathroom gets cleaned piecemeal based on what fixture is grossest.  We (I) change the hand towel more often (sometimes) if I feel like it's been wet a long time or if it starts to look...grungy.  Funny story: in our first apartment, we had 2 hooks outside the tub for our towels.  I dutifully laundered both towels each week.  Turns out we were both using the same towel (he showers at night, I shower in the morning).  After that we (I) developed a color-coded policy - my towel one color, his another. 

Christine said...

My husband showers before me every morning, and hangs his towel on the shower curtain rod.  Then I shower, use the same (still slightly damp towel), and hang it up again until the next day.  I leave it in circulation for two days (so, it gets used four times by two people), and then put it in the laundry basket....that's not gross, is it?  haha.

Jennie C. said...

Are you kidding?  Who has time to wash nine towels every day, in addition to the nine pairs of jeans, nine t-shirt, nine sets of socks and undies, the cloth diapers, the dishrags...  Hang it up and use it again tomorrow.  Use it till it doesn't smell clean anymore. Then I'll wash your towel. :-)

PS: Just thought I'd let you know that I don't comment so often because your comment thingy (disqus) doesn't save my log in information and I have to retype it every few days.  I have to really mean it to bother. :-)

Kansas Mom said...

I wash towels once a week. I run a load three times a week, once with towels from the kids bathroom (Tuesday), once with extra towels that didn't fit (Thursday) and once with all the towels from the master bathroom (Friday). I also have a one time use policy on dishrags (washed up after lunch, into the laundry pile) and we use a separate wash cloth on the baby after every meal, plus his bibs. I wash hand towels, bath towels, dishrags, dust rags, bibs, wash clothes, etc., all together. My husband also brings home a nasty post-workout towel that's been stuffed in his gym bag all day three to five times a week. That one goes right in the laundry pile. It's quite easy to fill the washer three times a week. (On hot, with Rockin' Green detergent, if you're wondering.)

Steph said...

Hang towel in a tri-fold manner on the towel rack. Towels, washcloths, hand towels and bathmats get washed on Fridays. ;) 

priest's wife said...

ooo- I need a policy, too! I mistreat our bathtowels...maybe more hooks?

Guest said...

Once every couple days I wash towels.

Susan said...

I have a bath towel policy! Our bathroom does not have towel bars - we have towel hooks and every bath towel has a ring or a loop sewn in the middle of the edge of one of the long sides of the towel. After each use, the towel gets hung on its own hook - each morning I put the damp, used towel in the dryer for a thorough drying and once a week, all towels get laundered. THAT is my B.T.P. Hope it helps!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Yeah -- with just the two of us it's not too bad (for the laundry pile), but I don't like the 1-use policy.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Excellent policy :-D.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Hm.. I seem to remember a similar experience about towel hooks... :). Thanks for the input!

Farmer's City Wife said...

LOL!! That's really really funny, and a great story! :) Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Not gross at all! :) I like your system, Christine!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Jennie! I've missed you!
"Use it till it doesn't smell clean anymore." A fair and excellent policy :).

Farmer's City Wife said...

Great system, Kansas Mom!

Farmer's City Wife said...

I like the idea of having a certain day to wash towels. It's exactly the kind of order/routine that I thrive on (I like to know what to expect for the week). Thanks, Steph!

Farmer's City Wife said...

LOL! I definitely mistreat our beautiful wedding gift bathtowels. I was so sad the first day they started piling (is that the word?). But I don't have the patience (or desire) to go through them and cut off the little strings that have come from seemingly nowhere.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Welcome Guest :). I'm a once-every-few-weeks gal, but know I need to increase the frequency :).

Farmer's City Wife said...

LOL, Susan, I love your B.T.P.! :-D A hot towel is a nice luxury, too.

Steph said...

Sheets and towels on the same day. 

Darks/whites usually Mondays and Thursdays, cloth diapers usually Wednesday and Saturday. Other random loads through the week are kitchen towels (I wash those probably more than anyone else on earth), dust rags, the rug from in front of the sink in the kitchen, baby bibs, and cloth napkins, as needed! 

Steph said...

When they get too ragged, Costco has amazingly huge and thick and soft bath towels cheaper than anywhere I've seen for good quality. 

Steph said...

Just for an added laugh, before we got married, there were two towels. One blue, one tan. 
My husband says he used to smell them every morning and whichever one smelled less, he used. 
I'm pretty sure the washing never happened often.
And just for an added domestic tip, throw about a half a cup of white vinegar in with them, and they never smell! 

Farmer's City Wife said...

Ooh... cloth napkins are on the list of "to make" and then I'll be forced to do laundry more often :).

Farmer's City Wife said...

LOL, the sniff test is worth something, right? :)

Steph said...

Mine only exist, because it was cheaper to purchase than to rent for our wedding. So now I use them for cost factor. Granted, I have about 8 dozen, so it takes a couple weeks before I need to do laundry!

Sara Cart said...

The towel rack was $10 at wal*mart and worth every penny. It saves me loads of laundry every week.

Molly said...

I just have to say that after using the sniff test I always say to myself, "WHY did I just smell that?!"  MOST of the time whatever I'm about to sniff will have to be laundered anyway, so my nose would be better off not sniffing in the first place.  On the rare occasion that I actually wash something that's not stinky, no harm done.  :)

the Bear said...

I think it's "pilling"

the Bear said...

Amen on the dishrag policy!  Before we got married, Dan confessed to me that he only had one dishrag...and he only washed it every six months!!  I was horrified.  It's amazing how our husbands survived so long without us and our sanitary scruples.

P.S. The fact that this post garnered 27 comments is hilarious.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Hm... the idea has serious merit... Thanks Sara! :)

Farmer's City Wife said...

LOL!!! I don't know that I've ever conducted a sniff test without regretting it (my suspicions are always confirmed!), but for some reason I keep on doing 'em. That's hilarious :). Great policy, Molly!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Survival is one thing... thriving is another ;).

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