How to Repurpose Old Towels

When was the last time you purchased a new bath towel? Replacing common household products can sometimes slip our minds. However, even towels reach a point where they are no longer useful after a refreshing shower or lovely bath.

So how long should you hold onto a towel? “They [towels] typically lose their absorbency around the two-year mark, which is a good indicator that it’s time to replace them,” states Leanne Staf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority. “Because towels are used daily and washed frequently, they tend to fray and tear after a couple of years.”

This does not mean you should wash your towels less frequently. In fact, towels should be washed every three uses. You may assume that your towel stays pretty clean since you’re clean when you dry off, but towels absorb a lot of water and remain damp for hours. This is the perfect breeding ground for unwanted germs.

Of course, there are various factors that may change these numbers a bit. For example, those with eczema or sensitive skin may want to wash their towels more often. Towels made with natural fibers like cotton or bamboo may last longer.

So what should you do when it’s time to throw away your towel? Just because it is no longer useful as a bath towel, it doesn’t mean it cannot have other purposes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cleaning rag: Use an old towel to wipe spills. Cutting towels into smaller pieces can also be helpful.
  • Dry off Fido: Nobody likes a wet dog in their house so use keep your old towels handy on a rainy day or after you bathe him.
  • Rainy days: Keeping an old towel by the door will also be helpful on those rainy days when you don’t want to track mud through the house.


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022.

Photo Credits: Boll & Branch

2 Replies to “How to Repurpose Old Towels”

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