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Can You Wash Bed Sheets With Bath Towels Together?

You may have already come across discussions about whether you can wash towels with sheets together in the same washing cycle. The fact is that towels and sheets can be washed together as long as you follow a few simple tips.

If you separate your laundry correctly, by the colors and fabrics they are made of, you are on the right track to doing it right. However, if you are still wondering if you can wash towels with sheets, read further and learn some basic rules on how to keep your sheets and towels properly clean and fresh.

How Often to Wash Bed Sheets?

If you never took changing your bed sheets seriously, you may have never considered that you’re not sleeping alone. Invisible to the eye, but still present, countless bacteria and dust mites are settling and reproducing in your bed sheets. 

These microorganisms feed on sleepers’ dead skin, bodily fluids, and food crumbs that accidentally end up there. Sounds disgusting, that’s for sure, but if you wash your sheets at least every two weeks, or more often, you will maintain proper hygiene and avoid allergies or other health issues these tiny creatures can cause.

For this reason, thoroughly cleaning all bed mattresses, blankets, pillows, and bed sheets should be a part of your annual deep cleaning routine. By getting rid of mites, dust, and other allergens from your bedroom you are protecting your family’s overall health and well-being.

The move out cleaning is also a good opportunity for a deep clean of all pillows, blankets, and furniture, and a chance to make a fresh and clean start at your place. 

Asian woman putting bed sheets in the washing machine to wash them.

How to Know If You Should Wash Your Bed Sheets More Often?

The frequency of washing and cleaning is a matter of everyone’s individual hygiene. The most common recommendation is to wash your bed sheets once in two weeks, but in some cases washing them more often, like once or twice a week is better.  

You should probably wash your bed sheets more often if you:

  • Have allergies or asthma
  • Allow your pets to sleep in your bed
  • Sweat a lot or live in a hot climate 
  • Sleep naked
  • Are recovering from any infections or illnesses

How Often to Wash Bath Towels?

Some common rules on how often to wash bath towels say that it’s best to do that after three uses, or at least once a week. While you may think that your towels stay clean as you use them after taking a shower or a bath, there’s a twist, as even your just-washed skin can carry unseen germs and bacteria that get transferred to the towel as you dry off.

Besides that, bathrooms, with their warmth and humidity, create the perfect setting for bacteria to thrive, which means your towel could also pick up airborne bacteria and mold particles.

Still, washing your towels after every third or fourth use is perfect enough for maintaining hygiene. On the other hand, when it comes to gym towels, it’s best to wash them every time after use, as they are more exposed to sweat and airborne bacteria in the gym.

Hand towels can also fit for washing in your weekly routine, but if there are pets in your household, if you have small children or frequent guests, you should consider washing them more often.

What do You Need to Know Before You Start Washing Them Together?

Before you start washing your sheets and towels together, there are a few points worth considering. First of all, start by separating your sheets and towels based on fabric type and color to prevent any color bleeding accidents, and place the fabrics of the same material into the same load.

You can check the care labels that will help you determine the best washing temperatures and cycles for each type of fabric.

If towels and sheets of different materials are washed together, it can happen that lint from the towels stays on the sheets, or that the materials that are more delicate than others get more friction during washing and get damaged sooner.

Before washing, check your towels and linens for any special details and elements like embroidery for example, as they should be treated with care. 

If you are using a dryer after every wash double-check the settings for both sheets and towels to avoid any unwanted damage, shrinkage, or unnecessary wear and tear. 

Should I Wash Sheets With Towels or Clothes?

While washing sheets and towels in the same load, bear in mind that towels, owing to their bulk and thickness, can potentially harm sheets. The friction generated between thicker fabrics during the wash cycle may result in pilling or even tears in the delicate sheet fabric during the washes.

The same could happen if washing them with clothes, as they too can get lint and fibers on them from towels. Another reason why you shouldn’t wash clothes together with sheets or towels is that they may need a higher temperature cycle, while clothes are usually washed at lower temperatures.

Washing Process: Tips for Wash Sheets With Towels

When it comes to combining sheets and towels in a washing cycle, a few savvy strategies can ensure a successful outcome. Mixing them can be a time-saving tactic, but it requires care to maintain their quality, appearance, freshness, and longevity.

Following these basic steps will help you wash your sheets and towels effectively:

  • Sort them by material and color to make sure similar materials are washed together and avoid color bleeding and other damages. 
  • Check care labels to see what temperature or washing cycle works best for each piece, or if it requires special care.
  • If there are any stains on sheets or towels, pre-treat them with proper stain removers.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine but leave space for water and detergent to thoroughly clean the laundry. 
  • Choose the right detergent for both sheets and towels and don’t use too much of it to avoid residues.
  • Avoid fabric softeners when washing towels because they can harm the material and reduce their absorbance over time. 
  • If using a dryer, the best tip is to dry towels and sheets separately, as they have different drying times. Towels are thicker and take longer to dry and sheets would tumble in the dryer longer with them for no reason causing unnecessary wear and tear. 
  • Sheets and towels should be folded and stored promptly to maintain freshness and reduce wrinkles.

Drying Towels and Sheets

A woman wearing a white shirt is drying towels by putting them on a string

Properly drying your sheets and towels is essential for maintaining their quality. For a start, separate them from other laundry to avoid lint transfer. Shake them a bit before placing them in the dryer to prevent wrinkles. Choose low to medium heat to protect the fabric, and make sure not to overload the dryer for efficient drying. 

Once the cycle is done, promptly remove your linens to prevent wrinkles and fold them neatly. Skip fabric softeners for towels, as they can affect their absorbency. On the other hand, consider line drying as it is a natural and energy-efficient alternative, of course, if that is possible in your household and the climate you live in.

What Can You Wash Towels With?

We have already discussed whether you can wash towels with bed sheets, and the answer was yes, as long as you take care of the colors, fabrics, and any other special care requirements. 

Clothes are not the best thing to combine with towels for a wash, but if you still want to fill up the washing machine and save water and electricity, you may toss in some sturdy clothes like jeans and t-shirts. Washing kitchen towels together with bath towels is not recommended, as well as cleaning rags to avoid contamination.

What Can I Wash With Sheets?

Washing sheets with other clothes from time to time won’t do any harm, but it is not recommended to make it a habit. As clothes are much smaller than bed sheets, they would get trapped in between them and not get washed properly. 

On the other hand, lightweight blankets are something you could easily combine with sheets in a washing cycle. Just make sure you don’t overload your washing machine, and group similar colors and fabrics to be washed together. 

Can You Wash Dark Sheets With Towels?

Dark sheets can be washed with towels, but watch out and make sure you group them by colors. Washing similar colored items will prevent color bleeding and preserve the color integrity of both dark sheets and towels, and keep them in good condition even after multiple washing cycles. 

Can You Wash Colored Towels and Sheets With Bleach?

If you are wondering if you can wash colored towels and sheets with bleach, the answer is yes, but it requires caution. Bleach is good for whitening and disinfecting fabrics, but it can also strip color from them.

Using too much bleach can make fibers weaker and towels less absorbent, so as an alternative, wash them at the hottest temperatures that are recommended for colored towels.  

If you decide to use bleach on colored towels and clothing, avoid chlorine bleach as it can lift the color from fabric and cause fading or white stains on them. Alternatively, there are various types of bleach, so find the all-color one and wash your colored towels safely. 

Can You Wash Sheets With Towels in Cold Water?

And can you wash sheets with towels in cold water? If they are colored, low temperatures are actually ideal for preserving the fabric and its longevity. However, light-colored sheets and towels are recommended to be washed at warmer temperatures, at least at 60˚C to kill all the bacteria and keep them fresh and clean for hygienic daily use.