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About Washcloths And Hygiene

Quality washcloths can be luxurious and beneficial if cared for properly.

Washcloths and Hygiene

Whether washcloths, baby washcloths or the regular ones, have any special advantage over just washing directly with our hands and just using soap is something that is often debated.


In fact, in many households where one spouse comes from a washcloth background while the other never uses them, it can even be a cause of daily friction.

In both cases, there are legitimate hygiene questions. While the non-washcloth camp often views washcloths as a moist, square, ripe breeding ground for bacteria and various types of mold, the washcloth supporters see that bar of soap as a biological hazard that has been God knows where. The fact is, they are both a bit right.

Washcloths are not hygienic at all if you use them over and over again, don’t rinse them well and leave them laying around wet.


A moist piece of fabric, especially one that has been repeatedly used to scrub off oils and dead skin cells, is the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms and mold – not to mention it will hold on to the residue from all the soap and cleaners you use (washcloth users will probably recognize the characteristic stiffness that happens to a washcloth after a while.) But they are considerably more hygienic than just using water and soap if you use a different washcloth each time (different colors are good for this) and launder them each every so often. The only real disadvantage here is that it can be more of a waste of energy and not very good for the environment.

Using Washcloths Like Body Loufas

Using any run of the mill cotton colored or white wash cloths for showers means that the soap never comes in contact with surfaces, only with the clean piece of fabric.


Even so, there is no real evidence for it being cleaner than just using your hands.  In fact, in many cases, just using soap and water is preferable when washing anything but your face. We should remember that microorganisms live everywhere and that our body is designed to keep them out. Very often, skin problems are not caused by foreign agents; rather, because of an excess of anti-bacterial agents, abrasive towels or from scrubbing with a washcloth, we upset the delicate balance of the microscopic living things that live on our skin. It’s important to remember that a sterile environment is not possible, or even desirable, on our skin.

Disposable Washcloths

There are special types of washcloths that are a whole other matter. Medical brands are meant for sterile and single use only. Disposable brands, although they generate considerable waste and are bad for the environment in general, are a very hygienic option for the cleanliness-obsessed. There are also brands specifically designed for babies’ delicate skin, and others that are treated so that they will specifically clean heavier impurities, like lead or chemical residue. These are all readily available online and an interested person can easily acquire them.

Benefits of Exfoliating Your Face

Where a quality washcloth really shines is when washing your face. The fabric exfoliates the skin, removes dead cells and stimulates your dermis for a nice healthy glow. Watch out though, if you use them too much, you may end up with red, dry and raw skin. So, for your skin and for the environment, it may be better to use a softer microfiber or to only use washcloths once every few days on your face.

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