How often should you change towels and bed linen?

We change many things in the household that we use every day when it comes to mind or feeling. In fact, many use their toothbrushes, towels and more for a while longer than experts recommend. We tell you how often you should change these textiles and items.


The Dental Association of North Rhine recommends replacing the toothbrush with a new one every two months at the latest. as the bristles are being worn and a thorough cleaning of the teeth is no longer guaranteed.

This applies to manual and electric toothbrushes. If the bristles start to sag and flare in all directions, you should replace them immediately. Even after a cold or other infection, you should throw away your toothbrush and use a new one because pathogens may have accumulated on the brush.

In general: After brushing, wash the toothbrush under running water to remove saliva, toothpaste and food scraps. Knock off excess water and let the toothbrush dry upside down, for example in a toothbrush cup.

Kitchen sponges and cloths

Kitchen sponges provide bacteria with perfect living conditions: they are moist and warm, have a large surface and contain dirt and leftovers.

Researchers at Furtwangen University, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, and Helmholtz Zentrum München have studied sponges from 14 households in Baden-Württemberg. They found that all sponges contained a variety of potentially pathogenic agents, even if they were flushed out regularly.

The researchers, therefore, recommend that kitchen sponges be discarded after one week of use. If you want to use your sponge several times, you should clean it once a week in the cooker program of the washing machine.

Plastic dishwashing brushes are more hygienic than sponges. Nevertheless, they should be rinsed out regularly and washed once a week in the dishwasher.

Also, rags and tea towels should be changed regularly. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment recommends washing dishcloths and tea towels once a week at a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius. Cleaning rags should be washed hot immediately after use.


Because most people do not wash their hands thoroughly enough, instead of washing them off, they transfer germs as they towel dry. Therefore, experts recommend washing these towels after two to three days, especially when small children live in the home.

Bath towels are also ideal breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi. You should use the towel, which you can dry off after showering, only three times before changing it.

It is important that it dries completely in between. If the towel already starts to smell unpleasantly: immediately wash it!

Bed linen and mattress

In sleep, humans lose up to half a liter of sweat. The bedding absorbs this moisture and provides mites - paired with the warmth and darkness under the blanket - an ideal habitat.

Therefore, bedroom and blankets should be thoroughly ventilated after getting up and the duvet covers should be washed regularly. As a rule of thumb, change your sheets every two weeks. However, if you sweat badly during sleep or sleep nude, you should wash covers and sheets once a week.

Cushions and blankets should be washed every two to three years and replaced by new ones every six to eight years. If your mattress is surrounded by a washable schooner, you should wash it once a month.

Also use your mattress regularly: bottom-up and head end at foot. This ensures that not too much moisture accumulates in the mattress.

Used sources

20 minutes: That's how often you should change your toothbrush. Bed linen and co .: How often do you wash?
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment: Questions and answers on the protection against food infections in private households. Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of used kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species. Health Hazard - Why clean towels are incubators for bacteria.
Dentistry Chamber North Rhine: oral hygiene & dental care.


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