Should You Store Towels in the Bathroom? Experts Weigh In

Where you store your towels is more important than you may think. Proper towel storage can help promote hygiene, extend the life of your linens, and even make your bathroom feel more organized. Here’s what experts have to say about the best practices for storing towels.

Pros and Cons of Storing Towels in the Bathroom

Storing towels in the bathroom offers some benefits but also comes with drawbacks to consider.

Benefits of Storing Towels in the Bathroom

  • Convenience: Keeping towels in the bathroom makes them easily accessible when you get out of the shower. You don’t have to walk dripping wet to a hallway linen closet.
  • Limit spread of moisture: Containing damp towels to the bathroom prevents moisture from spreading to other areas of your home. This can help prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Promote drying: The warm, humid environment of the bathroom allows towels to dry more quickly between uses. This minimizes bacterial growth.

Potential Downsides

  • More clutter: Towels can clutter up bathrooms, especially in small spaces. Storing them elsewhere can declutter.
  • Increased moisture: Excess moisture from multiple wet towels in a small bathroom can promote mold growth. Proper ventilation is key.
  • Less sanitary: Damp towels allow for more bacterial growth. Storing elsewhere limits this, but proper laundering is still essential.
  • Wrinkling: Leaving towels crumpled in a pile can lead to more wrinkles. Folding or hanging prevents this.

So in considering your layout, climate, towel use habits and other factors, you’ll want to weigh these pros and cons.

Tips for Proper Towel Storage in Bathrooms

If you do opt to keep towels in your bathroom, experts recommend the following tips:

  • Allow space between towels: Don’t bundle damp towels tightly together. Allow adequate air circulation to limit bacteria growth.
  • Fold neatly: Fold towels neatly and stand them upright rather than leaving them in a heap. This prevents wrinkling and mildew growth in folds.
  • Use hooks or shelves: Store folded towels on open hooks or shelving. This elevates them so air can circulate around all sides.
  • Limit light exposure: If possible, avoid direct sunlight shining on towels as the UV rays can fade colors over time.
  • Check for dampness: Feel towels between uses and allow truly damp ones to fully air dry before refolding.
  • Clean storage areas: Disinfect shelves, hampers and other storage spots in the bathroom regularly to keep bacteria at bay.

Alternate Towel Storage Spots Beyond the Bathroom

If your bathroom is too small or prone to excessive moisture, consider storing towels in a nearby hallway, bedroom or other location. Here are some options:

Linen Closet

A classic choice, linen closets allow you to:

  • Stand towels upright on shelves to minimize wrinkles and mildew.
  • Keep towels warm which aids drying.
  • Easily access towels when bathing.
  • Control moisture levels.

Bedroom Closet

Storing towels in your bedroom closet can:

  • Free up needed bathroom space.
  • Further contain dampness and odors from the room you sleep in.
  • Keep towels handy for overnight guests using a connected bathroom.

Furniture Storage

Unique furniture like an antique armoire offers advantages such as:

  • Providing a large, contained storage space.
  • Allowing you to stack many towels neatly.
  • Adding decor visual interest to your hallway.

Wall-Mounted Storage

Finally, wall-mounted racks or cubbies let you:

  • Easily grab towels without opening doors.
  • Customize storage to fit your space.
  • Showcase decorative towels.

No matter where you decide to store bath towels, be sure to regularly wash them to remove odors, bacteria, and grime. With proper laundering and storage habits, your towels will last longer – and keep you more hygienic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you store wet towels in the bathroom?

It’s fine to leave wet towels in the bathroom as long as ample air circulation is allowed between them. Don’t bundle damp towels together. Let them fully dry before folding to prevent mildew growth.

How often should you replace bath towels?

Most experts recommend replacing bath towels every 1-2 years with regular use. Higher quality towels may last several years longer.

Should you wash towels before first use?

Yes, it’s advisable to launder new towels before using them for the first time. Manufacturing processes can leave residual chemicals on new linens. Washing removes these and any germs prior to use.

How often should bath towels be washed?

On average, bath towels should be laundered after 3-5 uses. Towels used by multiple household members or for hand drying should be washed more frequently.

Should towels be stored folded or hanging?

Either method works, but folding helps towels retain their shape and prevents wrinkling better than hanging. If hanging, use wide hooks so the towel hangs smoothly without bunching.

How do you store towels to make them fluffy?

To maximize fluffiness, dry towels completely then fold neatly rather than bunching. Store folded towels upright allowing air circulation. Avoid over-drying which can damage fibers.


Proper towel storage comes down to containing odors, allowing for drying, preventing mildew growth, and making towels easily accessible when bathing. Storing towels in the bathroom or right outside it can provide convenience, but be mindful of space constraints and moisture levels. With the right storage solutions and regular laundering, your towels can feel fresh and last for years to come.

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