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Should You Hang Towels Over The Toilet? [And How High Above?]

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The accessibility of having a towel nearby post-shower is a nice convenience and a go-to for most busy people. Also, storing towels above the toilet utilizes the space in an orderly fashion. But is it hygienic? Could this space-saving trick contribute to increased germs within your home and further the spread of those unwanted toilet-related germs to other surfaces-- or worse to your children, loved ones, pets, and possibly beyond your home? We've conducted quality research surrounding this topic to help you decide the best possible towel storage for your bathroom.

Hanging towels over the toilet is a common household practice. However, please beware of the possible germ transmissions that could occur if you choose to do so. Each time the toilet flushes, the transmission of germs within the toilet are aerosolized, and any objects above the toilet are contaminated with germy particles. Those germs adhere to your towels. Bathrooms are a petri dish for bacteria, mildew, mold, and the rapid growth of funguses that flourish in damp and dark environments. 

Proper storage for bathroom towels is a frequently pondered question by apartment dwellers and homeowners alike. Balancing decor, functionality, and hygienic practices that serve a purpose without breaking the bank are discussed with details in the continuation of this article. Do keep reading for a quality education regarding towels, and be prepared to take a few notes. Also, this article could entice the reader to start reorganizing their bathroom with renewed inspirations. 

Towels hanged inside the bathroom, Should You Hang Towels Over The Toilet? [And How High Above?]

 

Is it gross to store towels above the toilet?

Storing clean towels above the toilet does have several harmful risks. Each flush releases a blast of aerosolized germs that can travel up to six feet, and anything stored above the toilet is the first in the line for contamination from this germy plume. Also, the aerosolized spray from the toilet has fecal and urine particles or possibly vomit. Anything flushed down the toilet will have germs within the released aerosol. 

All of the mentioned germs could successfully adhere to your towels and live within those fibers for up to a week. The damp environment of bathrooms adds to the risk of the towels developing bacteria, mold, mildew, and yeast. These mold issues, coupled with the germs from continual flushing near your towels, could pose a sizeable contamination issue for you or your loved ones using those towels to dry their bodies, faces, and hands with contaminated towels that could cause sickness or infection. 

According to expert Kelly Reynolds, a professor and environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona, studied the topic. She concluded that it is best to store towels outside of the bathroom if possible. Or if one must store their towels within the bathroom for space saving purposes. Reynolds highly encouraged that towels are stored in a cabinet or closed basket to avoid toilet-related contamination. 

 

Can you put a towel bar over a toilet?

Yes, this is a possibility. Moreover, a towel bar is not encouraged for hygienic reasons mentioned in the paragraphs prior. However, one could use this space for a purely aesthetic addition to the bathroom-- an embroidered towel, small floral arrangement, or seasonal decor. Also, above the toilet shelving could be an option that allows storage of other bathroom accessories or for purely decorative purposes. 

A small bathroom cabinet placed on top of the toilet

What height should a towel rail be?

Industry-standard height for a towel rail is 42 to 48 inches from the bathroom floor. Most average height adults could comfortably use the rail at those heights. Moreover, adults below average height and children may require the rail at a lower height of 30 to 36 inches. If installing a new towel rack is next on your DIY home project list, please click here for quality step-by-step instructions

Perfectly folded towel stacked on top of the bed

Where to hang wet towels after a shower?

We've all experienced the dilemma of where to hang your post-shower towel: whether on the door or over the shower rail, what option is the most hygienic?

Towel hangers or ladders in well-ventilated spaces outside of the bathroom are the most hygienic option for air drying because these products allow the towel to dry quickly with consistent airflow. Being mindful of the placement of the towels on the racks or ladders is important. Overlapping damp towels could cause bacteria, mold, mildew, and yeast to form and spread rapidly with each use.

Also, hanging the towels up on a laundry drying rack or free-standing towel rack are other efficient options for fast drying and reduced risk of germ growth. If one has a balcony or porch, setting the drying rack outside on a sunny day would dry the towels in a matter of minutes. Moreover, sun exposure could reduce bacteria growth. Although, prolong outdoor exposure could cause the towels to fade prematurely. 

Click here to see a laundry drying rack on Amazon.

The room temperature in your home and the climate of your location could affect the speed of the towels drying time. If you live in a humid climate, consider the extra drying time. The warmer climates' humid air coupled with dampness is a petri dish for potentially harmful germs to grow within the fibers of the towels. 

Hanging wet towels over the shower curtain rail or door is discouraged. Towels hung over the shower curtain rail are at risk of absorbing bacteria from the wet shower curtain. Also, this will slow the drying process. Similar is true for towels hung over doors to dr; the towel could dry much slower, and more bacteria could remain trapped within the fibers. 

How do you hang towels in a small bathroom?

Small bathrooms are becoming more popular in a world that is embracing minimalist culture and decor. Adding an over-the-door towel rack or a small wicker basket to store clean towels allows for ample airflow that will diminish the potential growth of fungus, mildews, or molds. To avoid an overly cluttered look, consider hanging a basket from the ceiling or the wall. Another trending option would be a free-standing towel ladder, not only excellent for storing towels, and this ladder could serve for drying clothes.

Click here to see the  Idesign Forma Metal Towel ladder on Amazon.

For those seeking a more permanent option. Consider choosing a multi-level towel rack to install near the sink or the farthest point from your toilet. The rack could be used to dry garments, hand towels in addition to your bath towels.

Click here to see the Ello & Alloo swivel towel rack on Amazon.

Feeling stumped for how to install your new towel rack? Click here for further inspiration and instruction

Remember, Wash Towels Frequently

The importance of frequently washing towels is an essential component of well-maintained laundry. Over-using the same towel for multiple showers increased the risk of harmful bacterias growing and spread. Not only is this pertinent to bath towels, but this also applies to hand towels and washcloths as well. A study conducted by Dr. Oz concluded that nearly every towel used multiple times tested positive for E.coli. Washing towels consistently with appropriate levels of detergents are one of the best practices to follow for hygienic towels aside from mindful drying. 

Additional thoughts!

Exploring the world of bathroom decor with hygienic practices in mind has never been easier with the help of home decor blogs, online shopping, and the power of information sharing via social media sites. Please remember to exercise freedom of expression when decorating your home, and most importantly, your bathroom. Discovering decorative organizational wares that help you fully enjoy a hygienic bathroom's aesthetic and functionality adds value to your home life.