Advice needed on damp towels

I have nowhere to ask - I am a 50’s male who had to take metal shop in grade school and not allowed to learn homemaking skills…

My airbnb has two bathrooms, neither of which have windows etc. I change out towels and washcloths daily so that the bathrooms are never ‘damp’.

Is hanging these damp towels etc (used) in my hallway of my living space (not the airbnb lol) a health risk etc for me? I am thinking that during the winter it might help relieve the low humidity content of my home, in a small way.

The other option is to wash them daily which is not a good thing for the environment or my wallet.

Can’t imagine it’s a health risk. I don’t wash my own towels after each use, so hang them in the bathroom. It’s what I’ve done for years.

A health risk? Like bacteria from someone’s body floating through the air? I highly doubt it. Not unless there was some fan or open window blowing through them.

Although I’m sure someone could fear-monger about the possible dire consequences. Like I once read a post from someone claiming that using a bath towel more than once was “unhygienic” (even though you are obviously clean when you step out of the shower) and that you need to use a clean towel every time.

Have you considered getting heated towel racks so you don’t have to collect damp towels on a daily basis and wash towels so often?

Hanging them somewhere with airflow or a fan is a good idea. My issue with wet towels is woodwork and wood furniture that could be distressed by them. I ask guests to put towels on the patio, even though there are hooks.

Grew up using a clean towel every single time (my poor mother). Gave that up long ago.
My guests didn’t get a clean towel for every single time either. No complaints.

As only the second gal who was allowed to take shop in the history of my high school, and as a person who got a “D” in Home Ec, hanging your damp towels is fine!

The shop teacher was a bit disappointed with me, as the first-ever gal was a jeweler’s daughter who absolutely excelled in the metal shop half of the class!


I had to take sewing or cooking in junior high, because the girls were expected to become good little housewives. (I took sewing, although we had to make ridiculous things we wouldn’t be caught dead in, like a gathered gingham knee-length skirt)

But I did take metalwork in high school. What I really wanted to take was auto mechanics, but girls weren’t allowed to.


I took neither shop nor home ec despite graduating high school in the era when both were commonly offered. This information qualifies me to tell you that hanging damp towels in your home is a good way to add some needed moisture to your indoor environment in the winter and is perfectly safe to human health. In case it’s relevant, I also live in a climate where the average humidity is 32% and is 32% in my home as a type this.


In junior high school in Kansas, all the girls had to take home ec, either sewing or cooking, and the boys had to take shop, either woodwork or metalwork. It wasn’t an elective- we had to take those courses.

My sewing teacher was a weirdo- she had admired the pinking sheers my grandmother had bought me- then they disappeared out of my tote one day. I was sure she had taken them, so one day when we had a substitute teacher, I told her the regular teacher had told me she had found my scissors and left them in her desk drawer for me, and the sub let me look. Sure enough, my stolen pinking shears were there. I took them back and she never mentioned it.


I would reiterate the need for a fan in the bathroom to help with the airflow if you want to hang damp towels in there. While the hygiene doesn’t bother me, I found that our towels, for instance, tend to not last as long the damper they stay while drying. I live in the South so humidity is high.

I actually have an awesome fan system in both bathrooms - the air goes up thru vent piping and is drawn out by a radon fan in my attic, so it is not only super quiet but also automated with motion sense and humidity sense (I am a tech maniac). But my issue with damp towels in the bathrooms is that the perception of ‘funkiness’ is lowered when the damp towels and washcloths are not there at night when the guests come back - and also that they do not have to use them twice in a day.

My guests get 2 bath towels, a hand towel and a washcloth for up to a week’s stay, although I tell them to just ask if they need more. No one has ever asked for more and never had a complaint.

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No complaints for the last 10 years for me too, but I do find that guests appreciate the ability to have fresh towels - my normal stay length is 2-3 nights, so it is not much of a difference between daily and just waiting the extra day or 2 to wash. Plus I have 3 rooms so there is always a laundry load to do every 2-3 days.

I just hate wastefulness and unnecessary use of resources, like washing 2 or 3 basically clean towels instead of one, regardless of whether someone appreciates a clean towel every day.

But as you host 3 rooms and I think your guests share a bathroom (?) I can sort of understand that multiple guests’ damp towels hanging there might be a bit of a turn-off.

I have a friend in Canada I stay with often when I go up there, who whisks away the dishtowels to wash at least twice a day. I’m always standing there with wet hands looking around for the dishtowel. But she has a houseful of 20-somethings, and has no idea if they used it to wipe their mouth, wipe up raw chicken juice, or whatever, and she’s a nurse, so super concious of spreading bacteria.

Me too! But the situation is this: every 2-3 days I have set of bed linens to wash, since guests stay for 2 -3 days; at that time I put the towels in for washing. In that way I am not washing ‘just the towels’ but everything needed to be washed for a changeover. I have many towels on hand, so I can just put them out.

This thread started with the question of 'can the damp towels I remove every morning dry safely in my (very dry) home)… then I can wash them later in the week (for example).

Having 20+towels for this daily operation is overkill for sure (some folks use 1 towel, some use none).

The reward for this is the guest gets a fresh set of towels to use daily, the laundry load is not increased since I wash the towels with the guest linens at changeover, and the humidity in my home is hopefully affected in a good way.

Yeah, I wasn’t allowed to take shop either. My mother taught me to sew and I my father was a chef so Home Ec was useless for me. When we were told to make table settings, I made a terrarium with lizards and snakes. Boy did I get an earful but I made my point. Next year, girls could take shop.


Will you post a link to your fan? I’d like to show it to my husband as ours is as loud as the proverbial freight train.

Thank you. x0x0x0xoxo