Can You Recycle Bath Towels? (And How Long Do They Last)

Let’s take a break from the usual things you know and talk about important Household materials used for hygiene purposes. If we can read your mind, we are sure that towels would be the top things there.

Every day, we use towels to dry off our bodies after bath, and since they are personal materials, almost everyone has them. This is where a concern is raised for the environment. For instance, what happens to these towels after they are used and disposed of? Do they by any means harm the environment?

These and many more questions are what this post addresses. You don’t want to miss out on any of this. So, why not relax and enjoy all the information.

Are Bath Towels Recyclable?

Whether bath towels are recyclable or not is important for us to determine whether we should be conscious of their use and what method can best be used for their disposal.

With regards to bath towels, they are recyclable. If you don’t already know, towels are largely made with fabric materials and textile materials. And these materials are recyclable. This means that you should not worry about recycling your old towels.

However, there might be some situations where these towels may not be recyclable. These situations include where the towels have been contaminated with some liquid materials or fluid. Some materials that can render towels from being recycled are blood, chemicals, paints, grease, or oil.

Sometimes, it may be impossible to get many of these materials off the old towels, and where this is the case, most recycling stations will exclude the towels. Also, it may be impossible to recycle towels where contaminants like blood have contaminated them because of the health risk they pose to the general public.

Remember that these towels are made into new clothing materials which are used or worn by different people. Hence, there is an obligation to ensure the utmost hygiene in the production of these towels.

In all, rest assured that your towels can be recycled if they are only old or worn without having been contaminated. In this situation, you can package them and send them for recycling.

Where the towels are contaminated, they have no business in the recycling bin. You are to dispose of them or use them for something else that won’t pose a risk to the general public.

How Long Do Towels Generally Last?

There is nothing that lasts forever. Even if you can use something forever, there would be a time where they would lose their durability. When this occurs, you will have no option but to change them.

For towels, they don’t last forever, and you have to change them after a couple of years. Though you might think this is not needed because you can always wash them and reuse them. However, this is not the case for towels.

Even if you are washing them, after some years, they will lose their ability to absorb moisture and become raggedly with a lot of wool hanging here and there. This is why you should always change them. But when do you do this?

For towels, because they are used every day, the recommended period of use is 2 years. After this, you are expected to replace them with new ones. This might sound like a waste of towels to you, but this is not the case. It is even advised because of your hygiene. When you use towels over time, they begin to gather germs, which, even after washing them, might not be eradicated.

Besides, two years is a long time for something you use every day if you think about it. So, instead of debating why you don’t like the idea of changing your towels after two years, why not begin to look for animal shelter homes near you where you can donate those used towels.

Can You Donate Old Towels?

Donating old things shouldn’t be a problem in today’s world. Because of the financial gap in many parts of the country, there are many people and organizations who are helping the needy to collect the things you have to donate. Even if they don’t have an immediate need, they can always sell it and use the proceeds for other charitable courses or projects.

With regards to old towels, you can always donate them. Many places would gladly receive your old towels. One of these places is an animal shelter. Animal shelters often have needs for towels and blankets to make beddings for the animals. So, you will be doing them a huge favor by donating the old towels.

Aside from animal shelters, other charitable organizations want to have your towels so they can refurbish them and give them out.

You can also check out some shelter homes or religious organizations in your state. These places will always find good use of your old towels.

In all these, when donating your old towels, you should ensure that they are still in great condition. For no reason should you donate towels that are already worn out or badly stained with contaminants.

Also, before donating your old towels, ensure that you wash them and keep them clean. If they need to be mended, you can do so. You can also package the towels before donating them.

All these are to present the old towels nicely. Recall that you are donating them so that others can use them and not merely dispose of the old towels.

Can You Put Old Towels in The Recycling Bin?

Towels are generally made of fabrics or textile materials. Since most textile and fabric materials are recyclable, it follows that your towels can be recycled. But then, is this the same as putting your towels in the recycling bin? Let’s find out.

You can put your towels in the recycling bin. However, you must make sure that there are no other things that could contaminate the towels in the recycling bin. Often, this is not possible. So the better option is for you not to put the towels in the recycling bin. If you are not putting it in the recycling bin, how do you then get it recycled? There’s a way to do that. Let’s find out.

You can still recycle your towels even without putting them in the recycling bin. The purpose of advising you not to put them in the recycling bin is so they don’t contact a contaminant that will render them potentially unrecyclable.

What you have to do is get a paper bag or nylon bag for your old towels. If the towels are big or more than one, you can get a carton to package the old towels. For easy identification, you can label the package as “OLD TOWELS FOR RECYCLING“. This way, it can be easily identified at the local recycling station.

After packaging the old towels, you can either drive down to the recycling stations or any other drop-off location to drop the old towels. Alternatively, you can put the packaged towels in a separate recycling bin where they can’t be contaminated with other materials.

By following these steps, you will not just be ensuring that your towels get recycled; you will also be saving the environment from materials that may contribute negatively to it.

How Do You Dispose Of Old Towels?

Disposing of old things may be one of the simplest things to do in life. If you think about it, it doesn’t come with too much stress, just about finding a place to dispose of it. However, because of the effects that this attitude has on the environment, the proper disposal methods must be adopted.

With regards to old towels, there are proper ways to dispose of them without harming the environment. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Donate Them

Since time immemorial, donating old things has been a viable means to dispose of them. In many parts of the country, you will find charity organizations willing to accept used towels. You can also research some drop-off locations that accept towels, refurbish them and redistribute them to those who need them. Sometimes, charity organizations accept these towels, sell them and use them proceed for other charitable purposes.

Please note that when you are donating your towels, you are to ensure that they are still in good condition. It is not encouraging for you to donate worn-out materials and call them towels. Remember that the purpose of donating is not just to dispose of the towels but to allow others to use them. So, keep the towels in good shape before donating them.

2. Sell Them

Even if your towels are used, you might still be able to find a buyer for them. the most important thing is that the towels are not in bad conditions What you have to do is put information out there that you have used but good towels for sale.

eBay is a good online platform you can sell your used towels on. You can also check out groups on Facebook or use Instagram to market your used towels. There might also be some thrift stores in your locality that will be ready to offer some dollars for your used towels. What is most important is that your towels are in good condition and you have the required negotiation skills to get the best from the deal.

3. Recycle Them

For anyone concerned about the environment, this should be the first option to consider when disposing of household materials. Luckily, towels are recyclable. You just have to find out the local recycling stations that accept the recycling of towels.

By doing this, you are not just disposing of your towel; you are also saving the environment from potential harm that would have been posed to it by the materials used for the towels.

4. Gift Them

Gifting your old towels may also be a viable way to dispose of them. If you look around you, you will surely find those who will need your towels. Your neighbors, friends, family members, or colleagues are people you can gift your used towels too.

When gifting your old towels, ensure that they are also in great condition. Remember that it’s a gift, and gifts are meant to be in good condition.


Towels have helped us in many ways. Every morning and evening, we run to them to help us clean our bodies after bath. And, to be honest, they have become a part of many of us. But then, we must always remember the environment and prioritize it every time. This is why we must become conscious about how we handle our towels. After using them, we should dispose of them properly.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.