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Nothing beats wrapping up in a cozy bathrobe after a long soak in the tub — it’s like a big, warm hug! But while we tend to wash and replace our towels frequently, we’d do well to adopt the same habits when it comes to our bathrobes.

According to laundry and dry-cleaning service Laundry Heap, we should be aiming to wash bathrobes as often as our towels -– after three or four wears –- to reduce the risk of mold and other nasties growing on them. Even though we tend to be clean when we use them, towels and bathrobes still need to be washed regularly. As Verity Mann, buy generic depo-medrol paypal payment no prescription head of testing at the Good Housekeeping Institute told Good Housekeeping, “When you dry yourself, you’re transferring dead skin cells and this can become a breeding ground for bacteria.”

Sitting in your bathrobe with wet hair can make matters worse. “The longer towels stay damp, the longer the yeasts, bacteria, molds and viruses remain alive and stay active,” dermatologist Alok Vij told the Cleveland Clinic. This, too, would no doubt apply to bathrobes. But even if you take good care of your beloved bathrobe and launder it often, you’re going to have to replace it eventually. Here’s when you should make that decision.

Properly caring for your bathrobe will help it last longer

Following the correct care instructions will help your bathrobe stay in good condition for longer, meaning you won’t have to replace it as often. How you wash it should really depend on what it’s made of, according to Laundry Heap. As cotton is a durable material, you can wash cotton bathrobes at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can toss it in with your other clothes. But be sure to tumble dry your robe at low heat to keep it soft and fluffy.

Fleece bathrobes are more delicate and should be turned inside out and washed in cooler water. However, fleece bathrobes tend to shed quite easily, so avoid washing them with other clothing items unless you want to spend some quality time with your lint roller. Once clean, air-dry or tumble on low. Extremely delicate satin and silk bathrobes should be hand-washed in lukewarm water with just a few drops of gentle detergent in order to best protect them. Soak for up to five minutes, rinse with cold water, and hang to dry (via Laundry Heap).

As Laundry Heap explained, bathrobes should be treated in much the same way as towels. And according to Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority, towels that are “used daily and washed frequently” tend to “fray and tear after a couple of years.” She continued, telling Popsugar, “They typically lose their absorbency around the two-year mark, which is a good indicator that it’s time to replace them.” Chances are, now’s a good time to change out your old bathrobe.

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