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This Surprising Item Could be the Dirtiest Thing in Your Bathroom

Are you drying off with germs? A weekly wash isn’t enough to keep your towel clean. Studies have shown that 90% of towels contain coliform bacteria (in other words bacteria from 💩).


Towels are Bacteria Breeding Grounds

If you only use your towel when you are clean, it can’t be that dirty, right?


Damp towels create a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold, allowing germs to multiply with every use.

“When you say you wash off bacteria, you’re partially correct—you wash off some bacteria,” says Philip Tierno, PhD, clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU School of Medicine. But others stick around and end up on your towel while you are drying off. And once they are there, the germs will start to multiply.

Bacteria is also the reason why so many towels seem to have a damp, musty smell that lingers through the next wash—you may not realize it, but your favorite bath towel could be acting as a fluffy, oversized magnet for smelly microbes. This is one of the reasons why clinicians recommend washing your towel after just 2-3 uses.

But even after just one use, bacteria and germs will start growing on your towel. That means every time you use it after, there is a potential for acne, infections, and irritated skin.

How to Keep Your Towels Cleaner

If you are not sharing towels with someone else, clinicians recommend washing your bath towels every 2 days. Any longer than that and your towel will turn into a hangout for germs. A cleaner, less wasteful way would be to simply use antimicrobial towels that are infused with copper to kill these odor-causing bacteria and keep your skin healthier.

But picking a towel that stays clean while keeping you clean can be hard, so we’ve compiled some of the most important features and information to keep in mind while choosing an antimicrobial towel. From the type of technology used to make a towel self-cleaning to the best type of antimicrobial metal, we’ve gone through them all and listed them here for you to decide.

Copper or Silver?

While some antimicrobial towels on the market use silver, in terms of germ-killing efficacy, copper has been proven to be a stronger antimicrobial.


Silver is almost entirely ineffective as an antimicrobial agent when dry; it needs to be in warm and wet or extremely humid environments of approximately 95℉ to work, making it impractical for average indoor use, even when toweling off after a shower.


Copper’s efficiency as an antimicrobial agent has been confirmed by various scientific studies, and it has been used since ancient times to clean and disinfect. When copper particles infused into each and every fiber come into contact with bacteria or viruses, the copper releases ions that tear apart the bacterial membrane or viral envelope, destroying DNA and RNA and subsequently the microbe itself.

How Alta Compares

Unlike other antimicrobial towels that are coated or infused with silver, OURA’s Alta towel combines 100% natural copper and cotton to provide the best of everything. The EPA-approved sonic infusion process guarantees permanent attachment at the molecular level, meaning the copper in our towels will never come off.

Even after 100 washes, the copper was still attached and there was no loss of antimicrobial efficacy—after literally being put through the wringer, it still killed 99% of bacteria on contact. Because Alta is self-sterilizing, the lack of odor-causing bacteria means Alta will stay fresh so you have a clean towel every shower. The result? A long-lasting, high quality towel that is safe for your skin and the environment.