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How to Choose the Perfect Workout Towel

how to choose the perfect workout towel

In the United States today, over 54 million people are members of a gym, and there are over 34,000 member-based fitness facilities across the country. The increasing statistics are evidence that people value fitness, and with a swelling number of gym members, there comes an added emphasis on proper gym etiquette — from the appropriate gym gear to cleaning machines after use to locker room decorum.

Using a workout towel is an important part of proper gym etiquette. No one wants to go to use a machine, only to find it covered in sweat from the careless individual who previously used it. Something newbies often overlook is workout towels. Many gyms provide towels, but many conscientious gym-goers choose to purchase their own workout towels that suit their specific needs.

54 million gym members in the US

Whether you're a personal trainer, a gym owner, a workout enthusiast or you're new to the fitness scene, it's worthwhile to learn about the unique characteristics of quality gym towels and why they're important.

Why Are Workout Towels Essential?

Choosing the right workout towel is partly a personal decision based on your unique needs, but there are universal reasons why it's important to use one. Workout towels are crucial to a successful workout for a few reasons:

  • They minimize the spread of germs. Germs are an inevitable part of any gym. Using a workout towel to wipe the sweat from your face and body will keep it from your hands, minimizing the transfer of bacteria. If you don't use a sweat towel and instead wipe your face or forehead with your hands, which are exposed to the bacteria from the machines and equipment you use, you can transfer germs to your face and body. Pimples and fungal infections can result. Gyms, locker rooms and saunas are the optimal breeding ground for bacteria and microfungi growth. E.coli, athlete's foot, coliforms and salmonella are a few examples of the spreadable dangers that can translate from one person to another, or from one surface to another. With the help of a clean workout towel you wash after every use, you can minimize your exposure to these germs.
  • You can use your workout towel for added protection. Gyms offer spray bottles with cleaning solutions as well as paper towels to wipe down equipment before and after you use it. Before using a machine, consider wiping it with the provided materials, then laying your towel down for added protection. An extra barrier between you and the equipment could save you from picking up bacteria or a fungal infection.
  • Workout towels keep you feeling clean. Besides the sanitary reasons, using a sweat towel will keep you feeling clean and dry while working out. Sweat building up in your pores can cause pimples, which is why it's important to shower or at least wash your face after a good workout. Wiping your face with a clean towel during your workout will eliminate the buildup. A workout towel can keep your face, eyes and forehead feeling clean and dry.
  • Your workout towels keep you cool. Part of a good workout includes increasing your heartrate. As your heartrate increases, so does your body temperature. Use your towel to cool your body temperature during a workout. A quick swipe over your brow using your workout towel can encourage you to push yourself further during a workout.

washing your workout towel

There's no arguing the importance of using a workout towel, but you might be wondering if all gym towels are created equally. There's definitely a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the perfect workout towel. Is it wise to go with the cheapest option? Is cotton the only option? Are there specific care instructions for workout towels? Let's take a closer look.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Workout Towel?

When searching for the best workout towels, most people opt for something soft and durable. It's also important to choose an absorbent towel, so you can wipe your sweaty brow more than once before the towel is soaked and rendered useless. You should also choose a towel that doesn't take too long to dry and won't create excess lint in the dryer. Depending on your needs, the size and weight might be an important consideration as well.

Here are the main factors to consider when searching for the best workout towels:

1. Material

Cotton is the most common material for workout towels — and for good reason. Cotton fibers are absorbent and dry quickly, and cotton continues to play an important role in American economy. It's an excellent material for workout towels, but it's not the only option. Other materials include:

  • Cotton-polyester blends
  • Microfiber
  • Linen
  • Bamboo

Although microfiber is worthy candidate for a workout towel, cotton is the best option due to its availability, absorbency and durability.

2. Size and Weight

Towels are usually measured by their fabric density. Towels that weigh less are thinner, and they're usually less expensive because they wear down faster. If you plan to use a workout towel every day, you might prefer a heavier towel that will last multiple washes, but remember that a heavier towel will trap more moisture and could easily harbor bacteria if not properly washed and dried.

Gym towels should be washed after every use, so many people prefer a towel that will hold up over time. However, some gym goers choose to purchase economically priced gym towels in bulk, so they can replace them frequently. It's a matter of preference, as is the size of your workout towel.

Many people prefer workout towels that are small and easily packable. You surely don't need a full-sized bath towel to wipe off the sweat during a good workout, but some people prefer something larger than a hand towel. To determine your optimal workout towel size, consider the length of your workout. If you plan to hit the gym for an hour or more, you might want a slightly larger workout towel. If your workouts typically last 20 minutes, a standard hand towel size will probably be fine.

3. Absorbency

There's no point in using a workout towel if it doesn't serve its main purpose: to absorb your excess sweat created during a workout. Every towel is made up of loops within the weave of the fabric. The loops in a workout towel allow it to absorb sweat or water. The more loops in your workout towels, the stronger their absorbency.

An old, threadbare workout towel won't be very absorbent. At the same time, your gym towel doesn't need to be as absorbent as a full bath towel you would use to dry off your entire body after a shower. The best workout towel should be somewhere in the middle — absorbent enough to keep you dry during a workout, but not so thick that it retains bacteria between washes or causes you to carry extra weight in your gym bag.

Finally, be sure to take proper care of your workout towels, as certain detergents and fabric softeners can affect their absorbency.

4. Length of Time Required to Dry

The thinner the towel, the faster it will dry. Thinner towels also wear out faster than their thicker, fluffier counterparts. If you're supplying towels for an entire gym and need to quickly wash and dry them, it might be important to choose towels that will dry fast. If you're supplying workout towels for yourself or your family, you might not be too concerned with the length of time required to dry them. Whatever your situation, remember that fully drying your towels is crucial. Mold and bacteria can grow in damp towels, causing health and hygiene issues as well as unpleasant odors.

5. Lint Created During Drying

Towels can shed quite a bit, which could pose a problem if you're supplying towels for a gym facility. No one wants to wipe their sweat away with a towel full of lint and other debris from the dryer. Lint occurs eventually with most towels, as cotton is a fiber that naturally sheds. However, it's the excess lint that can be annoying.

To avoid excess lint, don't over dry your towels. If you purchase new towels, consider washing them separately from your old towels. Regardless of their quality, new towels will likely shed and create lint during drying. Instead of transferring lint to your older towels, separate the old from the new during the washing and drying cycles.

air dry your workout  towel

If possible, opt for air drying your workout towels from time to time. If that's not possible, occasionally use a lower setting on the dryer to reduce unnecessary wear, which can create more lint.

Be sure to shake excess lint from your workout towels as well before folding them.

6. Length of the Fibers

Lengthy fibers create softer, more absorbent towels. Gym towels don't require a lengthy fiber, however, because you don't need a gym towel with lots of extra absorbency. Yes, your gym towel should be absorbent, but a standard fiber length is suitable for a workout towel.

7. Softness

Many people in the market for workout towels emphasize their desire for softness. After all, you will likely use your workout towel on the sensitive skin on your face. Premium cotton towels can provide the desired softness without compromising durability.

Choosing the perfect workout towel doesn't end with a purchase. You must learn to care for your workout towels as well to keep them in optimal condition. If you take good care of your workout towels, they can last for years.

How to Care for Your Workout Towels

Workout towels require a few specific instructions for care. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind when washing and drying your workout towels:

  • Wash after every use. Gyms harbor bacteria, and you don't want to reuse a gym towel, which is basically your sweat rag. Be sure to wash your workout towel after every use to avoid odors, bacteria, mold and fungal infections.
  • Avoid fabric softeners. Fabric softeners contain silicon, which will prevent the towel from absorbing your sweat or any water. Use your preferred laundry detergent and stay away from fabric softener if possible. If you can't do without it, be sure to use only a small amount.
  • Add baking soda to your laundry detergent. Baking soda will help keep your workout towels fresh and soft. It also helps to loosen the fibers and remove odors that often build up in workout towels.
  • Don't use too much laundry detergent. Using too much detergent will wear down your towels and cause them to lose absorbency over time. You typically use workout towels to wipe the sweat from your face and body, and you don't want excess chemicals from laundry soap residue making its way into your pores.

wash your workout towel after every use

  • Don't overload your washing machine. Your workout towels won't fully clean in an overloaded washing machine.
  • Add vinegar to the rinse cycle once per month. The vinegar will help remove excess detergent or odors from your workout towels, helping to restore their absorbency.
  • Wash workout towels in warm or hot water. Detergent is better absorbed in warmer water, which will leave less of a residue on your towels. White towels, the standard for workout towels, become cleanest in hot water and don't come with the risk of fading.
  • Don't over dry your workout towels. Leaving your workout towels in the dryer for too long will cause unnecessary wear, requiring you to replace them more frequently. If possible, opt for air drying your workout towels.
  • Know when it's time to replace workout towels. Workout towels should be washed frequently, but that doesn't mean they can't last for years. It's time to replace your workout towels when they become threadbare, lose their absorbency or develop an odor you can't eliminate.

Consider Towel Supercenter for Workout Towels

At Towel Supercenter, we offer a variety of gym towels perfect for your needs. Whether you're buying in bulk for your own gym or looking to stock up on your personal supply, we offer a wide selection in different sizes. Consider any of the following options:

  • 15x20 Gym Towels White Economy. An economical option composed of 100% cotton, this is an excellent and easily attainable workout towel. You can purchase them for $7.99 for one to nine dozen, or as little as $5.49 for 40 dozen or more.
  • 15x20 Gym Towels White Premium. A premium option made of 100% cotton, our 15x2 gym towels in white premium are extra soft and highly absorbent. This superior option is priced per dozen, starting at $9.99 for one to nine dozen and dropping to $7.99 per dozen when you order 20 dozen or more.
  • 16x30 Premium White Hand Towels 100% Cotton. A slightly larger and more luxurious option for your needs, our 16x30 premium white hand towels in 100% cotton offer a perfect combination of superior quality, plush cotton and maximum absorbency. This option starts at $13.99 per dozen for one to nine dozen and is $11.99 for 20 dozen or more.
  • Gym Hand Towels Colors 16x27 100% Cotton.Gym Hand Towels Colors 16x27 100% Cotton. Sometimes gym owners prefer to maintain consistency with their branding, so they opt for colored workout towels. Our colored gym hand towels are available in 17 different colors and come economically priced, starting at $13.99 for one to nine dozen and $10.99 for 20 dozen or more.

Browse the entire selection of gym towels from Towel Supercenter, or call us at 1-866-449-3999 to speak to a representative about your specific needs. When you shop with us, you can expect unbeatable prices for wholesale towels. Whether you're looking for an economic option or you're seeking premium, high-quality gym towels, Towel Supercenter can meet your needs. We treat every customer with equal importance, whether you're seeking one dozen or 50 dozen towels.

Towel Supercenter is the internet's top choice for economy, deluxe and premium towels. Our towels offer durability, absorbency, desired textures and affordability. Contact us today for more information!

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