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What Is a Sweat Towel?

what is a sweat towel

Commonly known as a workout towel or gym towel, a sweat towel is a must-have item during your workout. Using a sweat towel is good gym etiquette to keep your sweat off the machines, and it's also an excellent way to keep you feeling fresh and dry during your workout. You may even be surprised to learn that having a couple of sweat towels with you when you exercise can reduce your chances of getting ill.

Benefits of Using a Sweat Towel

As mentioned, it's gym etiquette to ensure you have your sweat towel to wipe the sweat off your body and the machines or equipment you use. The whole point of exercising is to work up a sweat, but keeping that sweat to yourself is important as sweat contains bacteria and germs. These microbes can linger on surfaces and quickly transfer from person to person, but a sweat towel is one of the easiest ways to reduce the spread.

The following are some of the benefits of using a sweat towel:

1. Minimizes Spread of Germs

Cleanliness and sanitation are more important than ever, and sweat towels are a quick and easy way to limit the spread of germs and bacteria at the gym. Germs are prevalent in gyms, and studies have found several types of bacteria on commonly touched surfaces at gyms, including:


  • Handrails
  • Exercise machines 
  • Floor mats 
  • Dumbbells
  • Restroom surfaces


These bacteria transfer from surfaces to your hands as you use the facilities and equipment at the gym. If you use your bare hands to wipe sweat from your body and face, you transfer all the bacteria within it to your skin. If the sweat is on your hands, it also increases your chances of spreading it to other parts of the gym, including to other people. 

By using a sweat towel, you minimize your exposure to dirt and bacteria, trapping it in the towel instead. Sweat towels may also help protect you from the risk of more serious illnesses by reducing your exposure to bacteria like salmonella, which spreads quickly and easily from person to person.

2. Provides Added Protection

provides added protection

Gyms generally provide patrons disinfectant wipes or solutions to wipe down equipment before and after use. Everyone should be taking advantage of these tools to keep themselves and others safe. For more protection, you can place a sweat towel on the equipment where your hands or body are likely to touch to act as a barrier against any germs the disinfectant wipes may not have killed. This is also a great way to transfer some of your sweat directly onto the sweat towel and protect the equipment from any bacteria you may be carrying. 

Make sure the towel you use as a barrier isn't the same towel you use to wipe the sweat off yourself. The germs from the equipment can easily transfer onto your skin, so it's more sanitary to have designated towels to use as barriers and for wiping your body.

3. Keeps You Feeling Clean

Even if you love working out, you probably aren't a fan of feeling hot and sweaty. Though ideal for their sanitary perks, sweat towels also help you feel dry and fresh when you use them to remove sweat from your face and body. 

They also prevent sweat, dirt and oil — which can potentially lead to clogged pores and pimples — from accumulating on your skin. You should shower or wash your face after every workout, but during your workout, a sweat towel acts as a good way to keep the sweat from settling.

When Should You Clean a Sweat Towel?

The best answer to this question is to clean your sweat towel after each use. Dirty sweat towels can become breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria and fungi. Using a sweat towel without washing it first can lead to these bacteria transferring to your skin and causing irritation or infections, including staph infections. Some people may not experience irritation by reusing a dirty sweat towel, but generally, it's better for your health to properly wash a sweat towel after every use.

A good practice is to wash any towel that collects body fluids after every use. This includes fitness towels in addition to gym clothes and undergarments. You may have to stick your workout towels into your gym bag or locker when they're still slightly damp, which increases the chances of bacteria and fungi growing on them — all the more reason they should be washed after every use. Remember, if you use your sweat towel to wipe down gym equipment as well, you risk transferring that bacteria onto your body. It's a good idea to use one or two towels per workout and wash them before using them again, so you're using fresh towels for every gym session.

Best Practices for Sweat Towels

best practices for sweat towels

The best way to get the most out of your sweat towels is to care for them well. This will help keep you safer and happier while extending the life span of your towels. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:


  • Avoid moisture: Your towels will inevitably accumulate a lot of sweat and humidity, but you should avoid putting damp towels in the hamper. Moisture is the ideal breeding ground for many types of bacteria, and putting a damp towel with the rest of your laundry can transfer the moisture to the rest of your clothes — creating even more bacteria. Instead, allow your sweat towel to dry completely before putting it into the hamper to be washed. Similarly, if you've just washed your towel and it comes out of the dryer a little damp, allow it to dry fully before folding it and storing it away.
  • Avoid sharing: It's wise to avoid sharing personal items like towels with other people, especially if the other person is sick or getting over an illness. While sharing with close family members or friends is acceptable, ideally, everyone should have their own towels all the time.
  • Avoid reusing: We've already mentioned the dangers of reusing a sweat towel without washing it first. A good way to take away the temptation of reusing a soiled towel is to have several dedicated sweat towels at your disposal so you can take as many as you need in between washes.

By following these best practices, you can continue using the same towels until it's time for a change. 

Buy Wholesale Gym Towels From Towel Super Center

Help keep your guests safe and healthy by making sure they have enough sweat towels for their workouts. At Towel Super Center, we offer high-quality, 100% cotton towels in a variety of sizes and colors to fit any industry and aesthetic. Additional towel options include bleach-resistant towels, microfiber towels and premium towels. 

We know fitness centers and gyms can go through towels quickly, making restocking a costly endeavor. That's why we offer towels wholesale, so you stock your fitness center, gym or yoga studio without going over budget. Browse our collection of wholesale towels or get in touch for more information by calling 1-888-664-0951.

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