We’ve Been Using Washcloths All Wrong!

Washcloths are a really great, convenient way to wipe off your face, your body, or that spot on your clothes where you accidentally spilled something. You can get ones that are ultra-soft and gentle on the skin, but still manage to take off all the makeup, grease, and dirt on your face, and they’re just the perfect size for use on the face.

That said, it’s quite possible you’ve been using washcloths all wrong. It turns out that a lot of the common habits people have regarding washcloths are all wrong, and could put you at risk for exposure to bacteria, in addition to simply making washing less effective with the things. As such, Vine Vera decided it would be prudent to go over some of the mistakes people most commonly make with washcloths, what to do about them, and potential alternatives to the washcloth.

Woman wiping her face with a washcloth

Don’t Use Them More Than Once
It might seem like because they’re made of cloth and not disposable, that you should be able to use a washcloth several times before throwing it in the dirty laundry hamper. The problem with this mentality, though, is that allowing a used washcloth to sit, damp, for a whole day before you use it again is basically asking scores of bacteria to infest it. Not only that, but it can also be pretty hard to completely rinse out all the makeup and dirt on the washcloth after you clean your face, which means it will be harder to wash your face with the washcloth next time. For all these reasons, it’s much better to just have enough washcloths to be able to use a fresh, clean one every day, and put it aside to be washed immediately after.

Woman wiping spilled water from the floor.

Don’t Use them to Multitask
While it’s true that washcloths can be handy for a number of things, like cleaning up messes on counters or floors, or wiping and scrubbing a spot on your clothes where you embarrassingly spilled food, but keep in mind that doing any of these things, and then washing your face, means that — even if you did your best to rinse it out in between —  you’re getting residue from the other stuff you cleaned up on your face when you wash it, and just think about how full of potentially harmful bacteria bathroom counters and floors are! Because of this, it’s a good idea to find other means of dealing with your other messes, and use washcloths only for washing your face, or—if you must use your washcloth for other things—wash your face before rather than after. It’s okay if residue from your face touches the floor, but it’s not okay if residue from the floor touches your face.


Stocking up on washcloths and throwing them in the dirty laundry after every use certainly works just fine, but it’s also possible to avoid the hassle of cleaning them altogether. There are a variety of disposable products that will serve the same needs (mainly, washing your face before bed and in the morning) with the convenience of not adding to your laundry load.

You can find cotton pads that are huge, and easily rival the size of your average washcloth, so keep an eye out for ultra jumbo-size cotton pads as disposable washcloth replacements. You can also look at makeup removing cleansing wipes, which come pre-moistened and pre-treated with gentle cleanser so you don’t have to do anything more than pick one up and wipe your face with it, which certainly makes things easier.

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