Getting Kids To Reuse Towels

Everyone that has kids, has lots of laundry! I've got four myself. The kids never wanted to pick up their towels and re-use them. I had to get tricky. I now take the towels they use and hang them over other laundry baskets to dry (only takes a day and I usually layer them), then I fold them up and put them back in the closet, like they've just been laundered! Yep, I have to use the laundromat, so it saves me lots and towels make big loads. They still haven't caught on.

By Christie from Turlock, CA

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

Sorry, I believe in being conservative with water and I hate doing laundry as much as the next person, but this totally GROSSES me out! Yuck, getting someone else's used towels! Maybe you should color code the towels by child and reward the children that hang up their towels and reuse them the next day. Otherwise, teach the kids to do their own laundry (even very young children can put towels in the washing machine where you can launder them later) . A few days of deciding between hanging up your own towel or doing your own laundry should convince the kids to pick up after themselves. You aren't doing those children any favors by tricking them into thinking that you will always clean up after them. They need to learn responsibility for their actions.

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

Well, having to raise four kids myself...I say do what you have do. Not having your own washer/dryer is hard. I didn't have your problem...they didn't care what towel was left in the room...they used it. My problem was that they didn't want to hang up the hand towel. So, I used safety pins on each side and then I had no problem. I just had to remember to change it out.

All the best!!!

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

I can never understand why bath towels can't be used for several days? If you have a hand towel near the sink, the bath towels are only used on CLEAN bodies, aren't they? If not, what are towel racks in bathrooms for?

It sounds to me like your system is working, (and I personally think it is funny--although maybe the suggestion about color coding is good) but for those with younger children, don't teach them that they need a new towel every day!

I am not crazy about laundry, but in this case, it is also the water and electricity that earns some respect.

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

Teach your kids to use a dry washcloth to do a wipe-down before using their own towel, and have them hang up both. Their bath towel shouldn't get very wet.

Good luck!

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

I raised 4 myself & I taught my kids to pick up their towels after using them, they ain't going to learn any younger. They could not watch tv or do the activities they wanted to do, unless things were straightened. Eventually, they did it without me saying a thing. When the kids got to be 12 or 13, they all learned how to wash their own clothes, including their towels. They learned real fast, that washing takes a lot of work & if it isn't dirty, why load up the hamper. They all got their own hamper, too.

I used to find clean clothes in the laundry, cause they were too lazy to put away the clean ones I had put on their bed, for them to put away. They learned that if they wanted any of their favorites, they had to wash them & they also took care of the ones that weren't dirty & hung them up right away. Ihis saved me a lot of work. Teaching them to be responsible in the small things, translates into responsible adults later in life.

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January 21, 20090 found this helpful

I love your trick! I accidentally color coded everything. I say accidentally because after the house fire, we went to the garage sales and bought up all sorts of towels and things. I have three little ones at home, and besides the color coding, we have a method down pat! I recently cut all my hair off and still had left over scrunchies. Since our new "pre-fab" house had no toilet paper holders or towel rods, I had to come up with something creative. We took my old scrunchies and wrapped them over the door knobs with the towels. Now everyone has their own scrunchie and towel color and I have less laundry!

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March 8, 20090 found this helpful

I had the same problem so for Christmas this year our kids (5) each got their own set of towels (2) and each have their own color so they know which one is theirs. They make more of an effort to hang them up and if they don't they know which ones are theirs so they reuse them even if they haven't hung them up. I also will hang them up and refold them, but they know which color is theirs so they are reusing their own towels and not someone else's.

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

What a huge waste of resources to wash bath towels after every use. Hopefully we are clean after we bathe so it shouldn't be any big deal if you happen to use another family member's towel by mistake. If I had a big family, I'd use the color coded idea so everybody knows for sure which towel is theirs.

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

I guess I don't necessarily think using another person's towel is right, but for bathing, we have each had our own towel for several years. When we owned our house, we each had our own towel rack next to the shower. Now it is hard for me to stand long enough to dry off, so I keep two towels for myself, I take them into my bedroom and spread one on the bed to sit on and then sit there to towel dry my hair and the upper part of my body, then stand to do the rest.

I have a turquoise towel and an Elvis beach towel. My daughter has a purple towel. In this apartment complex it takes $4.00 to complete a load of laundry and towels make a load really fast. The towels that we use are dark colors and can be put in one at time with a regular load of dark colors. We have a three hook hanger by our shower, one for each of our towels, and we rotate washing them. I also have a folding wood clothes rack set up in my bathroom, because in order to save money on the drying, I just dry some of the clothes part way and then hang them on the clothes rack to finish. Sometime we drape the towels over the clothes rack if it appears they are taking too long to dry.

I get really upset every time they raise the laundry rates, and I'm sure it costs about the same in any complex in town. I can't go to a laundromat because I don't have a car, but there again if the actual laundry rates would be a little cheaper, you would have to figure in the cost of transportation. Besides I hate sitting in laundromats.

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

I grew up in a family of 5 kids-we all had our own towel, believe it or not, I remember I was 5 when I got mine (Christmas) and kept it forever. We each had one and mom washed them once a week and rehung them. I think it worked out just fine. I never knew any better. I try to follow this, although I use 2 towels now; one for my hair, one for my body. Color coding worked for our family. I agree, your clean when you dry off, so why a new towel every time? The only time I'd recommend that is if you have some sort of fungal infection (skin) that could spread).

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

I say never use another person's towel as an RN. You cannot depend on children getting every area as clean as it should be and just think. The area that dried the bottom today might dry the face tomorrow--on another person. Too gross. Just purchase smaller towels and keep them clean.

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August 23, 20090 found this helpful

It grosses me out too to use someone elses towel. After all, it gets used to dry off private parts, inside of ears, etc. I just think you could come up with a better idea to save on laundry but that each person could use their same towel. Maybe let the kids know you've been tricking them and when they don't like the idea of drying off with someone elses towel, they might decide to hang theirs up. Maybe you could have a hook or towel bar for each kid.

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