With the recent outbreak of bedbugs being found in Paris, reports have suggested that the UK could see similar scenes soon.

As a result, experts are saying now is more important than ever to wash your sheets and towels thoroughly.

Recent reports have found that freshly washed towels contain 190,000 counts of bacteria — increasing to 17 million after just one day of use, and soaring to as high as 94 million after a week.

Bathroom experts at Showers to You have conducted their own research which claimed to find that over 1 million UK residents only wash their bathroom towels once a year.

While guidance shows that towels should be washed after three uses, 2,200 UK residents were surveyed and found that many were using their towels for much longer before giving them a freshen-up.

Key Findings:

  • 3% of UK residents surveyed only wash their bathroom towels once a year, which equates to over 1.5 million people (1,595,646).
  • Almost one in 10 UK residents (8%) surveyed only wash their bathroom towels twice a year, equating to over 4 million people (4,255,056)
  • A third of UK residents (33%) surveyed wash their bathroom towels just every three months, this equates to over 17 million people (17,552,107)
  • Those surveyed in Leicester and Glasgow are most likely to go the longest without washing their bathroom towels, with over 4 in 10 (41%) from both cities admitting to only washing their towels every three months at most

However, it’s not all bad news for the nation’s bathroom hygiene, with almost one in five (38%) respondents stating they wash their towels once a month, almost a quarter (24%) washing their towels once a week and one in 20 (5%) health conscious residents washing their towels every single day.

Martin Smith, the founder of Showers to You commented:  “The bathroom should in theory be one of the cleanest rooms in the home, however, our research shows that many people across the country could be ignoring a key step in ensuring proper bathroom hygiene.

“While it’s encouraging to see the data shows the majority of respondents are keeping up with regularly washing their bathroom towels, everyone should ensure they are ensuring a regular routine of washing their towels in line with guidance from health professionals, especially for those who only give their towels an annual wash.”

How to tell if you have bedbugs?

If you are worried or think you may be infested by bedbugs, these are some key signs to look out for according to the NHS.

  • bites – often on skin exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

What to do if you have bedbugs

If you have bedbugs you will need to contact your local council or pest control service.

Wash your bedding, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Put stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can't be washed in the dryer and run it on high for 30 minutes or more.

Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.