What Are Antibacterial Towels?


If you think about it, towels are one of the most likely objects to be infected by bacteria in your house. After a shower, you use the towel to dry yourself, and then leave it on a hook all damp for the bacteria to cling on to.

Washing towels is in that weird spot of “knowing it’s important to wash it” but also “I use it too much, it’s not worth it.” Most people just end up leaving the towel to soak in the air around it. This isn’t a problem usually, but the risk is still there.

Anti bacterial towels claim to solve that problem. Antibacterial towels have a variety of types, but they do share some universal traits.

Here’s how they work:

The Process

Antibacterial towels work in both a mechanical and chemical fashion. Microfiber uses very thin fibers in tight formation to trap dirt. The way it works is that while the fiber absorbs the liquid, the weave and “hairs” will essentially act as buffers for the fluid to catch dirt in the water.

Fun fact, microfibers are so thin that one hundred of them add up to a single strand of human hair. Microfiber allows millions of little holes and crevices for the dirt to fall into. Whether it’s your skin or a mirror, microfiber towels will leave it smooth and shiny.

Most antibacterial towels are also much more absorbent than normal towels. This is to ensure dryness and also maximizes the amount of dirt it can absorb through the liquid. Some microfibers are even treated with silver filaments.

This gives the towel mild antibacterial properties. Once the dirt is trapped, the towel’s silver will slowly kill all the trapped bacteria. The next time you use your towel, it will have essentially “cleaned’ itself.

Microfibers alone do not kill germs.

Antibacterial towels are more about taking the germs away from you than itself. Like previously mentioned, microfibers traps dirt, but don’t do anything to the germs. The towel traps dirt like none other, and leaves a surface free of bacteria.

The reason for that is because the towel actually makes the bacteria cling onto it instead of the person or surface you used it on. The liquid is separated while the harmful bacteria stays on the towel.

However, microfiber is only the first part of the antibacterial towel’s move list. The “kill” part is thanks to the use of antibacterial silver.

Silver Linings

Fun fact, silver works just as well on bacteria as it does on werewolves. Silver is incredibly effective at killing bacteria. Silver has been used to treat burns and disinfect water. Silver kills bacteria in a 3-step process. First, it binds itself to the bacteria’s very cell structure. It basically “coats” the bacteria in silver, which prevents anything from going in or out of the cell walls. Second, silver ions start entering the cell’s respiratory system, essentially suffocating the bacteria.

Once the bacteria is near death, the silver ions finally bond with the DNA strand of bacteria, and this prevents it from replicating itself to survive. What makes silver unique is compared to most chemicals that can do the same thing to bacteria, silver isn’t incredibly toxic to humans. Trace amounts of silver is all you really need to kill bacteria.


Anti bacterial towels work, and the science behind them is solid. While proper care of the towel and yourself is still a requirement, they significantly reduce the amount of time you need to spend washing towels. The microfiber-silver combo does wonders for the cleanliness of your towels. Do your due research before getting one yourself.

Kean Hager
the authorKean Hager