A self-cleaning towel is pretty much a secret holy grail bathroom buy. After all, bathrooms can be a notoriously humid environment, and by leaving one hanging for even a week or so, you could be undoing all that effort you’re doing in your skin-care routine. In fact, according to Time, unpublished research out of the University of Arizona indicates that 90 percent of bathroom towels tested in the study contained coliform bacteria and 14 percent contained E. coli. There’s no way that’s helping with your glow.
So, with a brand new Kickstarter campaign, the brand Silvon aims to introduce “self-cleaning towels.” Real silver is woven into the fabric, which is said to eliminate 99 percent of bacteria—making it much more appealing to wipe your face with after double cleansing (you know, as opposed to that funky one hanging in your bathroom that still shows stains from yesterday’s makeup).
“There are only a couple of items in our homes that we use every single day but neglect to wash,” says Alex Szpakowski, co-founder of Silvon. “After we created Silvon bedsheets, we felt that towels were undeniably the next step.” (Yes, they make ultra-clean bedding as well.)
The silver works by naturally carrying a positive charge. “Bacteria has a negative charge, so silver’s attracted to the bacteria,” Szpakowski explains. “It breaks through its cell wall and destroys it before it can reproduce.” This, of course, means good things for your face and body—which isn’t helped by being rubbed with dirty towels.
“Medically, silver can be antibacterial,” notes Robert Anolik, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. “Silver-lined gauze or pads are often used to cover wounds during healing phases because of the antibacterial abilities.” That said, he notes that he can’t say for sure if it’ll affect acne outbreaks on the skin, which are linked to the bacteria known as P. acnes.
Regardless, I try the towels—which come in a silver-like charcoal gray at $69 per set—for myself. The first thing I notice is that they’re actually really soft, which isn’t what you’d expect from a precious metal-lined towel. But the 300-thread organic cotton count makes them feel lush. I’m into how the towel feels, especially with the peace of mind knowing that I’m not wiping my face with something teeming with bacteria. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that I can sneak an extra day of use out of the towel due to its antibacterial properties (score).
Besides that, here’s how to make your bathroom into a total wellness retreat for under $20. Or you can try this magnesium-rich, crystal-infused bath soak from dream team Taryn Toomey and Pursoma.