This month I want to talk to you about best practices with towels, which many of you have already heard me preach about. This mostly applies to my Pole Ashletes, but is something everyone should keep in mind. When practicing, you should ALWAYS use TWO DIFFERENT TOWELS – one as your pole cleaning towel and one as your personal sweat towel to wipe your body with. NEVER USE THE SAME TOWEL TO CLEAN THE POLE AND WIPE YOUR BODY AND DON’T SHARE BODY TOWELS WITH OTHERS.
Quick Pole Education: Poles come in several types: Chrome (what most studios and competitions use), Titanium Gold (what I have at my lab), Brass (mostly used in Australia), Powder coated and stainless steel. All Poles are constructed from a variety of materials, which for some polers can cause allergies and skin rashes. Chrome poles are a big culprit because they are made with nickel, which can aggravate anyone with a nickel allergy.
Using a pole towel on your body transfers any germs and allergic residues from the pole onto your body, and using your body towel on the pole transfers any “personals germs and fluids onto the pole”. Now imagine a room full of sweaty students germ and fluid swapping during a hot, sweaty class…pretty gross huh? Don’t get me wrong, It’s natural to sweat, especially in the areas of your hands, back, inner thighs, and down your back…this simply can’t be avoided, but the sharing and transferring of it can be lessened if not mostly avoided.
So here are my best practices for towel usage:
1. Keep your sweat towel separate from your pole towel to cut down on germ swapping.
2. If you’d want to take it a step further, use a separate towel for your face and body, because face it, you don’t want your butt sweat in your eyes (YEA I SAID IT!).
3.Use different color towels so you know which is your pole towel and which is your body towel.
4. Replace your towels with clean ones each session if you can, but at the very least each week.
5. Don’t share body towels with anyone, which means keep up with where you put your towels during class so they aren’t accidentally grabbed by someone else.
And yes, this may seem like a lot of extra laundry, but TRUST that it’s worth it. I’ve seen and heard a lot of horror stories when it comes to germs, rashes and less than savory studio laundry practices. If you’re taking studio classes then I encourage you to carry your own personal body towel. I carry my own personal towels when I teach and if I ever take a class/workshop. Also, if you train with me at my lab then you know I always keep clean towels for pole and body use. Never hesitate to ask me for one if you need it.