Clean Kitchen

Everything You Should Know About Kitchen Towels

Kitchens are full of numerous tools and appliances, helping us to do everything from cooking to cleaning dishes. Some of these products and their importance are more obvious than others, but one of the most overlooked aspects in a kitchen is almost always kitchen towels.

Kitchen towels have countless uses, and can even be classified as tools in the kitchen themselves. That might sound a bit strange, but the fact is that anyone with a decent knowledge of the capabilities of kitchen towels can find endless ways to use them.

You’ve probably heard kitchen towels referred to by several different names, including dish towels, tea towels, and chef towels. These are all technically kitchen towels since they are used in the kitchen, but they really refer to some of their many uses and types.

Before going more into kitchen towels, their many uses, and types, it’s best to first explain what they are in the first place.

What Are Kitchen Towels?

Kitchen towels are, by definition, towels that you use in the kitchen. That seems simple enough, but there’s a bit more to it. These towels are intended to be used all over the kitchen, and during any number of scenarios, making them one of the most versatile and useful kitchen items you’ll own.

Kitchen towels are generally tougher than your average bath towel, for instance. They are capable of absorbing, but they are also used to wipe up spills, clean off cutting boards, dry dishes, dry hands, and even hold hold hot plates and dishes.

Kitchen Towel on a Counter

These towels are generally made of cotton, making them soft enough to absorb, but durable enough to withstand repeated uses and washings. They are usually quite thick and hemmed on the ends, giving them more reinforcement.

While kitchen towels are intended for some fairly heavy uses, they are often very stylish as well. Kitchen towels come in a variety of colors and textures, making it easy to mix and match to better suit the decor of your home. Some are solid colors, while others are white with different colored accents and stripes.

It’s common for people to stock up on kitchen towels for their home. This allows them to always have a fresh set ready when others become dirty and get thrown in the wash, or simply swap out styles and colors depending on the seasons and decor choices.

You should always have a fresh, clean kitchen towel available every single time you cook. This gives you an easy way to have a towel that’s ready for anything, while also being sanitary.

Types of Kitchen Towels

As we said earlier, there is more than one type of kitchen towel. Here are a few of the most popular and common examples that you’ll come across.

Chef Towel

Chef kitchen towels are one the most depended on and utilized tools for a chef, especially in a professional setting. There’s a lot going on at one time in a chef’s kitchen, so chef kitchen towels need to be able to handle repeated abuse and also provide countless uses in the moment.

Baby Playing With Kitchen Towel

Appearance-wise, chef’s towels are pretty bland. They aren’t made for looks, so they are most often plain white, but sometimes have a stripe or two. These towels aren’t intended to look good, but offer functionality instead.

It’s fairly common to see a chef towel wrapped around an apron string, or folded up on each end of a cutting board or prep line. The towels are considered a chef’s go-to tool, ranking just below knives. The towels provide a vast array of basically any kind of use the chef or cook can think of in the moment.

This can include drying off herbs, cleaning off knives in between chopping up different ingredients, clearing off a cutting board littered with items, touching up plates about to be served that have a splash of sauce on the side, handling hot pots, pans, and dishes, and of course cleaning up spills.

Simply put, a chef is lost without a chef kitchen towel.

Dish Towels

Like their name suggests, dish towels are used to wash and dry off dishes. These are especially helpful when hand washing dishes and either wanting to speed up the drying process, or prevent water spots from forming.

Cleaning Plate with Grey Kitchen Towel

Kitchen dish towels are generally very absorbent, and do not leave any trace of lint. They are good for one or two drying sessions but should be constantly rotated and kept clean, otherwise you’re just making the dishes dirty again.

Dish towels are often kept separate from other kitchen towels, and have the most limited use out of all the types of kitchen towels.

Tea Towels

Tea towels are another linen towel that are used to dry kitchen items and cutlery, but can also be used to serve things like scones and muffins when placed in a dish, or cover tea pots. These towels do have a few functional purposes, but are generally used as decor or as an added touch to tea and breakfast setups.

These towels are typically made from terry cloth or linen, and are also much thinner, causing them to lack the absorbent properties of other varieties of kitchen towels.

What Materials Are Used in Kitchen Towels?

Kitchen linens come in a few different types, which also means they come in different materials. Here’s a few of the most common.


Cotton is the most used material for kitchen towels, and it’s easy to see why. Cotton is versatile, soft, and very absorbent when used right. The vast majority of kitchen towels are comprised of cotton, although the stitching or weaving may differ. Towels with a tighter weave tend to be more durable and provide higher absorbency.


This material is usually found in more decorative kitchen towels, and makes for a thinner product. Linen kitchen towels are usually better off being used as decoration, or for buffing away imperfections — but mostly just decoration.

Red Kitchen Towel on an Oven

If you try to use linen kitchen towels as your main towel, you’ll be disappointed with both the absorbency and fragility of the towel. They can rip and tear very easily, and have a low level of absorbency.


Like the name suggests, microfiber kitchen towels are made from tiny mini-fibers that work to help lift dirt and food off of surfaces. These towels are good for cleaning, but tend to be more fragile and less durable when it comes to using them as a general kitchen towel. They can also be less absorbent.

Popular Uses for Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels are considered to be one of the most versatile “tools” you can have on hand in the kitchen. When a kitchen towels is made right, and utilizes high-quality materials, you can depend on it for numerous scenarios.

Drying Up Spills and Other Liquids

The first use that comes to mind when people think of kitchen towels is drying up spills and liquids. A proper kitchen towel is thick and durable, making it easy to neatly soak up spills on your counter, or excess liquids in the food preparation area.

This can be handy for when you spill some pasta sauce on the counter, or if you need to clean of a cutting board after dicing up fruits and vegetables that have a high liquid content.

Cleaning and Drying Dishes

This is probably the second most popular use of kitchen towels. Whether you are hand washing dishes because you lack a dishwasher, or if you have a bunch of handwash-only cookware, kitchen towels make it all easier.

Cleaning Glass with Grey Kitchen Towel

The thickness of the towels and high levels of water retention make them good for both washing the dishes and drying them. Quality kitchen towels are made from cotton that doesn’t leave any lint behind, making them especially good for drying your dishes after both handwashing and a dishwasher cycle.

Drying Hands

Whether you are in the middle of cooking, or just need to dry your hands after washing them in the sink, a durable, soft kitchen hand towel is always good to have around. This most certainly true when you are in the middle of cooking and preparing multiple dishes at once.

Improvised Pot Holder

It’s always best to use a proper pot holder when handling hot cookware and plates, but a strategically-folded kitchen towel can come in very handy when you are in a bind and need a quick pot holder to use when grabbing something out of the oven, or handling a hot handle on pots and pans.

Drying Vegetables and Herbs

Sometimes items like salad spinners are a non-option when you are in the midst of cooking. This is true whether you are cutting up and preparing lettuce, or small leafy herbs like basil. Quality kitchen towels are both soft and absorbent, and can be used to gently and quickly dry off herbs and vegetables after rinsing.

Simply place the leafy greens into your clean kitchen towel, and gently roll it up and twist to remove excess moisture. The towel can also be used to dab water off greens.

General Clean-up

Kitchen towels are of course a great option when cleaning the kitchen up. While they shouldn’t be used with harsh cleaners or on huge messes, a clean, dry kitchen towel can easily be used to wipe up small messes and any excess moisture left over after your meal has been cooked and dishes cleaned or placed in the sink.

What Not to Use Kitchen Towels For

Kitchen towels have plenty of uses, but there are also quite a few ways to misuse them, mostly revolving around sanitary mistakes.

Don’t Use the Same Towels for Drying Dishes and Hands

While the goal is to always use a fresh, clean towel for reach use, sometimes we do end up using the same towel through the course of the day, or for a few days.

Baby Next to Kitchen Towel

This can be done if you follow some basic sanitary measures. One of those is to avoid using the same towel for your hands and dishes. Your hands tend to carry plenty of germs, so using them on your hands throughout the day and then using them on a clean dish is a good way to spread bacteria. Don’t do it. Use a fresh, clean towel instead.

Cleaning Up Raw Meat

This probably goes without saying, but it’s best to not use kitchen towels to clean up raw meat such as beef, poultry, and pork. You run the risk of contamination, as well as spreading it all over your kitchen wherever the towel is used.

Disposable paper towels are a better option. If you happen to get your towels in the mess, throw it in the wash immediately.

Wiping Up the Sink

It may be tempting to use your kitchen towel to clean up and wipe your sink after you’ve finished the rest of the kitchen, but don’t do it. The inside of your sink contains plenty of bacteria, which will then spread to your towel and wherever else you use it.

What to Look for in a Kitchen Towel

You certainly have plenty of options when it comes to shopping for a kitchen towel. Although a kitchen towel set seems like a fairly simple product, there are numerous aspects to consider when deciding on the right one for your needs.


The size of your towel is very important. While you may not be using a giant unfolded kitchen towel most of the time, being able to fold it into multiple layers can help you use it for more things. You can even create multiple folds that you can turn over when cleaning surfaces and knives.

Kitchen Towel on an Oven

Larger kitchen towels also allow you to dry up more liquids as well, while also being able to handle more amounts of herbs and greens when you are trying to dry them in bigger quantities. Simply put, the larger the kitchen towel, the more surface areas you have to work with, allowing you to use less towels in one sitting.


As we mentioned earlier, cotton kitchen towels not only give you greater absorbency, but more durability as well. Soaking up messes is a huge role for kitchen towels so go with the materials that can handle this duty the best.

Your towels will also need to withstand repeated washings (ideally after each use,) something that linen and microfiber have a hard time standing up to.

Look for thick, soft, well-woven and hemmed kitchen towels that look and feel durable. High-quality cotton is also preferred due to the fact that it doesn’t leave any lint behind.

Accumulated lint is one of the worst things to deal with in a low quality kitchen towel. Nothing is more annoying then drying off a load of dishes and glasses, only to see lint balls sticking to the surface. The same goes for your counter and knives. Avoid lint by buying quality cotton towels.


Another aspect of kitchen towels that matters greatly is the thickness of the towel. Thin kitchen towels are largely ineffective at cleaning up messes and really just end up moving the mess around rather than soaking it up.

Multiple Folded Colored Kitchen Towels

Thick towels not only provide more absorbency, but last longer as well. Kitchen towels get washed a lot, so thinner towels are going to wear out much quicker. Always go with a thick towel.

A Few Other Aspects to Consider

There are some minor characteristics you should be mindful of when shopping for a new kitchen towel.

Wrinkle Resistance: You still want your towels to look good when not in use, don’t you? Wrinkle resistant towels will always look clean and pressed even after heavy use, or right out of the dryer.
Style: Again, while you definitely want your kitchen towels to be functional, they serve a dual purpose as decor in your kitchen, so style is important. Plain, monogrammed, textured, these are just a few of the options you have available.
Color: This is sort of an extension of the style aspect. Many kitchen towels are white, but have different options when it comes to accents such as stripes.

Why You Should Avoid Cheap Kitchen Towels

It may be tempting to buy a bunch of cheap towels in bulk. You might be thinking something like “Well, if I’m always going to be using so many, why should I shouldn’t I just buy some cheap ones?”

That logic is understandable, but when it comes to kitchen towels, quality is always the top priority. High-quality kitchen towels provide more uses in one sitting, and also last much longer. The bulk discount is attractive, but it doesn’t hold up when you account for the fact that you really only need a maximum of three to five clean towels on hand.

Thicker, higher-quality kitchen towels last longer and go further. Cheaper towels tend to be smaller, and also much thinner, or at least made from a lower quality of cotton that tends to wear out and break down quicker. This means that you’ll actually be buying cheaper towels more often.

Cheap kitchen towels also shed lint, and leave your dishes, knives, and counters full of lint. Once the lint dries, it can be very troublesome and annoying to get rid of. High quality towels hardly shed, if at all.

Thinner material also means more wrinkles. Washing and drying cheap kitchen towels often results in uneven shapes, as well as wrinkles that are hard to get out. These towels won’t do much to help the looks of your kitchen, and may actually be detrimental to the overall aesthetic.

Why Our Kitchen Towels are the Best

We know the pitfalls of cheap and lower quality kitchen towels very well. That’s why we decided to make our own that are not only the best quality you’ll come across, but also very affordable.

Folded Grey Kitchen Towels

Cheap kitchen towels can cause more problems than they solve. Low absorbency, lint all over the place — these can be a big hindrance when you are in the middle of cooking and cleaning. Kitchen towels have a lot of uses, and much is expected from them, so it’s best to purchase a set that you now will get the job done, while also providing an attractive decor design.

Superior Kitchen Towels Always Ready for Daily Use

The Homemaker’s Dish Kitchen Towels offer outstanding quality and superior performance, while also offering the look of a vintage kitchen towel. Each tower features vintage-styled striping available in colors such as red, teal, and gray.

Our towels look great anywhere in your kitchen, whether they are folded on the counter, hanging from a cabinet handle, on a kitchen towel bar, or kitchen towel rack.

Our towels are large in size, and can be folded numerous ways, giving them unrivalled absorbency and versatility. The 100% quality cotton they are made from also allows the towels to be used for a variety of uses and scenarios, without leaving any lint behind.

You can confidently dry and touch up glasses, knives, and other dishes without the worry of leaving behind unsightly lint. This makes our towels great for everything from wine glasses to water glasses, and everything in between.

Unbeatable Durability

Our towels are also incredibly durable and dense, allowing them to soak up even the biggest messes. You can wash these towels hundreds of times, and they will hold up just as well as the first day you use them. No more worrying about buying new sets of towels every few months.

The thick and tightly-woven design also allows for the towels to be wrinkle resistant, even after washing them. Whether they are fresh out of the dryer, or hanging to dry after wiping up some water on the counter, you can be sure that they will still look great wherever they are hanging.

Speaking of hanging, each towel comes with a pre-made hanging loop, allowing you to easily hang them on a hook if you prefer that over a handle or holder. We also include a kitchen towel holder to make hanging kitchen towels easier.

As if that’s not enough, we also include a free e-book entitled “The Five Lies Homemakers Tell Themselves.”

Unbeatable Quality for a Fair Price

Every order includes four kitchen towels in your choice of blue, red teal green, yellow, and greige. We offer them at an incredibly affordable price, and they are actually cheaper than many other towels that are lower in both quality and quantity.

Folded Kitchen Towels

Don’t deal with cheap kitchen towels any longer! Order your set today and be on your way to a more stylish kitchen, and quality kitchen towels that offer a multitude of uses for years to come.

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