If you use your kitchen space for cooking your favorite foods, there's no doubt that you need a few kitchen towels around. They can wipe any mess from your kitchen counter, dry dishes, dry hands, or hold pots and pans in the absence of a potholder. Some even use towels to wrap baked foods like cookies, buns, and muffins.
But when you see plenty of materials and sizes and designs to choose from, which should you go for? We did the research too, and we liked a few! But what we loved and made it to the top of our list is the superior-quality Utopia Kitchen towel set made of 100% ring-spun cotton. The super-absorbent and chemical-free towels are soft on your hands yet tough on grease. Now, get some more help from our buying guide to choose one or more of the best kitchen towels that we recommend for you on our top 10 list!
Rather than asking why you need a special kind of towel for the kitchen, it is better to ask how many towels you'll need in your kitchen. That's the essential nature of towels in the kitchen; it's a space our health is highly dependent on.
Kitchen towels are one of the most indispensable tools with several uses. Any towel that you use in the kitchen can be classified as kitchen towels, but depending on their purpose of use, they are named differently. A few examples would be dish towels, chef towels, and tea towels. These towels are mostly made of a highly-absorbent material like cotton.
From the conventional plain and white appearance, kitchen towels have had an upgrade in colors and designs. Stocking up on a few ensures you always have a fresh set of towels for every task at hand. And if you're a professional chef, you need more than what a regular kitchen would require.
In many households, paper towels are in demand. But cloth towels score over paper towels because you can wash and reuse the former. It's a great way to reduce the impact on the environment.
From a range of top quality towels that can absorb big spills to those that are soft and gentle on the hands, here are our top 10 recommendations.
|Size||15 x 25 in.|
|Type||Dish and tea towels|
|Size||14 x 25 in.|
|Size||12.6 x 12.6 in.|
|Type||Dish and wiping towels|
|Size||19 x 27 in.|
|Size||12 x 12 in.|
|Size||6 x 7 in.|
|Type||Dish and tea towels|
|Size||28 x 20 in.|
|Type||Flour sack towels|
|Size||28 x 28 in.|
|Size||11 x 6 in.|
|Size||18 x 28 in.|
Linen and Towel
Kitchen Towel Set
Classic Kitchen Towels
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Classic Kitchen Dish Towels with Hanging Loop
100% Organic Cotton Towels
Bamboo Dish Cloths
Soft and Absorbent Kitchen Dish Towels
Premium Flour-Sack Towels
Coral Velvet Dishtowels
Embroidered Blue Sea Dish Towels
The Most Absorbent Kitchen Towel for Wiping Spills and Grease
Premium Lightweight Towels for Cleaning Glassware and Small Spills
The Softest Cleaning Towel for the Most Delicate Surfaces
Super-Absorbent Kitchen Towels With a Hanging Loop
Organic Cotton Towels for Scrubbing and Wiping Dishes
Soft Bamboo Dish Cloths for Scrubbing and Drying Dishes
Eco-friendly Top-Notch Dish and Tea Towels
Superior Flour Sack Towels for Food Preparation and Cleaning
Small, Soft, Absorbent Towels That are Kitchen Multitaskers
Patterned Decorative Towels for Aesthetics and Cleaning
|Type||Dish towels||Dish and tea towels||Cleaning towels||Dish and wiping towels||Dish towels||Dish towels||Dish and tea towels||Flour sack towels||Dish towels||Dish towels|
|Material||Cotton||Cotton||Microfiber||Cotton||Organic cotton||Bamboo||Cotton||Cotton||Coral velvet||Cotton|
|Size||15 x 25 in.||14 x 25 in.||12.6 x 12.6 in.||19 x 27 in.||12 x 12 in.||6 x 7 in.||28 x 20 in.||28 x 28 in.||11 x 6 in.||18 x 28 in.|
With a range of towels used in the kitchen, it might not be that easy to see and differentiate between them. You need to know the towel's absorbency, texture, weave, durability, and softness. Otherwise, you might end up buying a thick towel for wiping glassware and might end up scratching the surface.
Or, you might buy a softer towel to wipe down the counters, but you end up feeling no difference, no matter how much elbow grease you use! That's why our buying guide focuses on helping you choose the best kitchen towels for every cleaning need in your kitchen.
Kitchen towels are mainly classified into dish towels, chef towels, and tea towels based on the tasks they are used for. It's good to understand more about them so you'll know what material and features you should look for in each type.
As the name suggests, a dishcloth or dish towel can be used to wash away grease and dirt from your dishes and to dry them. But try not to use the same towel for both cleaning and drying.
When you are washing your utensils by hand, it’s important to dry them to prevent the appearance of water spots and to store them clean. Since these towels are meant to dry dishes, they need to be of a highly-absorbent material that leaves no lint behind.
Dish scrubbing towels need washing after every use, so you need to buy towels of very durable material to withstand scrubbing.
Although dish-drying towels are the least used in the kitchen, it’s still important to toss them into the washer after one or two sessions. This is because the more you use it, the dirtier it becomes. If not rotated as often as needed, your dishes will remain dirty and be a breeding ground for bacteria!
Since they are busy, chefs need a range of towels around them for the ease of handling the kitchen tasks. With plenty of jobs in hand, especially in a professional set up like a restaurant kitchen, a chef needs towels that can withstand many uses in a day.
Functionality is the preference given to chef towels. And most chef towels come tightly-woven and in plain white. That’s because tightly-woven sheets can prevent lint and are more suitable for heavy use in professional kitchens.
One towel is not expected to do all the normal chef’s tasks. Different towels are needed for cleaning spills, clearing the cutting board, handling pots and pans, drying herbs, and wiping the hands when required.
While "tea towel" is just another name for dish towels, tea towels have some other uses than just drying dishes, cutlery, and glasses. For example, you can use them to line trays and serving baskets.
Or, you can use them to cover muffins, rolls, or scones. Sometimes tea towels are used in place of napkins, and some even use these towels to store salad greens to retain freshness. They are also used for tea parties and breakfast setups as a simple décor.
It’s common to find tea towels being placed inside glass or enameled pots and pans to prevent scratches. Since they're usually not used for cleaning, tea towels don’t have to be of absorbent material.
Whether you're wiping counters or drying dishes, absorbency is a key factor in deciding the perfect kitchen towel for you.
Cotton towels are used for tasks that need high absorbency like drying dishes and wiping spills. They are very durable and can withstand many rigorous washing cycles and still look like new. However, they can shrink easily if not of good quality.
The best idea is to go for a generously-sized towel of good quality. They can last longer and limit the shrinkage significantly. Cotton towels with a tighter weave are more durable and absorbent than those with lighter weaves. For more durability, choose a towel with long fibers.
Linen towels are thinner and decorative, so you might not use them for anything other than just some touchups or to wipe away minor imperfections from the dishes. With their low absorbency level, linen doesn’t suit use on heavier tasks. It can tear easily with regular use.
Like linen and cotton towels, microfiber towels made of nylon or polyester are also popular for kitchen use. They can be more expensive than cotton, and they are highly absorbent and dirt-attracting. They are super-soft and are ideal to clean delicate surfaces such as glass cooktops, silverware, or mirrors.
Using a microfiber cloth is one way of reducing disease-causing bacteria and microorganisms from your kitchen surfaces. But if the cloth is of inferior quality, it can retain some moisture while wiping wet dishes. This can be counterproductive when drying dishes, glasses, and cutlery.
While not all kitchen tasks require a heavy-duty towel, those like wiping spills and mess need a thick towel to soak up liquids and grease from the area. For example, if you spilled some sauce on the countertop or the cutting plate, you need a thick and durable kitchen towel handy.
A thick cotton towel is more suitable to clean up messy spills and grease. Paper towels can also be helpful in quickly cleaning up spills or greasy mess.
For drying dishes, you need a thick and highly-absorbent cotton towel. It's best to choose high-grade towels for drying dishes and wiping glasses and cutlery to prevent scratching the surface. A large towel can dry a draining rack full of dishes.
When you’re very busy handling a lot of kitchen tasks and the need to frequently clean and wipe the hands arises, a thick towel might seem like the best bet. But thicker towels can irritate the gentle skin on the hands and rip away a lot of moisture from the palms.
What you need is a soft cotton towel that is gentle on the hands and is durable at the same time. To clean up the countertop, cooktop, fixtures, and appliances, you need a set of good quality towels. A towel with medium absorbency would suffice for most wiping needs in the kitchen that don’t involve a lot of watery mess or moisture.
To hold pots and pans in the absence of a potholder, or lift a hot pan off the oven, you need a non-slippery kitchen towel. These can also protect you from the heat.
Drying herbs, fruits, and vegetables calls for an adequately absorbent towel of high quality. Although absorbent, these towels need to be soft and gentle to use. Paper towels are good enough for these tasks.
Why weaves matter is because they determine how absorbent the towel can be. Terry cloth is one of the common weaves found in kitchen towels. It comes with raised loops for grabbing moisture from surfaces and is highly absorbent. Most terry cloth kitchen towels are economical, so it should be quite easy to find one.
A new terry cloth towel might deposit some lint on your dishes and glassware. But this is hardly an issue with a high-quality terry cloth towel. And after a few washes, it should stop shedding.
Flatweave towels aren't that thirsty but will be lint-free and have a smooth texture. The lack of absorbency is because of the absence of raised loops. For small cleaning jobs, a flat-weave towel would suffice.
Towels with waffle-like patterns or waffle weaves are also common. They are generally made of microfiber or cotton, and the absorbency of such towels is always praised.
Flour sack towels are relatively thin and are easy to maintain due to their low-lint texture. Although more sizeable than standard towels, they don't have the absorptive power of a regular cotton kitchen towel. But their relatively greater surface area makes up for this deficiency.
White kitchen towels are great, but unless you wash them regularly or only use them to clean up minor messes, they’re likely to get stains. Non-white towels can solve the problem, so you don’t have to be self-conscious about dirty towels hanging out to dry. Out of sight, out of mind!
Some kitchen towels come in sets with different colors. To avoid mixing towels for different purposes, you could dedicate one color to dry dishes, one to wipe countertops, one to clean up heavy-duty messes, and so on.
It's natural to get tempted to use the same dish towel to wipe the counter or to clean your messy hands. But you are allowing the transfer of germs from your hands to the dishes. Try not to use a towel for more than one purpose.
We don't recommend using a kitchen towel meant for a specific task like drying hands to clean and dry meat. This can contaminate the meat and later infect the counter and other surfaces. Instead, use disposable towels to draw moisture from raw meat. Dedicate one towel for each regular kitchen task at hand and wash them regularly.
To wipe the area around the sink, have a separate wipe or towel. The sink is generally a breeding ground for bacteria. Using a dish towel or other towels for cleaning the area around the sink can transfer the same germs to the other surfaces.
Washing towels in warm water might sound promising. But that might shrink some towels. If not recommended, wash the towels in cold water, and always wash them before first use. Use warm water only for spot treatments and stain removal.
Too much use of fabric softeners can also reduce the absorptive power of your kitchen towels. Instead, go for a vinegar rinse in the last laundry cycle and limit the use of fabric softeners.
For your white towels, it's alright to use chlorinated bleach. But for those colored and patterned ones, use only oxygenated bleach powder, if you must.
Now that you know which towels are the best for your kitchen, what about some organization and cleaning? With the right items, your kitchen can be a joy to prepare meals in.
When you tried looking for kitchen towels, you might have been overwhelmed by the choices out there. While it's natural to get tempted by low prices, the key determinants in choosing the best kitchen towel should be absorbency, softness, and reducing shrinkage and lint.
And once you've found the best choice for your kitchen tasks, invest in a few. Always have them cleaned and maintained as required. This ensures that you will never run out of a chef's second-favorite tool!
Author: Biji Ravindran
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