The ideal kitchen towel?

oceannaSeptember 16, 2010

I don't hand-dry dishes often. Every morning I make what is the equivalent of a fruit and veggie salad for my parrots, so I'm always rinsing and drying my hands. My kitchen towels get sopping wet.

The "dish towels" available in every box store never impressed me. They wear out quickly, aren't very absorbent, and the ones with the stamped pictures on them look crummy after a few washings. They're always just a wee bit small, too, I think. Right now I'm just using regular hand towels, like you'd put in the bathroom.

I LOVE my microfiber cloths (approx. the size of washcloths), and use them for everything. But I usually use them damp, so they don't grab at my skin.

So I was wondering, have any of you bought microfiber kitchen towels (larger than the washcloths)? If yes, do you like them? If yes, which ones/where did you get?

Or... what else would you recommend?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For dishes I use cotton, waffle weave 20"x40" tea towels. I find they are very absorbent and a very good size. The last ones I bought were from Costco.

For hand drying I use thick hand towels that I have cut in half and sewn or crocheted tops for so they can hang from my stove or fridge handle. I do them in a dark color because they get pretty dirty in a day especially at gardening time

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 7:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oceanna, we share some of the same cleaning interests. Carpeted stairs, high windows, a better kitchen towel...

I have a lot of different kitchen towels, probably 60, and I dislike most of them. Many are printed on one side, terry loops on the other, with some cutesy country print. I got a set of "microfiber" waffle weave from Costo, hate the feel and they don't seem absorbent. They are nothing like the microfiber cleaning cloths I have. I have Kitchenaid and Wolfgang Puck brand ones. The Kitchenaid is too thick and not absorbent enough. Puck is OK texture but the dye partially bleached out and discolored in normal laundry (i.e., no Clorox). And I have the thinner waffle weaves and flour-sack kinds. No good for drying stuff, but I use them to cover doughs.

I think the cheap white washcloths sold in huge packs at Costco would make good kitchen towels that could be aggressively washed and bleached, except they are too small. Most hand towels I have would be too thick, but maybe a cheap white hand towel would work.

Cooks Illustrated tested some kitchen towels last October. Their top towel was "Now Designs Ripple Towel." Calphalon was also recommended, though considered too thick to dry delicate glasses. I didn't see either of these at Target when I looked recently. I do want to try them because I've been pleased with many of Cook's recommendations.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love flour sack towels. I find them very absorbent relative to standard terry-type kitchen towels and they dry virtually lint-free. The only drawback is that they do show stains, and mine look pretty disreputable after years of use.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

andersons, good to know re: microfiber from Costco - I always wondered if they were good.

My favourite towels are my Williams-Sonoma ones. While I have had a few bad batches that were not absorbent, most of them are great. I have both;

the basket weave kind (very absorbent):

Our highly absorbent basket weave kitchen towels are made of Turkish cotton in contrasting colors, with a loop for hanging. Machine-wash. 30" x 20".

and the twill weave kind:

A staple in any home kitchen, our signature dish towel is ready for all sorts of tasks from mopping up spills to drying pots and pans. The cotton towels are woven in Turkey in a thick, absorbent twill weave. Each features "Williams-Sonoma" jacquard woven in the colorful center stripe and has a loop for hanging. 30" x 20".

Or course, they are not the cheapest but I think this is one place where you get what you pay for.

I also have some Ulster Weavers linen ones (from England) that are great (although I wouldn't use them to dry my hands). They are wonderful for lint free drying of things like china and crystal.

I also have the Costco waffle weave ones. I like them too - much more lint than WS or linen but would be ideal for hand drying (IMO).

Here is a link that might be useful: Williams-Sonoma towels

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just to be clear, the microfiber cleaning cloths from Costco, yellow in a big pack of 30, are GREAT for cleaning. They are found in the automotive section. It's the waffle weave "microfiber" kitchen towels I don't like (also from Costco).

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I love kitchen towels. I have one terry type towel and two 100% cotton on the oven handle every day, The terry are great for drying your hands and the cotton are great for drying glasses and dishes without leaving lint. I look at Home Goods and sometimes find something of high enough quality. Crate and Barrel always has some good quality 100% cotton towels.

Not that Amazon has the greatest selection and I don't recognize any of their brands, but they do have reviews and you can get a sense of which towel people are buying and read what they like or don't like about them. I link below to a popular one on their site. It comes in a lot of colors too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Towels on Amazon

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

And here's the link for Crate and Barrel towels....toward the bottom they have some on sale. I haven't tried microfiber towels, sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crate and Barrel kitchen towels

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 6:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, I just noticed that Amazon has those 'Now Design Ripple Towels' ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Now Design Ripple Towels

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 6:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

andersons, I did understand you meant the kitchen ones (sorry I wasn't clear). I too love my microfibre cleaning cloths - most of mine are E-Cloth. I think I own 30 of them!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Old fashioned plain white cotton diapers are quite good.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I cheat. I keep a roll of regular paper towels hanging on a rack on the wall of my kitchen. When I'm cooking. preparing food, serving pets, and my hands get dirty or sticky, I wash them under my kitchen faucet and add a drop of liquid dish soap (Dawn), then dry my hands on a paper towel without tearing it from the roll. It dries in a very short time and I can still use the paper towel for another hand-washing or whatever. I don't like kitchen towels at all. T%hey tend to stink when they get wet. And I don't have a good place to hang them.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The ideal kitchen towel, to me, is absorbent, lint-free and good quality. It's not an area I fret over a few dollars b/c they're such a workhorse. I prefer the white all-purpose, flour sack or waffle-weave myself. No monograms or the like.

Have to agree with livebetter about WS towels for cooking, drying and wiping. Their kitchen towels are just terrific. Sponges gross me out and I wash my hands frequently cooking or baking, so I go through a lot of bar mops and larger kitchen towels.

I also love e-cloth for cleaning. I wish I could buy just white from them though. Maybe I should send an email :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 11:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I microwave my sponge, soaking wet, for 3 minutes once or twice a day. It smells completely clean. Learned this from Cooks Illustrated tests also. This kills literally 99.99998% of the bacteria. Boiling is second-most effective, with bleaching in third place. I bleach mine occasionally to remove stains and help sanitize. I trained my husband not to leave it soaking wet in the sink. So it is never gross, even though sponges have the potential to harbor more bacteria than any other object you can think of. (There's a Myth Busters episode about this!)

Good ideas about the towels. I'll check them out.

Do any of you who have good towels wash them in a front-loader? I just got a front-loader and while I mostly like it, it has been murder on the texture of my towels. They've come out sort of crushed and scratchy, some with lines or entire areas of loops ripped out. I am afraid to wash my microfiber because their effectiveness DEPENDS on the soft fluffiness of the fibers. (BTW, I use OxiClean and Kirkland Free & Clear detergent, which contains a lot of enzymes.)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Westvillager, we seem to agree on a few things :) (OT - I ordered a Miele S7 Marin (Swing in US) this week. Should get it next week - very excited - it was on a clearance price of $499.99 so I went for it instead of the canister - may still get a canister too "eventually").

I have the E-Cloth in white. Click on link and click on general purpose cloth - you'll see a white option.

Andersons, I do own a FL and wash both my kitchen towels and my micro fibre ones in there. No problems here. What make is your machine (it must spin at a very high RPM)? As for scratchy towels - search the laundry forum - there has been plenty of discussion on that and some of the advice there may help you.

I usually pre-soak my kitchen towels in oxygen bleach before I wash them. I find this removes almost all stains and odors. My Mom always comments that my towels don't look used. I wash on hot with Persil Universal - only kitchen towels in one load - no fabric softener but a little vinegar in the rinse. Dry in the dryer on medium heat.

My mirco fibre towels get washed alone as well. Hot water with a little bit of gentle detergent (no enzymes or stuff) - usually Vaska right now. NEVER fabric softener or bleach and a little vinegar in the rinse. Hang them to dry on my drying rack.

Here is a link that might be useful: white e-cloth

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought several pkgs. of waffle weave microfiber kitchen towels from Costco online. They come in a pack of twelve if I remember right. Two sizes, one for dishes and one for drying.
They work fantastic for cleaning mirrors and glass!

The other favorite of mine are a bamboo blend from Smart and Final. They only have a few color choices, but they are so soft and IMO absorb enough for me.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

andersons: I wash my towels in my FL on the "extra white" setting plus the "pre-wash" and they come out gleaming. I do use a liquid detergent that contains enzymes and an optical brightener (Persil). Microfiber has to be washed to keep it efficacious. The terry cloth towels I sometimes use for cleaning/spills loose their loops sooner but at $1 a piece I feel no guilt.

livebetter: (Grats on the vac. It's a great machine and that's a great price!) I'll check to see if ecloth will sell me a package of white versus a mix. Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 7:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I buy the plain white hand towel size terry towels from Dollar General. They come 3 for 5$ or so, and I can bleach them every week! The older they are, the softer they get and I can use them for years before they become rags :^) Since I have them in the kitchen and in the bath, the kitchen ones get a loop of ribbon on the hem to identify them AND to hang them with!
(When I want to be fancy and matchy matchy, I buy a package of colored ones and just use color safe bleach :^)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you so much, everybody! You've given me a lot of good suggestions to explore. :)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Increasingly I tend to follow my wife's advise and use viva paper towels.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 1:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
onions on wood cutting board odor removal?
I tried searching and haven't seen this-- We use a...
Film on glasses from dishwasher: etched?
The drinking glasses now look cloudy. I have been using...
Pine Sol Original Has Changed For The Worst
Im a 47 yo male, have been a neat clean guy all my...
How to Clean a Disgusting Plastic Shower Floor
I have purchased a property that has what I believer...
40 Mule Team Borax
I have used Borax for many years. The last 3 boxes...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™