Kitchen Towel Challenge

by Landis Carey on February 28, 2012

Kitchen Towels

I’m re-posting this from the fall — after months of testing the towels above, I’ll share recommendations later this week!

One of my biggest pet peeves are those waxy-feeling decorator towels that push water around instead of absorb it. I’m not sure what they’re made of, but it’s definitely not cotton. Who out there is with me on this?

And since we’ve ditched paper towels—which so many of you have expressed interest in—I’m now on a search to find the kitchen towel or combination of towels perfect for:

  • washing and drying dishes
  • cleaning windows without lint or streaks
  • buffing stainless steel
  • cleaning spills
  • drying wine glasses
  • scrubbing a countertop or bathtub

Tell me, friends: what other household cleaning needs do you have?

How is this challenge going to work, you wonder? Over the next few weeks I plan on relying only on a certain type of towel or combination of towels to get all of our household chores done. It’s my hope that each towel will have several strengths and then I can figure out which combination of towels will fit the bill for all of my household cleaning needs.

Do you have a favorite kind of kitchen towel I should test out? Let me know!

(Image: Landis Carey)

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

SOS September 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Sterling silver…maybe not many people today have or use sterling, but I’ve never been certain about what is best for drying it after polishing/washing.


Heather M September 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Yes! This is exactly the kind of thing I love blogs for.
: -)


Landis Carey September 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

Thanks, Heather! Your comment made me chuckle :)


Mark September 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

I’m curious what we find out here. I’m a paper towel junkie that has realized his problem and am in the process of fixing it. I’m guessing there are a lot of lint free good towels out there, but not designer ones. Oooh, new business idea. :)


Katherine F. September 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Growing up, my mother always had two towels in the kitchen – one for drying dishes (tea towel – light material) and one for drying hands (more fluffy/absorbent). And a small washcloth for wiping up counters. Don’t know what she used for other tasks as per above! Good luck – can’t wait to hear what you discover in your challenge!


TootsNYC September 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

One thing about towels that “push the water around without absorbing it”–that may be more a function of the TREATMENT the fabric has received.

My MIL did my laundry when I was in the hospital giving birth, which was nice of her. But four days after I got home, I knocked a glass of water over on the counter and grabbed a kitchen towel. I shook the towel out and laid it flat on the big spill, expecting it to instantly become soaked. It *floated*!

Then I realized–she always uses fabric softener, and her towels NEVER absorb anything. The fabric softener coats the fibers to make them soft, but it also means they can’t absorb.

New towels may have a coating that works similarly, which is intended to make them look nice on the shelf, etc.


TootsNYC September 30, 2011 at 11:22 am

Also–compare drying glasses with drying pots and pans. (I find I like a loopier towel for pots & pans, or other big jobs, and something less bulky for wine glasses.)]

I have a bamboo kitchen towel I really like. And I have liked my microfiber one (but I can’t find any like that one anymore–boo!)


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