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Shopping for your home is bliss! Yet some people find it stressful stressful at times… We totally get that. For example, there are copious options for just kitchen towels online! How do you decide between color, size, and use? Does it matter? Yes, we think so! And we are here to guide you through common questions we get asked by shoppers like you.

What is the difference between a dish towel and a kitchen towel?
Although dish and kitchen towel can be said interchangeably, dish towels are simply a type of kitchen towel designated to wash and dry dishes. These are best kept separate to avoid spreading bacteria between sticky countertops and clean dishwares!
Dish towels are usually flat-woven instead of terry cloth, which is made with looped threads. These threads can shed if not high quality, and the amount of fabric makes it dry slowly. Dish towels are purposefully made to not leave behind lint or water spots.
Have you ever heard of flour sack towels? Nowadays, this term specifically means a kitchen towel that is woven extra thin yet tight. However, a bit of history lies in that definition. During the Great Depression, women realized that the material of flour and animal feed sacks were both durable and multipurposeful. They sewed flour sacks into clothing, towels, and other household textiles. Upon noticing this, companies that produced this material began to print floral patterns on the fabric. The thin rags dried quickly but were woven tight enough to absorb and clean better than other towels. These evolved into the dish towels we have today!

What should I look for when buying a dish towel?
The most important question to ask yourself when buying dish towels is, “What purpose do I want these towels to serve?” Some may say they must be durable, others might simply want them to match their kitchen theme. Either way, the truth can be found in the material.
The best dish towels for both durability and usefulness are flat-woven and made of cotton. Why is this, you ask? Terry cloth may be more absorbent due to the amount of fabric on the surface area, but they take longer to dry. Damp linens hoard odor-creating bacteria, which we all want to avoid! Plus, the looped fibers can hold lint and shed if not made with high standards.
The average dish towel size is around 20”x30”. We sell oversized hand towels about double that size to absorb more messes. For example, an oversized towel will do a fantastic job at drying all your dishes in one go! If you want to maximize each use, we suggest these larger dimensions.
Cotton, linen, and microfiber are the most absorbent materials, with cotton and microfiber at the top. Our products are 100% Turkish cotton, which is kinder to the planet than microfiber. Microfiber is made with synthetic materials, mainly polyester. Linen is more commonly used for flour sack towels due to its thinness.
And don’t forget about your kitchen’s color scheme! When shopping for dish towels, have a little fun with it! Pick out designs that pop and colors that mix and match with your home’s personal taste or home design.

How to decorate with kitchen towels:
Wondering how to start decorating with dish towels? Here are a few ideas to help get those gears turning. After all, when it comes to decorating, beauty is in the details. Your aesthetic will shine even brighter when you focus on utility items as well, like silverware and towels.
Consider picking out colors that match your kitchen. For example, if you already have a pop of yellow in there, we suggest matching that with yellow or warm-toned towels.
If bright hues aren’t your style but you cannot decide which color to start with, we’ve got your back. White, gray, beige, and black are the most common choices, since they are modern and match anything. While dark grays and blacks will hide old stains, lighter hues are a visual reminder of when to wash.
It is easy to throw kitchen towels on the counter and call it day. But if you want to spruce up your space with them, try giving them a new meaning through decor. Dish towels can drape, hang, or fold. The possibilities are so many more than you might think!
One of my favorite display options is… a bathroom rack! Install a horizontal towel rack on the side of your cabinet; both upper and lower/island levels work great, too. Personally, I hang a couple of dish towels and a Tillandsia air plant from there. Both useful and beautiful! I also have a floating shelf that features a rack on the edge, where I hang a couple more towels. Those are decorative, while the bathroom rack towels are actually utilized. Try it in your own home and share a photo!
There are a few other commonly seen options. Exposed towels means draping them on the side of your sink. Dish towels can also drape on appliance handles and drawer pulls. Get creative and layer them up in either of these scenarios! Leaving them in the open (compared to hidden away in cabinets) both aids dry time and is a reminder to throw them in the wash.

How often should you change dish cloths?
If you have a designated towel just for dishes, we suggest swapping out for clean one every 3-5 days depending on use.
If you use dish cloths for anything other than dishes, switch them out every couple of uses or every day. Immediately throw into the dirty laundry if it comes into contact with meat or dairy products.
You will know when to throw away dishcloths when they smell after washing. First try to fix the odor (instructions below). But when that stops working, there is too much odorous bacteria in the fabric to keep using safely.

How do you keep your kitchen towels clean?
First off, wash your towels frequently to begin with (see above for wash times). After each use, you should immediately hang the towel in a open, dry space. Air dry completely before using again.
Wash all dish cloths separate from clothing laundry and bath towels. We suggest using hot water to break down any bacteria, especially if the color is light already. Use a laundry detergent with several enzymes, which break down bacteria. The most common enzymes are protease, amylase, cellulase and others. Finally, immediately move to the dryer after the wash cycle, so the wet fabric does not sit there and become smelly.
Here are a few things you should not do. Even though fabric softener smells nice at first, overuse will trap soil and bacteria. We do not suggest using fabric softener on any of our products. Also, beware of hard (mineral high) water; this can damage your linens quicker than normal. Lastly, this is your reminder to clean your washing machine! It sounds silly, but it is true. All that water and dirty laundry can compile into mold and bacteria. To do this, run an empty cycle with vinegar (or bleach) and wipe down afterwards. Keep the washer’s lid open between uses to air it out.
But what about those lingering smells? Before throwing out smelly kitchen towels, try a deep clean first. Soak the cloths in warm water, vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda for 15 minutes. Give it a little mix, too! Wash regularly afterwards. You can also add a splash of vinegar to any wash cycle, which we highly suggest! However, if they still smell after being “cleaned”, just toss ‘em.

Wow, you just read through the entire life cycle of a dish towel! Who would have thought there is so much to such a basic everyday utility… from its origin in the Great Depression to when it is too stinky to continue! We hope this helps you decide on a towel, or maybe you just learned something new. Regardless, we wish you luck on your kitchen towel journey… wherever that may lead.