The 3 types of kitchen towels you need in 2024

brown wooden spoons on white ceramic jar

One of the most underrated tools for the home cook is the humble kitchen towel. Here are three kitchen towels that you absolutely need. No matter what type of cook you are, from newbie to professional, these towels will make your time in the kitchen so much easier and more enjoyable. 

kitchen cupboard and counter with various dishware

First and foremost, every kitchen needs a large drying towel. This towel should be designated specifically for drying clean dishes, and kept separate from any other towels to prevent cross contamination. I recommend a large size flour sack or cotton towel that has a high absorbency rate. Either a thinner towel or flat weave towels will offer a high absorbency rate and dry quickly.  Choose which feels best to you. This towel will be your best friend for quickly and easily drying dishes after they’ve been washed in the sink or the dishwasher. It’s ok to use this towel to dry hands.  Not only does a dedicated drying towel make clean up a breeze, it also helps prevent water spots on glassware and leaves dishes sparkling clean.  Look for a towel that has a hanging loop so that you can easily hang it up on a hook or cabinet handle for quick access.  I personally like the Williams Sonoma striped towel. 

Next, a smaller general kitchen towel is a must-have.  Terry cloth towels or cotton towels are ideal as they stand up to kitchen tasks and the washing machine well.  These will be your all around utility towel.  It’s perfect for cleaning up spills, wiping down countertops or appliances, holding onto hot pots and pans, and even using as an oven mitt in a pinch. I suggest opting for a cotton towel that’s versatile and can withstand a variety of uses and washing. 

Finally, no kitchen is complete without a small microfiber towel for wiping appliances. These towels are perfect for quickly wiping down your stovetop, fridge, or other appliances without leaving any streaks or residue. Microfiber towels are made of synthetic materials and are known for their ability to attract and trap dirt and grime. They are also incredibly durable and can be machine washed and used repeatedly. 

crop person in cleaning glove in bathroom

The three towels you need:

  1. Standard dish towels – Use to dry clean hands and dishes only.  Because they touch only clean hands and dishes they can be used a couple of times before washing.  Hang on hook near the sink to dry delicate dishes.  These are more decorative and may change with different seasons.  
  2. Utility or bar towels – These are your kitchen workhorse.  These are your basic lightweight cotton towel that you may fold over before grabbing a hot pan.  In addition to doubling as an oven mitt, it’s your best option to hold hot handles, wipe knives and cutting boards. You may use several of them during a cooking session.  They should be washed soon afterwards.  I often keep these tucked into my apron during a cooking sesh.  
  3. Microfiber cloth towels – Remember these are soft fabric, often bright colors and great for wiping appliances.  I have a stack folded under my sink to use for cleaning spills and wiping counters.  

**All kitchen towles should be machine washable.  

When it comes to picking out the best kitchen towels, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for towels that are made from high quality, durable materials – like organic cotton or Turkish cotton – that can withstand daily use and frequent washing. Also, consider the size and surface area of the towels, as larger towels are great for drying and smaller ones are more versatile for different uses. And of course, don’t forget to choose towels in vibrant colors or with fun patterns to add a pop of personality to your kitchen decor.

A good set of dish towels includes a large drying towel for clean dishes, a smaller general kitchen towel for spills and other uses, and a small microfiber towel for wiping appliances. With these three versatile towels in your kitchen, you’ll be able to tackle any task with ease. Happy cooking!

About Me

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.
If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Melanie Marcus Selfie