Dish Towels That Actually Absorb Water
Recently a friend who knows I actually care about stuff like this asked me what’s the deal with non-absorbent dish towels. And it’s true: A lot of dish towels these days, especially the cute ones, silkscreened with all manner of farm animals and foods, just don’t absorb well. But when you cook a lot, it’s essential to have plenty of absorbent towels at hand…
I’ve got my own opinion, but for diplomacy’s sake I asked around and came up with a few other options for unglamorous but highly functional kitchen towels. Here they are:
• 1 My husband, who used to cook professionally, swears by these Ritz bar towels, which can be found by the hundreds in restaurant kitchens. They’re terrycloth workhorses. $9.95 for a set of 5 at Cooking.com.
• 2 My personal favorite: Williams-Sonoma’s Striped Towels. The waffle weave makes these both absorbent and durable. Yes, they’re a bit more expensive than some of these other options, but you won’t need to buy new towels for years; they’ll transition nicely into rags when they’re too ratty for the kitchen. $18 for a set of four.
• 4 Microfiber towels are crazy-absorbent; for an economical option, try Costco’s 20-pack for $28.99. (I hear certain Costco stores also carry basic bar towels and floursack towels.)
In general, here are some rules to live (and shop) by if you’re looking for dish towels that absorb water well:
• Go cotton instead of linen. Linen tea towels are pretty hanging on a kitchen hook, but they don’t do the job nearly as well as cotton towels.
• Look for a waffle or basket weave. Personally, I don’t care for terrycloth towels in the kitchen, and a woven towel is the next best thing for absorbency.
• Wash your dish towels a few times before using them. This may seem wasteful, but it will help.
Got a favorite super-absorbent dish towel? Feel free to weigh in below!