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Apr 5, 2010 12:55 PM

Kitchen towels

My kitchen towels are getting worn out, and I was at Ikea for something else and stocked up on what I thought looked like some nice but cheap linens they had. Unfortunately, I hate them -- they absolutely don't absorb any water and are worthless. So, thought I'd throw it out here to see what people's favorite kitchen towels are. I am desperate to replace the ones I have.


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  1. Bamboo rayon towels are not too bad. Cotton is always good.

    1. I have these ( They're a bit on the small side but very absorbent, working better than any other towel I've used. They come in a variety of colors.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MFalk

        Those microfiber towels are great. I bought the 24 pack and use it for everything. In my experience cheap towels usually leave lint behind and not absorbent.
        I found myself use less chemical for cleaning because a dry microfiber towel picks up dirt and oil very well.

      2. By chance, yesterday my sister was telling me how much she loves her Williams Sonoma towels. Some she's had for years and she'd never buy anything else. They were very nice, soft.

        A couple of years ago I bought a couple of bath towels at Ikea and my reaction was the same as yours. I hate them, not absorbant at all. I finally stuck them in the garage.

        4 Replies
          1. re: junescook

            Yes to the WS towels. Now, where can we get the open weave cottondishclothes? I got mine in Europe, they are now falling apart and I cant find any reasonable substitutes here. The open weave makes them really effective scrubbers and they dry in a flash.

            1. re: painperdu

              I have a lot of luck finding these kinds of things at the Dollar or similar store. Not what you find at WS. But I love the WS towels.

              1. re: painperdu

                I get mine from my aunt who crochets. She has a gigantor spool of "kitchen cotton" yarn and works them when she gets fidgety. You might be able to find these little hand-made wonders at craft fairs, holiday bazaars, and that sort of thing, or if you're at all handy with that sort of thing there are patterns to knit or crochet them yourself.

              1. re: CindyJ

                I have been buying these WS towels for years and absolutely love them. The colors hold in spite of bleaching them every time I wash them. I replace them every so often and keep the older stained ones for rags. They never really wear out, they just start looking a bit tired, but that's after several years of use.

                1. re: pcdarnell

                  I'm with the WS crew. Mine last a long time, and I only replace when I don't like the look of them anymore.

                  1. re: pcdarnell

                    Hmmm, I could have written your post, pcdarnell. Some of mine are twenty years old; granted, they've graduated to rag status now but every once in a while, I have to squint to see if it is a rag or the kitchen towel.

                    When I think I need new towels, I head to WS for replacements (and pick up a package of their pop-up sponges at the same time).

                    I also have old family linen towels that I use for crystal. It's likely more of a sentimental gesture than practical one because I can "see" my mother and her mother polishing glasses for important family holidays and I'm comforted by these happy memories.

                    1. re: Sherri

                      One more vote in the WS camp. You can sometimes find the on sale in a bin between seasons.

                      1. re: Sherri

                        Trader Joe's pop up sponges are a lot cheaper if that's convenient.

                    2. re: CindyJ

                      I bought a couple dozen of the WS kitchen and dish towels in various colors on sale over 22 years ago and love them; am still using them regularly. Don't know if they've lasted so long because I have so many to rotate them or if they're just durable. I buy more whenever I see them on sale.

                      My husband bought a bundle of "automotive detailing shop clothes' from Costco also years ago. They're absorbsent whte cotton terry squares with hemmed edges and have also held up well to regular wear, easy to wash-bleach, etc.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        Funny... my mom has those, and when I first moved out she gave me stacks and stacks of those.... I HATE them, they aren't absorbant, dry exceptionally slowly and the waffle-weave ones are even worse IMO.

                        To the OP, I would go with 100% cotton flour-sack towels. Lint-free, dry fast, super absorbant and can be sued for a dozen other things -- need to drain yogurt? squeeze grated onions? etc., use a flour-sack towel! The only issue is that they don't wear too well, they are thin and stain easily (white). But are generally really cheap, so it's not a big deal.

                      2. Elegant (yes, really!), beautiful, expensive, French (but of course), launder beautifully & last forever...I treat myself to these tea towels when I'm feeling rich...small works of art for the mundane chores of the kitchen


                        9 Replies
                        1. re: fauchon

                          I have these too, and I adore them! But going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I also find that the all-cotton Martha Stewart towels at K Mart are pretty darn nice too.

                          1. re: fauchon

                            Ohmygoodness, Alice in Wonderland and The Little Mermaid! I love the colors in the Tissage Moutet category, too. Those truly are worthy of being framed. Simply beautiful. Thank you for the info!

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              I really like the Tissage Moutet line too, but they look too nice to use! and for 21 dollars a piece, I'd only bring them out for special occasions.

                              1. re: cuccubear

                                Way to watch, brotherbear. I opened the "once upon a time" category first--those are $12 instead of $21. I didn't click through the other line to see they were almost double the price. Either way, they're too rich for my blood right now, but I still wish I had them.

                                The good news is, quality towels seem to last forever. Most of my Marshalls finds date back to '94 when I first set up house and they're still nowhere near retirement. My other "good" towels are from the Coca-Cola store.

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  That's great! We do have a couple Welsh tea towels that are rarely used, but my el cheapos are getting pretty ratty, and I will not go to "wally world" for replacements!

                                  1. re: cuccubear

                                    See if you get lucky at TJMaxx, Marshalls or Homegoods (whatever of those options may be available near you). :) I won't go to WW for replacements, either!

                                    1. re: cuccubear

                                      What's wrong with the WalMart dish towels?

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        c oliver, I don't know that there's anything wrong with the towels at Wal-Mart, it's a personal choice for me. I don't like the store, and avoid shopping there if I can.

                                        1. re: cuccubear

                                          Oh, I thought there must have been something specific about their towels rather than a general indictment. Sorry.