Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Kitchen Towel Conundrum

kitchen towels hanging on oven door

The Kitchn asks: Where do you hang the kitchen towel? Reading the replies, and looking around the web, you can see a number of answers. The oven door is a top pick. [photo by Carissa Marie / Carissa Bonham, licensed under Creative Commons]

kitchen towel on refrigerator door handle

Another popular option is the refrigerator door handle. [photo by trekkyandy / Andy Melton, licensed under Creative Commons]

Endo magnet clip with shoe

Some people use refrigerator door magnets. The Endo magnet clip, which I wrote about some time ago, could certainly hold a towel.

kitchen towels on drawer pull

Some people use the drawer pulls. [Photo by Peter Clark, licensed under Creative Commons - who also used the oven door option]

kitchen with wall-mounted towel racks

Some put up wall-mounted towel racks (or towel hooks). [Photo by Lara604, licensed under Creative Commons]

kitchen towel rack on outside of cabinet door

And some just put towel racks on the outside of the kitchen cabinet doors. As the photographer says, "Not pretty, but pretty useful!" [Photo by jek in the box, licensed under Creative Commons]

adhesive-backed towel holder

What other options are there? Well, there are the adhesive-backed towel holders (sometimes called towel grabbers).

over cabinet towel rack

Then there are over-cabinet towel racks.

over the door kitchen dish towel rack

Here's another over-the-door kitchen towel rack, with room for more towels.

over the door hook

There are over-the-door hooks, too - maybe easier for the towels to fall off (unless you have those crocheted-top towels), but hooks are about the easiest way to hang anything up.

inside the door towel rack

It's not as convenient, but if you like to hide your towels away, you could use an inside-the-door towel rack. OK, that photo shows bath towels, but you could use it for any towels you wanted.

pull out towel rack

Another inside-the-door option is the pull-out towel rack.

countertop towel tree

If you had countertop space available, you could use one of the many countertop towel trees that are available.

towel hook on oven
towel hook on slacks

And finally, an interesting option is the cookhook, designed to give you more options as to where to put the towel. [via Slashfood]


SueBK said...

I like the idea of being able to attach the towel to myself some how. I often end up tucking it into my waist band or pocket. Mind you - I could avoid that need by simply wearing a pinny (my nana's word for an apron).

Jeri Dansky said...

SueBK, Apartment Therapy asked: "Do you tuck one in the waistband of your apron as you cook?" Surprisingly, I didn't see anyone write about waistbands, and only one person mentioned an apron.

And no one mentioned the cookhook.

Lee said...

Thanks for showing these. Kitchen towel holders are on my "to buy" list.

Jeri Dansky said...

Lee, I'm so glad this was helpful; thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

The trouble with hanging a kitchen towel on the oven door is that every time you open the door, the towel touches the floor. The floor is where my shoes go, where my dog walks, etc., etc. I don't want to use a towel that's been there to dry a drinking glass or fork that I'm going to put in my mouth.

My favorite towel holder for the kitchen used to be the plain metal kind that has three arms that swivel. You used to be able to pick them up at the market or hardware store for a couple of bucks. No more--you can find a designer version of them on-line, but I had one and it fell apart within six months.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your page, I searched everywhere to replace my towel holder that broke, but didn't know who made it or what it was called, then I found your page and links for the towel grabber and am so happy!

Jeri Dansky said...

I'm glad I could help, Anonymous.

deanna said...

I have a really dumb question about kitchen towels: what do you use them for?

I always used paper towels and, for years, never had kitchen towels. My mother never had them. I used to help clean a friend's house and that was my first experience using a kitchen towel - they used them to dry dishes or set glass stuff on to day. But I think towels are really too thick to dry plates well - they just move the water around and get lint all over them. I always air-dry dishes and leave them in the rack.

Kitchen towels always confuse me - are they for your hands or for cleaning? When I got married 10 years ago, my husband wanted kitchen towels, and so now I hang one and use it to wipe my hands. But then he goes and uses it to wipe up spills, and I think that's gross! I guess I never really utilized them because I've always lived in apartments, and use laundromats once a week (or every two weeks), so I would never want a damp, gross kitchen towel fermenting in my hamper that long.

I see some people have two or three towels hanging in the kitchen - how do you use yours? I'm seriously eager to know. I's like to stop using so many paper towels.

Jeri Dansky said...

Deanna, I don't own a dish rack or a dishwasher. I use kitchen towels to dry my dishes (and pans, silverware, and glasses) - and to dry my hands - and then to dry the countertop. (I'm just cooking for one, so there aren't a lot of dishes.)

My step-mom always puts dish towels down on a countertop and puts the can't-go-in-the-dishwasher dishes on them as she washes them - again, no dish rack. She then uses other towels to dry the dishes.

I agree that some towels don't dry dishes well, but I've found ones that do work well for me.

I tend to use a sponge and paper towels for spills - but towels could work fine, as long as they were not then used for dishes or hands!

My neighbor uses a terry-cloth towel to wipe her hands, and a plain cotton one to dry her dishes. (The family prefers not to let the dishes air dry, even though she does use a dish rack.) She usually uses a sponge to mop up spills, but sometime uses a terry-cloth towel; that towel would go straight into the wash.

But all three of us live in homes with washing machines and dryers. I don't think I'd use dish towels to mop up spills if I were dependent on a laundromat. But the towels I use for drying the dishes and my hands don't get gross.

Jeri Dansky said...

A belated reply to Anonymous #1: You raise a good point about using the oven door! Still, the oven-door approach could work in two cases.

First case: You're someone, like my mother was, who simply never uses her oven!

Second case: You've got a wall oven that's higher up, so the towel doesn't touch the floor when the door is open.