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Hand towels vrs. Dish towels
Old 01-02-2020, 06:19 PM
  #1

I grew up with just my dad in the kitchen. About a year ago my cousinís wife lashed out at me when I grabbed her hand towel to dry the dishes on Thanksgiving. I think she was a little stressed, and this is uncharacteristic of her nature. Since then, I have been observant in womenís kitchens.

So,my question is this. Do you all have a hand towel for washing and drying your hands...and then a dish towel for drying dishes, wiping the table, and everything else?

Please! No backlash! I have just one towel for everything but usually another one is hanging in reserve.


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Old 01-02-2020, 06:25 PM
  #2

Separate.
And I prefer using paper towels to dry my hands, actually, as well as wiping down counters and tables. But I'm a little ocd about cleanliness in the kitchen, to be honest
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:26 PM
  #3

In our kitchen we have dish towels to dry hands. The hands are already washed clean so to dry dishes with a towel is safe. To wipe the table I use a wet clean dish rag. I'm not sure why separate towels are necessary if the hands are already washed .
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:27 PM
  #4

DH and I are both the head cook in this house. We have one towel-2 if I put out a "cute" one for company/holidays. If we have out 1 towel, it's for hands, drying dishes, and drying counters off. If we have 2, the cute one just hangs around looking cute.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:32 PM
  #5

I usually have two hand towels out at a time, but they are interchangeable. Used for all drying purposes, hands dishes or counters. I try to keep them clean (I.e. donít dry up milk/juice with one, iíd use a rag or paper towel for that) and I do put out a new towel at least every day, if not more often!


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Old 01-02-2020, 06:35 PM
  #6

Separate towels.

At least 3 and sometimes more.
-- dish cloth for washing dishes, wiping counters and tables
-- tea towel for drying dishes (although most are done in dishwasher and the rest usually air dry in rack)
-- hand towel for drying hands

Plus --- I am an apron person. Always wear one while cooking.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:36 PM
  #7

We use the same towel(s) for drying hands, drying dishes (although I mostly let them air dry), and drying the counter or stovetop after it has been wiped off.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:36 PM
  #8

Two towels, one for hands and one for dishes. The dark blue towels are for hands, the white or patterned towel is for drying dishes. Maybe if I trusted my spouse's hand washing skills a little more it would be different.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:40 PM
  #9

I have the same kitchen towels for drying hands and wiping counters. However..I change them frequently. I really dont get why there is a difference between hand towels and dish towels. Almost everything in my kitchen goes in the dishwasher and it dries the dishes right? Who wipes them after the dishwasher is done?
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:06 PM
  #10

This is interesting! Once again, I had no clue....

I only have kitchen towels and paper towels in the kitchen (to me, hand towels belong in the bathroom). The kitchen towels are multipurpose (hands, dishes, counters, table) and I launder them frequently. I confess I like kitchen towels and have a lot of them.

I watch the chef in my cooking class. She and her helpers use kitchen towels for everything, and they wash their hands a LOT. I have also seen her give her hands a quick dry on her apron.


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Old 01-02-2020, 07:25 PM
  #11

My mom had three different types of small towels and I've always thought of them that way. Drying towels have no nap. Think flour sack towels. Kitchen towels have nap. They are used for hand drying in the kitchen and drying counters after they have been washed. Hand towels are the small ones you use in the bathroom.

While I have a dishwasher, I hand wash pots and pans, sharp knives, and assorted cooking utensils. I usually let them air dry, but if I need them right away I use one of a set of drying towels.
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Dish towels
Old 01-02-2020, 07:28 PM
  #12

One towel..but mostly itís used for hands. We rarely dry the dishes by hand. I tend to use a lot of paper towels in the kitchen.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:41 PM
  #13

Separate ones over here!
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:44 PM
  #14

I have separate towels for different purposes. I feel Monica deeply!

We use paper towels very sparingly for environmental reasons and compost the ones we do use.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:48 PM
  #15

I'm with Amiga.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:05 PM
  #16

I have dish towels for dishes and use paper towels for drying my hands. I also use paper towels for wiping down counters with cleaner.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:54 PM
  #17

Definitely have two separate towels. One is for drying dishes (although we seldom dry any except the good knives that don't go in the dishwasher and need to be dried to prevent rusting). That towel is a soft white cotton--not terry.

Then there is always a towel to be used for hands, etc. And I always feel guilty when I use it because I know that sanitation rules say no handwashing in the kitchen sink. In a commercial kitchen there is always a separate handwashing sink.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:25 PM
  #18

I have two towels in my kitchen that are used mostly for hand drying as 99% of the time I use the dishwasher. The only time I wash a dish by hand is if I haven't run the dishwasher yet and I need something that's in there to use right that minute. But on the rare occasions that does happen, I have no qualms about using the kitchen towels to dry it.

For cleaning the counters I use a granite counter top spray with paper towels. To clean off a quick spill, I would just use a dish rag and leave the counter to air dry. Honestly the only time I eat at my kitchen table is if I'm eating soup . Everything else I eat in my living room in front of the TV. So wiping it off isn't really needed (I pledge it when I clean) most of the time but I would again use a dishrag and let it air dry.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:21 PM
  #19

One towel.

Dishes typically dry in the rack, and the towel just hangs around waiting for whatever needs drying. Usually hands.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:29 AM
  #20

Definitely separate. Like others have said, the kitchen towels that are used for drying hands have nap. The drying towels are flat and the only time I generally pull them out is on holidays. That's the only time I have more things not going in the dishwasher than can easily air dry. I use a wash rag for wiping down counters etc. All of the towels are replaced and tossed into the washing machine frequently - generally every night when I clean up after dinner.
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hand and dish towels
Old 01-03-2020, 02:12 AM
  #21

This is so fascinating! We have one hanging over the stove handle (usually seasonal/decorative) and usually another on top of the microwave. We rarely dry dishes with either, but are for drying hands. We air dry pots, wooden spoons, and knives that don't go into dishwasher.
I recently got an apron but have yet to put it to use-sounds like a great idea when cooking and baking, after washing hands to do a quick wipe
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:48 AM
  #22

I have never kept a hand towel in the kitchen. I have a tea towel (I assume this is a dish towel? I've never heard that term) for drying hands and dishes (sometimes) and grabbing hot things when some idiot has hidden the pot holders.

Actually, we very rarely dry dishes. They are washed, put in the dish rack and have hot water poured over them. Then a tea towel is put on top and they sit there to dry until next time somebody washes up, when they are put away and the cycle starts again. We don't have a dishwasher, unless you count my husband.
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I agree with Amiga13.
Old 01-03-2020, 03:25 AM
  #23

I always thought hand towels belonged in the bathroom. I like the towels with nap because they seem to dry dishes so much better. I learn something everyday.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:22 AM
  #24

I have 1 kitchen towel that I use to dry hands and minor dish drying. If it's a holiday and more dishes need drying, I'll grab another clean towel for that purpose. Smaller hand towel is in the bathroom.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:10 AM
  #25

Just one towel hanging on stove handle for drying hands or random dishes. I change it at least once a day. The (mostly always dry) dish cloth is used mainly for wiping out my stainless sink (waterspots drive me nuts!) I rarely use paper towels. For cleaning countertops I have a ton of microfiber cloths that get tossed in the washing machine.
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towels used in the kitchen
Old 01-03-2020, 07:19 AM
  #26

How in the world were you expected to know which towel was which in you're cousin's home? I think I would have walked out of her kitchen and let her be the one to finish the task!

I use one "towel" for after I wash my hands, and a different one for drying dishes. But they are not labeled for others to know which to use. I keep
them in different places on the counters.

I do have one that I keep on the oven handle that is for decoration only!!

I've been in homes where people use just one, and in other homes where people use two.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:35 AM
  #27

For those of you confused how to tell a hand towel from a dish towel, the hand towels have a hanging loop or flap. Dish towels are just regular kitchen towels. Like this:
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One towel here
Old 01-03-2020, 11:27 AM
  #28

and we use paper towels as well.

I do change the kitchen towel often. I don't even keep hand towels near the kitchen.

To me, a hand towel is a thick, heavy nap towel that is the same weight and density as a bath towel, only smaller.

A kitchen towel/dish towel/etc is the same size as a hand towel but much thinner. Mine have a nap of sorts but are not dense and are practically lint-free.

To me, the ones Zia posted are just fancy kitchen towels for people who use their drawer pulls for hanging. In my case, I have a bar handle on my LG stove, Kitchen Aid fridge and dishwasher so I don't usually buy those.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:55 AM
  #29

I generally only have one hanging. I use it to dry hands and dishes- it hasnít killed anyone yet.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:01 PM
  #30

Quote:
Actually, we very rarely dry dishes. They are washed, put in the dish rack and have hot water poured over them. Then a tea towel is put on top and they sit there to dry until next time somebody washes up, when they are put away and the cycle starts again. We don't have a dishwasher, unless you count my husband.
This is interesting. I donít have a dishwasher either (just DH as well ) but really want one.

I have never poured hot water over dishes in a dish rack. That seems super efficient. We usually rinse each each dish off one by one while wondering how Europeans can eat off of un-rinsed dishes. We usually leave them in the rack to dry as well. Iím going to try the water pouring thing next time my dishwasher forces me to do the dishes.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:59 PM
  #31

Same as LottaLove...


I do use paper towels and microfiber towels for cleaning counters.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:55 PM
  #32

Zia - I've never seen towels like those. Ever! So apparently I don't know which is which, and yet we still seem to survive okay.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:15 PM
  #33

Quote:
Zia - I've never seen towels like those. Ever!

I'm starting to wonder if it is a Midwest thing or even a Polack thing?
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Growing up
Old 01-03-2020, 04:52 PM
  #34

My grandmother would crochet onto the kitchen towels the little loopy things that Zia showed.

I had forgotten all about them. They were used as a hand towel.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:34 PM
  #35

Quote:
Zia - I've never seen towels like those. Ever! So apparently I don't know which is which, and yet we still seem to survive okay.
Same here!
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:13 PM
  #36

We have two hanging on a circular holder. We use flour sack towels to dry dishes. We use a kitchen towel for drying hands.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:37 PM
  #37

Multi-purpose towel for everything except drying dishes. If I need to dry dishes I grab a fresh towel from the drawer. For me it was something left over from having health inspectors evaluate a restaurant kitchen where I worked once upon a time.
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