A tea towel is a multi-purpose cloth made from durable, absorbent cotton or linen that can be used for a variety of household tasks.
The first thing you need to know is that a tea towel is not exclusively used for drying dishes.
A tea towel is a multi-purpose cloth made from durable, absorbent cotton or linen that can be used for a variety of household tasks. The only thing it’s not very good at is toweling down your dogs after bath time (especially if you have a Bernese Mountain Dog like us!).
So what does one do with a tea towel? Here are some ideas:
- Wipe up spills on countertops and tables
- Wipe down kitchen appliances like the microwave or fridge
- Clean windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces
1. Dry dishes
You can use a tea towel to dry dishes. If you don’t have a dishwasher, tea towels are your next best bet for drying plates, bowls, and glasses. In addition to using them after washing dishes by hand, place a clean tea towel or stack of them on the bottom rack to catch dripping water as your dirty dishes wash in the cycle.
2. Wipe down counters, tables, and other surfaces
- A tea towel is a great tool for keeping your kitchen clean. You can use it to wipe down almost any surface in the kitchen, from your countertops to your stovetop. This can also include hanging up the tea towel on a wall and using it as a convenient place to dry damp dishes by hand. One word of caution: if you’re using it as a dish drying rack, though, make sure the towel is clean to avoid contaminating the dishes with germs!
For best results when cleaning with your tea towel, wet the cloth slightly first and then wring it out before wiping surfaces. If you need just a quick dusting or some non-wet/dry touch-ups on small spills, though, simply use a dry tea towel instead.
3. Use as napkins
Using the tea towel as a napkin will help you save money. Since it can be used many times before it wears out, disposable paper napkins are used once and then thrown away. Some families spend hundreds of dollars each year on disposable products like this. By using the tea towel in place of a paper napkin, you can save that money and put it to better use.
It is also stronger than a paper napkin so they will last longer when used as a napkin for an occasion that might cause stains or other damage to regular cloth napkins, such as a picnic or children’s party.
Tea towels are cheaper than cloth napkins and since they’re already made from soft fabric they won’t need to be hemmed like some cloths do if they’re going to be used as napkins.
This makes them easy to carry around with you wherever you go so that no matter where life takes your family they’ll always have their own special set of “napkins” ready at hand!
4. Prevent splatter while cooking or baking
You can use a tea towel to cover the top of a blender when blending hot or liquid ingredients.
You can cover a bowl with a tea towel for mixing or beating ingredients.
You can cover a pan without an airtight lid by covering it with a tea towel.
A tea towel is also great for covering your microwave bowl before cooking something to help prevent splatter and food from shooting out of the bowl while cooking in the microwave.
5. Line a basket with a tea towel and fill it with fresh fruit or vegetables as a decorative centerpiece
Tea towels are great for this because they come in fun patterns and colors, they absorb moisture to keep the fruit fresh longer, and they can be reused again and again.
Plus, fruit is the perfect centerpiece if you have children because everyone can help themselves throughout the day.
6. Use your tea towel as an apron while prepping meals
It should come as no surprise that tea towels were originally designed to dry your dishes, but did you know they can also be used to protect your clothes from spills and splashes? If you’re the kind of person who’s constantly getting sauce and oil all over their shirt (I know I am), a tea towel is the perfect solution.
First, fold the towel into a triangle so that it covers most of your torso. Then loop one end over your neck. Make sure there’s enough to cover your chest. Tie the other end in a knot around your waist, then pull it as tight or loose as needed for comfort—just be careful not to tie it too tightly!
Now you’re ready for some messy cooking! Not only will using a tea towel keep the front of your shirt nice and clean, but if something does get on it, you can just toss it in with the rest of your laundry instead of having to spend time scrubbing out stains with special soap or pretreated (which nobody has time for).
You’ll even save money on aprons since they cost so much more than dish towels do!
7. Create a makeshift gift bag by using a reusable fabric tea towel instead of wrapping paper
When you need to wrap a gift, especially one that has an odd shape, skip the paper and use a pretty tea towel instead.
You can tap this crafty wrapping method for bottles of wine, cheese, or other food items too. Simply turn your towel into a makeshift gift bag by folding three sides over the gift and then tie it with ribbon or twine. To personalize it even further, decorate your tea towel with stencils or rubber stamps.
8. Fill a small glass jar or tin with loose leaf tea and wrap it with a tea towel for the perfect hostess gift
This towel can also be a perfect gift for your mom-in-law, sister-in-law, neighbor, friend, or anyone you want to make feel special.
A tea towel wrapped around a glass jar of loose leaf tea makes for an inexpensive viable gift. You can also add a mug and fill it with tea leaves, sugar, and a teaspoon to finish out the package.
Whether handmade or found at a thrift store, your gift recipient will appreciate the thought you put into their present and wonder where you shopped.
9. Store additional kitchen linens in your drawer lined with clean, folded dish towels, and use them to add color and style to any space
Tea towels are perfect for storing additional kitchen linens in your drawer.
For example, you can line the inside of your drawer with clean, folded dish towels, then use them to store other kitchen linens.
If you choose to sort and fold them by color, you’ll end up with a vibrant rainbow that not only adds functionality to the space but also makes it look great. Here’s how:
- Fold each towel in half along its length
- Fold in half again half (so it’s a quarter of its original size)
- Fold each end toward the middle so all corners meet
- Then fold in half
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