Keeping the tea towel cupboard organised needn’t be a headache. With a few simple tricks, you can keep your the tea towels in your home looking immaculate at all times.

What is a tea towel?

Tea towels or dishcloths are soft cloths made of linen, terry cloth, or cotton used to dry the dishes. As far back as the 18th century, people often used flour sack towels for drying dishes. They also used tea towels to wrap around baked goods such as bread to transport them and keep them fresh.

How to keep your tea towels tidy.

There are a few hard and fast rules for keeping those dish towels neat and tidy.

  1. Buy a stack of kitchen tea towels which are all the same size and design.

    I do this with dishcloths too. It’s the only way to prevent your tea towel cupboard from becoming a mess.
    When you have a mish-mash of different sized towels and cloths it’s virtually impossible to keep your cabinet in order. I find that the terry cloth kitchen towels tend to keep their shape better after washing than decorated tea towels or linen towels and they need less elbow grease when ironing as they do not get as wrinkled.

    tea towels

  2. Always iron your kitchen towels .

    It might seem like a right royal pain in the butt to iron your tea towels, but it is a good idea. The heat from the iron will help to sterilise any bacteria that may be remaining on the tea towel after washing. When you iron your tea towels, it keeps them much neater in the cupboard.

    tea towels

  3. Master the art of folding

    It doesn’t matter how you fold your tea towels as long as you do the same fold each time so your tea towels are always lined up like soldiers! If you really want to become a master at folding, check out Marie Kondo! you can get her books here.

  4. Make sure you have enough storage space.

    If you can, try to make sure that you keep a space which allows you to pull out and put away your dishtowels with ease rather than shoving them into a drawer crammed with other things. If you are only able to store them in a drawer instead of a cupboard, try to use a deep drawer so you can stack or roll your tea towels.

    tea towels

  5. Rotate your tea towels

    Put the clean ones at the bottom of the pile and take a clean one from the top of your collection this way your tea towels should all have the same amount of wear in them and stay tidier within the cupboard.

Hot off the press!

Frequently asked questions 

Can I just use a paper towel to dry my dishes instead?

You can if you so desire, however, I wouldn’t recommend using paper towels because of the waste. As long as you care for your tea towels properly, you will find they will last you for years.

Which tea towel should I use to dry fine china?

The soft fibres in linen tea towels are perfect for cleaning fine china without causing any damage.

I have a decorative Van Gogh tea towel that is a sentimental gift given to me by my late mother what shall I do with it?

I would consider storing this in a memory box rather than trying to keep it protected in your tea towel cupboard.

Why is it called a tea towel?

In the early 18th-century tea towels would be used to wrap around the teapot to keep the tea warm and also used to wrap around the handle of the teapot to prevent burnt hands from any spillages.

I like to have decorative kitchen towels, but my husband insists we use them for drying the dishes, what should I do?

It’s not common practice to have decorative tea towels solely for decoration purposes, and I’m a great believer in using everything you have in the house, I wouldn’t worry about someone using my kitchen cloth or tea towels. I think he’s probably never going to grasp the fact that they are not there to use, so I’d probably just wash them every time he uses them!

I’d like to know where to hang my tea towels after I’ve finished drying dishes with a towel.

I just put a hook on the wall to hang my tea towel on. You could also fit a towel rail like this one to the side of your cabinet, or you can get individual rubber tea towel holders like this one to hold your tea towels. You can also buy hooks like this one which fit over the top of your cupboard door.

dish towel

What is the best tea towel size?

Tea towels come in various different sizes. It really doesn’t matter which size you choose as long as they are all the same size for uniformity in the cupboard, drawer or basket.

What are the best kitchen towels for drying dishes?

Cotton or linen dish towels are better for cleaning glasses as they don’t leave any lint behind. I try to avoid the microfibre tea towels as I don’t find them as absorbent as the terry towel.

I don’t have anywhere to keep my tea towels as I’m short of storage space do you have any other storage ideas?

I would look for a pretty lidded basket to use or maybe some pretty tote bags to hang on the back of your kitchen door.
Rolling your tea towels is also a great way to save space in a basket or drawer.

rolled towels

What is best, a tea towel V flour sack?

Flour sack tends to be slightly thicker, sturdier and more absorbent than a thinner tea towel but is not so forgiving on delicate glass and beautiful bone china items.

How many tea towels do I need?

I change my tea towel each night, I throw it in the washing machine and replace it with a clean one. However, my other half likes to use three tea towels every time he’s in the kitchen, so I do tend to have plenty in my cupboard! So, I’d say at least seven but more if you’ve got a spouse like mine!

If you’re struggling to remove tea stains from your favourite cups read this wonderful post for some cheap and easy solutions!

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