When I was younger and had my first apartment kitchen during college, I happily chose vibrant colored dish towels to decorate my adorable little space.  Lots of red, orange and yellow (wish I had some photos of those, they were so cute).

white linens cover photo

My mom used to tell me that those colors would be hard to clean properly, meaning that all stains be removed and brightness retained. According to her, colors need to soak in some sort of stain removal and cold water then washed in cold and never put in the dryer with heat because that would dull the colors.  As I would learn, she was right. What college student has time to care for fabrics like that? Many years later, I realize that the best types of kitchen linens to use are pure white, 100% cotton ones.

white flour sack towels w border

Flour sack towels and bar mop towels (below) are two of my favorites to use in the kitchen, and even elsewhere. Flour sack towels open up to be quite large and get softer with every wash; bar mop towels are smaller, but they are perfect for cleaning up big messes and become more absorbent with frequent washing.

bar mop towels with package

The flour sack towels below are good for drying produce really well before cooking or baking, which I do often.  They’re also great for drying dishes, but since I have a dishwasher, I don’t always use them for that. Another great use is when washing windows with window cleaner, flour sack towels remove all the streaks beautifully. (Works great on eyeglasses, too).  They may also be referred to as ‘tea towels’.

tea towels on table

Bar mop towels are known for sopping up big messes, so I use them to clean up spills (which happen more than you may think).  They’re also great for air drying dishes, as they absorb a lot of liquid.

bar mop towels

What’s great is that both of these towels can be washed together and with other whites, making cleaning day a lot easier than if you have just a few bright colors to wash separately. To get the stains out using all natural ingredients, soak in a bowl with borax or baking soda + white vinegar for at least several hours.

You can find these types of towels in many retail stores, but I bought them in bulk on Amazon. Now, they’re the only type of towels I use in the kitchen–and laundry day is so much easier…

Anyone else out there who does the same thing?

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  1. Thankyou very much for all these tips. I am a new home ma ker and i would love to keep my home perfect. I hope you will keep continuing giving such tips. Thanks again. I will buy white liners from now on.
  2. i didn't realize a post on linens would be so helpful. i thought a towel was a towel. can't wait to try these. thanks!

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