Dish towels don’t get enough respect. A clean, absorbent cloth is one of the best, most versatile tools in the kitchen and is totally underrated. Maybe you’ve been on the paper towel train for too long and you don’t yet know the power and number of things you can do with a clean towel. Let’s change that.
In our efforts to move towards a zero / low waste kitchen space, we have to make the items we have on hand pull double duty. Multi-use tools are an absolute necessity to combating the scourge of single use kitchen items. Get creative with the materials you already own! And please, I beg you stop buying paper towels. Or at least put them in the far back corner under the sink and only pull them out for mysterious pet puddles.
So what are all of your dish towels good for besides replacing paper towels?
- Cover bowls / containers that need to chill in the fridge or rest on the counter. Instead of using plastic wrap or aluminum foil use a clean linen! Just drop that cloth right on top and feel good about it.
- Cut up an old, stained towel to use on hard-to-clean areas. Dedicate towels for specific cleaning tasks.
- Wrap bread to keep it fresh. Even better if you have a bread box to nest it in. We try to purchase plastic-free bread to avoid excess packaging but still need to make sure it stays fresh. You can wrap your bread with a dish towel and put back into the paper bag.
- Dry leafy greens (or other produce) after you wash. Using this easy DIY produce wash of course! A clean, absorbent towel gets rid of moisture quickly and saves me from digging out the massive salad spinner for just a few pieces.
- Fold up and use as an oven mitt. Or to grab hot pan lids. Works better than a sweater sleeve.
- Put under your cutting board to keep it from moving. Prepping anything on a cutting board that’s sliding around is incredibly frustrating! A thin dish towel (you can fold it in half) placed under the center of your board will keep things from sliding.
- Catch excess lid condensation when cooking in a crock pot or slow cooker. Anything that doesn’t cook well with extra moisture like cakes or breads will benefit from wrapping the lid. (Like so!)
- Wrap snacks to go. Furoshiki style if you feel like getting wild. (That’s Japanese gift wrapping.) If you’ve boycotted buying plastic sandwich bags (nice work!) and are running low on empty containers and don’t have very deep pockets, knot that cloth up and toss in your tote to take with.
The dish towel is such a simple kitchen implement that can make a huge difference in the amount of waste we produce. How else do you use your linens? Let us know! #closedloopcooking