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Kitchen towels: What to buy and how to clean them

When you're facing a whole shelf of kitchen towels, you might be tempted to go straight for the pretty ones. But how it looks shouldn't be your only criteria.

What to look out for when buying kitchen towels

"Kitchen towels serve as a multi-purpose tool in the kitchen, from wiping kitchen tops to drying wet dishes. The most important thing to look for in a good kitchen towel is its absorbency," say experts at cleaning company Helpling. 

Hey, you don't want to move water around with your towel -- you wan't to absorb and get rid of it!

Cotton towels are recommended for drying dishes and wiping countertops, as their fluffy-textured surface makes them highly absorbent. If you're looking for towels to clean glasses or tableware, go for the microfiber ones -- they are lint free. However, they can also be less absorbent as compared to cotton and linen. 

Tip!  Buy lots of kitchen towels, as you should be changing them regularly. And, always wash towels before use, to get rid of germs as well as make them softer and more absorbent. 

How to take proper care of dish cloths and towels:

- Always change dish cloths after wiping surfaces that has come into contact with raw meat or its juice. This is very important as raw meat can cause serious food-bourne illnesses.

- As you'll be using these cloths for everything in the kitchen, you don't want to spread bacteria throughout the space. Rinse the towels with hot water before putting them in the washing machine, and wash your cloths at the hottest washing machines temperature at least twice a week to kill any lingering bacteria.

- You can also leave the cloths in a pot filled with boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes (after rinsing) and then dry them. "A damp cloth can attract tons of harmful bacteria within hours of sitting next to your sink, so make sure it's fully dried," says experts at Helpling.

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