Last Updated: December 29, 2022

9 best dish towels & hand towels for the kitchen & bathroom.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 15 min read

Everything around us has a history — even dish towels. Let’s travel back to the Great Depression, when times were tough and common resources were in short supply. Women had to get creative and start using things around them in new ways. That’s how tightly woven cotton flour sacks became dish towels, hand towels, pillowcases, toys, and even underwear.

These days, dish and hand towels are available in tons of different fabrics and styles — from decorative hand towels to hyper-absorbent microfiber cloths – and of course, flour sack dish towels. With so many varieties out there, choosing dish and hand towels for you and your family can feel more intimidating than it should.

That’s why we’ve done the dirty work for you and curated a selection of the best natural and sustainable dish and hand towels. Sit back, relax, and don’t forget to check out the FAQ at the end, where we answer commonly asked questions and offer tips for getting stains out of your towels.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Ettitude Bamboo Waffle Hand Towel

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Upgrade to spa status with ettitude's luxuriously soft spa-like towels. Pamper your skin and hair with ettitude's exclusive, sustainable CleanBamboo™ waffle weave fabric. It's free from harmful chemicals and extra gentle on delicate skin

Pre-washed and packaged in a …

1 count
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2. Grove Co. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

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A set of reusable microfiber cleaning cloths to clean dust, oil, and grime off surfaces without streaks or lint. Eco-friendly alternative to single-use paper towels.
    Our microfiber cloths have dense, absorbent fibers that lift and hold onto dirt, dust, oil, and grime with a simple wipe and are effective on …
3 Count
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3. E-Cloth Kitchen Pack

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The two-piece E-Cloth Kitchen Cleaning Pack effortlessly keeps your kitchen looking like new from sink to stove, with premium microfiber that's appropriate for all surfaces. Use the Cleaning Cloth to wipe away greasy splatters, crumbs, and over 99% bacteria from countertops, appliances, stainless, and more. Stubborn splatters don't require extra …

1 x Kitchen Cloth - 1 x Glass & Polishing Cloth
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4. Grove Co. 100% Organic Cotton White Flour Sack Towel

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From drying dishes to tackling dust bunnies, this Grove Co. 100% Organic Cotton White Flour Sack Towel Set gives you three towels to help with your household needs. These organic kitchen towels are extra absorbent and made of 100% organic cotton that’s whitened using hydrogen peroxide and not chlorine bleach. Use them for drying, wiping, dusting, …

Set of 3
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5. Grove Co. Swedish Dishcloths - Lemons

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A reusable sponge cloth to clean up spills and messes, providing a more eco-friendly alternative to paper towels and sponges.

    Our European Dish Cloth is highly-absorbent and durable, soaking up spills or cleaning messes from any household surface. Available in two prints: a cheerful lemon pattern and an arc pattern …

Set of 2
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6. Grove Co. Kitchen Towel

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This Grove Co. Kitchen Towel Set brings usefulness to your kitchen with a timeless design of simple stripes. These kitchen towels are made durable and absorbent to provide any cook, advanced or beginner, with the accessories they need to keep their area clean and tidy. Each towel measures 18 inches by 28 inches and is made of 100% cotton. Choose …

2 Kitchen Towels
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7. Marley's Monsters Vintage Lemons Rolled UNpaper® Towels

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For the best unpaper towels around, rely on Marley’s Monster Vintage Lemons Rolled UNpaper® Towels. These pre rolled unpaper towels give your home an eco-friendly way to clean up the kitchen, bathroom, or other areas you’d usually use paper towels in. Plus, these reusable cloths come wrapped around a carboard tube that'll fit with most paper towel …

12 pack
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8. Grove Co. Kitchen Towel - Limited Edition Sparks of Joy - Golden Bursts Design

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An organic cotton kitchen towel in a limited edition design inspired by the holidays.

Create magic in your home by embracing the beauty of winter with our limited edition collection that shines bright with festivity and cheer, celebrating joyful moments of giving and gathering. Available in limited quantities until sold …

1 Count
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9. Marley's Monsters Rainbow Rolled Unpaper® Towels

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Make the swap from paper towels to a sustainable alternative with these Marley's Monsters Rainbow Rolled Unpaper® Towels. These Marleys Monsters unpaper towels are sewn from 100% flannel and easy to use for tackling kitchen tasks or cleaning everyday messes. After you use them all, you can just throw them in the wash and reroll for your next round …

12 pack
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What is a tea towel?

The history of the tea towel dates back to 18th century England, when towels were used to dry fine china, cover baked goods, or to cover tea pots during tea ceremonies. Tea towels also have a long history of decorative use. Made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen, tea towels were commonly used to practice embroidery. Then they were gifted to friends and family after they’d been embellished with script, flowers, and other designs.

Today, tea towels are still sought after for decorative uses. They’re used to adorn oven handles, or as a wrap for homemade breads and pastries. While tea towels are considered dish towels, not all dish towels can be called tea towels. The defining feature of a tea towel is its fabric — and cotton or linen is a must. Dish towels, on the other hand, are made from cotton, linen, or other materials like microfiber or terry cloth.

How do you get stains out of dish towels?

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Dish towels get a lot of use. Between sopping up spilled spaghetti sauce and wiping grease from hands, dish towels definitely get put through the ringer. Stains are an inevitable part of a dish towel’s life — but they don’t have to be permanent.

To get tough stains out of your dish towels, try this method: Dab enough laundry detergent on the stain so that it fully covers the spot. Using your finger or a toothbrush, rub the detergent into the stain until it’s totally saturated. Let the detergent sit for at least 15 minutes, then rinse the area with cold water. Wash your towels as normal, and repeat the process if the stain remains.

How do you fold hand towels?

Wait — you don’t just shove clean towels into a kitchen drawer and pull out wrinkly masses of fabric whenever you need a fresh towel to absorb your kid’s latest liquid disaster? JK — of course we fold our dish towels. Here’s how.

Step 1: Fold the towel in half lengthwise to make a rectangle. “Hamburger style,” if you will.

Step 2: Fold the halved towel in half widthways, like a hotdog, long and thin.

Step 3: Fold the towel into thirds. Put one end of the hotdog in the middle, then put the other end over it – like folding a letter.

Step 4: Stack your towels in the drawer, and press down on them to flatten the stack so you can easily close the drawer. This is the most efficient use of space in small kitchen drawers.

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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