Have you actually given much thought into choosing dish towels? Or just pick whatever looks good? I know, I’m guilty about that too. I’m tired of constantly replacing kitchen towels every time scrubbing the life out of them won’t get rid of that heaven-knows-why they stink.
Just imagine, you wipe the utensils and plates that you feed your family in with these towels. We devoted some hours into researching what are the qualities of the best dish towels that don’t smell highlighting the pros and cons of each of them.
Our Quick Answer: What Are The Best Dish Towels That Don’t Stink ?
- Bumble Antimicrobial Barmop Kitchen Towels
- Utopia Towels Kitchen Bar Mop Towels
- Fecido Classic Kitchen Dish Towels with Hanging Loop
What To Look for in a Dish Towel?
There are several variations of what a dish towel is made of, it can be microfiber, textured weave, cotton and a lot more. It all boils down to what you will use it for the most. The most common ones are the microfiber and cotton options. Microfiber is best used for drying dishware and wiping the countertop since it has great absorbing capacity. On the other hand, cotton is not as absorbent as microfiber, but it’s best attribute is that good quality cotton dish towels are highly unlikely to stink.
Same as with choosing the material, think of what you will use it for when deciding on the size of your kitchen towel. Think of the kind and size of the dishware you will use it for, as well as your hanging racks where you will dry the towels after.
Since we’re doing this to avoid the foul smell of kitchen towels, it’s best to choose one that has an easy cleaning property and doesn’t hold on to stains and such. For this I would not suggest a microfiber towel since they can be trickier to wash than cotton towels. I have tried using microfiber towels for my kitchen and for some reason they get a slimy like texture when not rinsed properly.
Our Top 10 Recommendation
Aunt Martha’s Flour Sack Dish Towels – Most Versatile
This premium dish towel is loved by many because of its versatility. You can use it as a regular dish cloth to dry the dishes with, but it also works great as a cheesecloth, resting cloth for bread, or to remove moisture from freshly washed veggies and fruits.
It is made up of 130 counts of premium thread of 100% cotton, making them extra absorbent. These 28 inch x 28 inch square towels are tightly hemmed all around, so no need to worry about it getting unstitched. This dish towel also has a corner loop for easy hanging. It also comes pre-washed and pre-bleached, so you can use them right out of the box.
- This towel does not shed lint, so it is safe to use for polishing dishware and drying fruits and veggies.
- These are good quality towels, they are thick and does not feel like they will easily rip. They can survive multiple washes and does not get worn out right away.
- These flour sacks may be a little too stiff and rough to be used on delicate dishware that are not scratch-proof. This may change and get softer after some washes.
- Most reviewers comment that the towel is not as absorbent as expected of it’s high thread count. Said it tends to just push water around and not really absorb it. Best to try and boil the cloth in water with 1 cup of vinegar to see if that will improve its absorbency.
Fecido Classic Kitchen Dish Towels with Hanging Loop – Best Overall
These towels are made with 100% commercial grade cotton and are made in Europe. These towels are tailored for heavy use yet has a very gentle feel and it actually becomes softer the more you wash it, safe to use even for your mom’s delicate China. 😉
These towels are not just functional but can serve as decoration too, they come in twelve dazzling colors and designs that would look good in any kitchen aesthetic. These colors don’t bleed in the dryer and does not fade either. It also has a hanging corner loop already, so you can just hang them wherever it is convenient for you.
- These thick dish towels are very absorbent even for large spills. They dry up dishware nicely and still have dry room for a few more utensils because of its good size.
- It is made from extreme quality cotton that it does not get discolored, and they do not leave lint on your dishes.
- There were very few reviews saying that the towel may start to fall apart on the seams after some months of use. This can be avoided with proper maintenance, these are cotton towels so there really is no need for heavy scrubbing and long hours in the washer.
Sticky Toffee Cotton Terry Kitchen Dishcloth – Best Value
Another top rated dish cloth on our list is the Sticky Toffee Cotton Terry Kitchen Dishcloth, I love the design and the bright color variety that it offers. And more than that, it is very absorbent, even for big water spills – thanks to its popcorn terry design. It is made with 100% high grade cotton terry that enhances its absorption properties and make it twice as durable as well.
This dish cloth comes in 8 different colors (each pack comes in two designs: 4 solid colored towels and 4 classic striped towels) and two different sizes as well, making it easy to match to your kitchen needs whether you will use it for drying, polishing or washing your dishware.
- These kitchen towels are machine washable, no need to worry about discoloration or wearing as they are made from durable cotton terry.
- The towels don’t only look good in the kitchen but are actually helpful too, these are highly absorbent towels that can wipe up big spills without any problem.
- Reviewers love that the towels come with a bow and a card, perfect for giving as a housewarming or wedding gift.
- A few reviews mentioned that their towel seams got undone after several machine washes. Please note that these are cotton towels so no need to put them on high setting when machine washing, a low setting will do.
- Some reviews also found the towels to be a little thinner that they expected it to be.
Utopia Kitchen Towels – Best Multi-Purpose
The Utopia Towels Kitchen Bar Mop Towels are raved about by moms everywhere because of its quality and affordability. These are made with 100% durable ringspun cotton that are smooth yet exceptionally absorbent. It also has a zero twist construction which minimizes lint and frays. These towels come in packs of 12 so you will never run out of clean towels to use, no more stinky kitchen towels!
These deceivingly lightweight towels are only available in white, no need to stress yourself in picking a color and it will surely match any design aesthetic. It comes in a perfect kitchen towel size of 16 by 19 inches, making it a great multi-purpose towel.
- These towels can be used anywhere from drying dishes, polishing glasses, cleaning counters and you can even use it for other household chores like for dusting the television or wiping the windows dry.
- These terry towels are extremely durable no matter how much you wash them, several hundred reviews mention that they have had these towels for years and they still look the same.
- The towels may shed for the first few washes, which is quite normal as you may see from other towels on the list as well.
- Some have received their towels with little holes on it or have unsewn edge, which is more of a quality control issue.
Cotton Craft – Euro Cafe Waffle Weave Terry Kitchen Towels – Best Bang For Your Buck
These good looking towels mean serious business when it comes to being functional in the kitchen. Euro Café Waffle Weave Terry Kitchen Towels are made up of 2-ply of 100% Ringspun Cotton Terry and weighs 400 grams per square meter. Its waffle weave design helps increase its absorbency and lessens lint, it also helps the air to flow freely between the fibers, so it dries quicker.
The towel is highly durable, they don’t get frayed out at the edges no matter how often you wash them, which is most likely a few times or so in a day if you’ll use them as a kitchen towel. You can even put lovely embroidery on them and they can handle it well. It is very rare to find ones like these that looks good and actually does the job too.
- These dish towels are durable enough to be machine washed. The colors will not fade or get worn out even after several washes. The towels don’t shrink in the wash either because of its secure binding.
- Reviewers are impressed with how absorbent these towels are. They actually wipe up nicely and doesn’t just push the water around.
- Reviewers note that the towels may leave some lint on the first few washes. This will go away though once it has been washed several times.
The Homemakers Dish Kitchen Dishes Towels – Most Durable
These elegant Magnolia style towels are made up of 100% densely woven high grade cotton is not just decorative but are very efficient kitchen towels too. These dish cloths are highly absorbent and can be used on multiple surfaces too. They are extremely durable and even gets softer with every wash.
They are available in five vibrant colors that do not get discolored or fade even when machine washed. These towels are one of the largest dish towels in the market at 20 x 28 inches. It also comes with a sewed in corner hook loop for easy hanging.
- The product is made from thick woven cotton so there is no need to iron them after drying since they do not wrinkle.
- The towels are thick and are very absorbent, so they can easily dry a huge load of dishes and still have room to dry a few pans or pots.
- Reviews say that the edges of the towel curl after coming out of the drier on low heat. A reviewer mentioned to dry them on high heat then take them out while they are a little damp then just let air dry to avoid the edges from curling
Harringdons Kitchen Dish Towels – Most Eco-Friendly
Nowadays, we have eco-friendly everything: utensils, soaps, bags and such. And now, eco-friendly dish towels! I definitely love this bunch not only because of their classy vintage look, but because these are made up of 100% sustainable cotton.
Harringdons Kitchen Dish Towels have professional quality herringbone weave that does not only make it look better but feel better too. They are known for their durability too, so you can wash them all you want at the faintest hint of foul smell and they will retain their lovely colors just the same.
- Works well with almost everything. Most reviewers have embroidered their towels and they looked really good and they did not encounter any issues as well.
- Great quality towels that they posed minimum shrinkage, and the hems on the edges stay in place even with frequent machine washing.
- Most common issue that users have with this towel is that it is not as absorbent as advertised. To which other users responded to saying that you have to wash it with a little vinegar and to avoid putting fabric softener when drying it.
Nouvelle Legende Cotton Fast Dry Flour Sack Towels – Best for Delicate Dishware
If you want absolutely lint-free towels, then flour sack is the way to go. Made with pure commercial grade cotton, Nouvelle Legende Flour Sack Towels are one of the best multi-purpose towels that moms love. Its incredibly soft, yet effectively good at absorbing liquids. They are free of harmful chemicals so it’s safe to use for food like drying vegetables or raising doughs. You can use it for a lot of household chores and not only in the kitchen. To think that they are comparatively inexpensive than other flour sack towels too.
These towels are also the right thickness for stunning embroideries that you can give away as Christmas or Wedding gifts. These can be reused for years and maintain the same high quality that they had like they’re brand new.
- These are great alternatives to paper towels, they absorb liquid just as well and quick drying too. Just wring it and air dry for a bit and they are ready to use again.
- It has outstanding durability that just gets better with every wash. Very minimum shrinkage and no lint which we can all appreciate especially when drying glasses and utensils.
- A number of reviewers have received their products with little holes or with undone hems. This is more of a Quality Control issue that Nouvelle can improve on.
Ritz 100% Cotton Terry Kitchen Dish Towels – Best Design
The dish towel coordinate of the Ritz Royale collection of kitchen apparel is another highly rated item on our list. And I don’t see why not, it is made of pure terry looped cotton that are highly absorbent and durable. It is a multi-purpose towel that you can use around the house for drying, cleaning, or wiping.
The Ritz Cotton Terry Kitchen Dish Towels is probably my favorite when it comes to color and design selection. Each 3-pack bundle comes with 3 designs as well which all looks stunning. It measures 25 x 15 inches which is for me, just the right size if you’re planning to use it for drying dishware.
- These dish cloths are durable, and the color does not fast, a reviewer said she’s had this in the last 4 years and the color is just as vibrant as when she first got them. And a few others have had the same experience too.
- They are easy to wash, you can just throw them in the laundry and they’ll come out like new again, just make sure to follow laundry instructions to avoid damage on the towels.
- Some reviewers mentioned the edges of the towels got frayed just after one wash. This can either be a quality control issue on Nouvelle’s side or may be a user issue as well. Since these are terry cloth towels, you need to follow the washing instruction first.
Bumble Antimicrobial Barmop Kitchen Towels – Best Odor Free
Dirt and bacteria are some of the reasons your kitchen towel has that funky odor, so what if I tell you that there is an inexpensive antimicrobial dish towel that you can buy for a low price? Yes, you read that right. Bumble Antimicrobial Barmop Kitchen Towels are made of 2-ply yarn that are tightly weaved together to make a highly absorbent dish cloth that can quickly soak up spills.
The towels get softer after every wash and do not get discolored too. They may look a bit thick, but their corrugated weave design makes it quicker for them to air dry. It is backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee by Bumble, if you are not satisfied with the product, you can return them without any questions.
- The towels are effectively absorbent for average kitchen use, just right for their size. They are not designed to soak up big spills, but they make up for that when it comes to keeping the countertop clean.
- Being an anti-microbial towel, this is the best when it comes to staying stink-free. As long as you did not use it to wipe any spoiled milk or anything of the sort, the towel keeps a neutral smell.
- This is not exactly the most durable clan in the area, some users complain that the hems got frayed after the first wash. Other than proper maintenance, some users decided to do a double stitch on the hems to keep it from unraveling again.
Our Top 3 Best Choices:
- Bumble Antimicrobial Barmop Kitchen Towels – Bumble being an expert on towels in general, has blessed us with this masterpiece of a dish cloth. It actually does not hold odor, and easily washable too.
- Utopia Towels Kitchen Bar Mop Towels – These are the most versatile and inexpensive replacement to paper towels, they are not hard to keep clean, they are absorbent, they can be used for a lot of household chores in general. This is worth every penny.
- Fecido Classic Kitchen Dish Towels with Hanging Loop – These soft cotton towels are great for heavy usage, they are durable and can be disguised as a décor too. They are not too expensive, which is also a plus. The towels are easy to clean, and the color does not get ruined no matter how many times you wash them.
How to Keep Your Dish Towels Smelling Fresh
- If your household is a heavy kitchen towel user, say you cook multiple times a day, then it’s best to get a towel pack and change the towels at least once a day.
- If for some reason your dish cloth has gotten a stubborn smell that don’t want to leave, boil the dish cloth in water with 1 cup of vinegar for at least 15 minutes to kill the unwanted smell.
- When washing your dish cloths, use hot water and select the longest washing time available on your washer. Use a regular laundry soap then add 1 cup of white vinegar again then once it’s done spinning, quickly transfer the dish cloths to your drier and dry on high heat for 45 minutes. DO NOT use fabric softener on your kitchen towels, not only do they make the stench worse, this will also lessen their absorbency.
- Rinse your towels after every use. Even if you just used them to wipe spilled water, rinse it. Most kitchen towels dry quickly or come in a pack, so you will never run out of it even if you constantly wash them.
- Always keep your dish cloths dry. Leaving them wet and balled up is like inviting bacteria to have a party on it and the smell it will develop later on will make you wish you had a hangover.
- Use different dish cloths for different tasks. The dish cloth you use to dry your dishware should only be used for dishware. The kitchen towel you use to wipe your countertop should only serve that purpose as well as the one you use to clean your sink, and another one to wipe your stovetop with, this is to avoid cross contamination.
There you go! Have you decided on which towel you’ll get? Personally, I recently changed from using microfiber to cotton towels. I liked the absorbency of microfiber towels, but they can be pretty hard to clean, and you will have to keep washing them too almost every use.
What I noticed with cotton towels is that they don’t build up odor that much, it may have something to do that they dry quicker. Also, I use colored kitchen towel for cooking and other possibly messy tasks, so that if it accidentally stains then it will not be as bad as it would be on a white towel. On the other hand, for wiping the dinner table, utensils, glasses and plates I use my white kitchen towels because there is less possibility that they will get stained.
I know, it can be a lot more expensive that regular paper towels but if you think about it, getting a quality kitchen towel will save you more bucks. With paper towels you just throw them away after use while for kitchen towels, you just rinse it or throw it in the washer and you can re-use it once it comes out.
I think there’s really no kitchen towel that doesn’t stink at all. They all would smell bad, eventually, if not maintained properly. I would suggest getting a good, high quality cotton towel and follow these maintenance steps I listed above or the one that comes with your product itself. Analyze what your needs are and that will help you decide which dish cloth to get for your kitchen. Happy Cooking, Divas!
Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API