Hand Towels, Dish Towels, We all Squeal for Tea Towels


I was in to my twenties when I embroidered my first (and only) set of tea towels. I was really in to Scotty dogs at the time and picked up a pattern for a set featuring little dogs for each day of the week. I only completed the weekend- Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

I also received a set of hand embroidered towels for a wedding gift from my Aunt Wilma. They feature animated DISHES (of course!). And although I profess that all of our pretty things need to be used, I have to admit that my pretty tea towels rarely make it out in to the cooking zone.

I just can’t bear the thought of my pretty towels coming to the rescue when my husband’s spaghetti sauce splashes on the floor. Poor guy just doesn’t understand why I have, as he calls them, “towel rules”.

Here is how I define towels and their functions:

Bar Mop- Spills and general wiping
Sponge or Dish Cloth (an entirely different discussion)- Cleaning after the wiping has been completed
Tea Towels (aka Dish Towels)- For drying clean wet hands and clean wet dishes
Hand Towels- Generally in the bathroom next to the sink for drying clean wet
hands. Tea towels and dish towels serve this purpose in the kitchen.
Cloth Napkins- For wiping one’s face while eating (not to be converted to a bar mop during clean up)
Rags- For cleaning spills on the floor. (I keep my rags in the garage)
Paper Towels- Although these can be used for all of the above, I limit their use to soaking up oil between tortillas when I make enchiladas. Just doing my part to be green.

I’m curious how everyone else defines these different types of towels. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has adopted such neurotic rules because I have a sister that was brought up by the same mother. (smile) But how widespread is this wiping panic?