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7 Ways to Use a Tea Towel

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Introducing the underrated kitchen workhorse: the tea towel.

Studiopatro tea towels

Cast iron pans. Cutting boards. Chef's knives. Baking sheets. These are the traditional kitchen workhorses, the tools we turn back to again and again, the hulking, all-purpose, hack-able items that make our kitchens work.

We've got another workhorse for you, the dainty, white-haired pony that pulls a lot of weight: the tea towel.

Because we're always looking to make our kitchens better -- more efficient, more useful, more fun -- we're breaking down all the ways you can use tea towels in your kitchen. Yes: seven of them. (Got even more ideas? Let us know in the comments!)


Cushion. Put a tea towel under a mixing bowl, and whisk away; the towel will prevent the bowl from moving.

Place Setting

Place setting. If you've got fun, colorful tea towels -- like the Studiapatro ones in our Shop! -- jazz up your table by using them as place settings (or placemats). See our tips on setting a table here.

Washing greens

Wash greens. Never break out the salad spinner again. Dunk your greens in a bowl of water, lay them out on a tea towl, roll the whole bundle up, and pat dry. Here's our video demonstration.


Dry. Lay your dishes out on them, or use them to wipe up the water.


Serve. Line a bowl or plate with a tea towel, and then lay your food right on top. Here are some ideas of what to put in your tea towel-lined vessel!

Wrap. Use a tea towel to wrap a bottle -- of wine, of liquor, of oil -- and then gift them to a friend. See more of our classy gift-wrapping ideas here.


Protect. When dealing with anything hot, use a tea towel as protection. Plus, they're a stylish addition to tea time.

How do you use your tea towels?

Tags: Cookware, The Shop, Tips & Techniques, DIY Food, How-To & Diy, Kitchen Confidence