Back Away From the Paper Towel - 10 Ways to Use Tea Towels

As I mentioned in my last blog, tea towels are a fantastic, ecofriendly alternative to paper towels, with tons of uses (other than just drying your hands). Check out these ten unique ways to use a tea towel:

  1. A cozy for your French press or teapot
    As soon as I get up, I shuffle downstairs, make a French press of coffee, and do my best to only drink half of it. If I succeed in saving the rest for my husband, I like to wrap a little towel around it to help keep it warm.
    A french press wrapped in a tea towel with a coffee mug sitting next to it
  2.  Potholder
    If you fold your tea towel over a few times it makes a great potholder or trivet. Use your common sense here and make sure you fold it enough times that you're not going to burn yourself.
  3. Stabilize a cutting board
    If you've ever had your your cutting board or mixing bowl slide across the counter, just put a a tea towel underneath to give it some stability.
    Quick side note: The bread shown below is from Motzi Bread in Baltimore, MD. Made from locally grown grains and freshly milled flour - it's so freakin' good. loaf of bread sitting on a cutting board with a knife
  4. Cover dough
    Instead of plastic wrap, use a tea towel to cover rising dough. It looks IG worthy and you won't have that plastic-takes-a-thousand-years-to-decompose guilt hanging over you. 
  5. Dry salad greens
    A great alternative to a salad spinner. Just rinse off your greens and drop them on a tea towel. You can either gently roll up the towel or fold the towel in half and give them a little pat. 
    salad greens drying on a tea towel
  6. Cover warm bread/rolls
    Line a bowl with a tea towel (pattern facing down), fill up with rolls/bread slices, and then fold the sides of the towel over. It keeps the bread warm and looks cute too.
  7. Wrap a gift
    Use a tea towel to wrap up your next gift. Check out the Furoshiki (Japanese fabric wrapping) chart below.
    Image from the Ministry of Environment of Japan.
    furoshiki wrapping techniques chart
  8. Drying dishes
    Use to either dry dishes by hand or lay the tea towel flat and let dishes air dry. Tea towels are 100% cotton and lint free so they are perfect for using on dishes.
  9. Straining/Draining 
    Use a tea towel to strain yogurt/cheeses or to drain off grease (this can get pretty messy so you might want to break out your older, already stained, towels for this one).
  10. Napkins
    Fold up your tea towel to use as a napkin or informal place mat.
    tea towel folded as a napkin with fork and knife

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