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Everything About Kitchen Towels

From skillfully sauteeing vegetables to plating gourmet meals, kitchens are bustling places, and for a functional flow, they need equipment and cleaning tools. One part of a restaurant setup, the kitchen towel, is more essential than you know.

Kitchen towels are constantly close to kitchen workers, and they're so integral to kitchen practices that you might forget about them. However, they swiftly save the day as you encounter spills, splashes and splatters.

 

Selecting kitchen towels for your enterprise consists of more than choosing a color. There are materials, types, applications and techniques to consider, too. Let's launch into a comprehensive guide to kitchen towels.

What Is a Kitchen Towel?

What makes a kitchen towel a kitchen towel is simple — its role in a fast-paced restaurant environment or a personal kitchen. These towels can help you gain a better grip, keep dishes warm and dry damp surfaces.

Because they have diverse uses in both commercial and residential kitchens, they have a different makeup from regular towels. Especially in the restaurant industry, they have to be strong, long-lasting and thick, as many workers need to reach for them at a moment's notice.

Types of Kitchen Towels

While "kitchen towel" is a general term, they can fall into a few categories. Bartenders, cooks, assistants, dishwashers and servers all need certain qualities to complement their roles. Depending on their application, they can go under the following categories.

1. Bar Mops

As its name suggests, the bar mop's original application was to wipe up bar messes. Now, bar mops can be a multi-purpose tool, from dabbing away residue on knives to brushing off scraps into the garbage.

Bar mops can stand higher levels of heat, so they can act as a holder for hot pans or serve as a hot pad. Chefs keep them tucked in their aprons to pull out for a quick fix.

Bar mops are usually white, and they can have a colored stripe running down the middle. Restaurant employees often use these stripes to color-code the towels for different applications.

2. Dish Towel

You need a smooth, lint-free towel for drying and polishing kitchenware. You can blot plates, glasses, pots and kitchen appliances with dish towels.

Hand-drying dishes can be a long process. Typical dish towels get moisture off dishes while maintaining a fairly dry state, so you don't have to swap them out frequently.

They're ideal for removing water spots and streaks, and your restaurant dishes can gleam when you serve your food. To keep them unsoiled between dishes, they hang on racks when not in use.

3. Chef Towel

Chefs handle a range of tasks and items through an average day at the restaurant. As such, chefs' towels are more specialized for food than other kitchen towels, and chefs keep them on hand at all times.

Chefs' towels are practical for swabbing away oil, crumbs and sauces. Since they take in different substances, they have to be heavy-duty and uniquely absorbent. They can also get dew off fresh produce and herbs.

Cooks keep them nearby in a pocket or draped on the shoulder, and they sustain many impacts in your workplace.

4. Hand Towel

After kitchen workers get finished rinsing their hands, it's not sanitary to dry them on the same towels as those you use for messes, dishes or counters. Hand towels remain in reserve for rubbing down hands before returning to the job.

Hand towels are plush, small and come in multiple colors. They stay by the sink for easy access, and they're instrumental in safe food handling.

5. Tea Towel

While it's possible to dry items with them, tea towels are primarily decorative. They can accent food arrangement, and some restaurants use them to encase baked goods in baskets. Tea towels also can line serving trays and tables.

They're a light material, and their fine makeup isn't suited for soaking up liquids. They're not big, measuring about the same as a hand towel.

What Are Kitchen Towels Made With?

Why do the materials of kitchen towels matter? They're the determining factor in absorbency, longevity, appearance and sturdiness. The primary materials for kitchen towels are cotton and microfiber, but let's unpack their advantages.

1. Cotton

Cotton is the favorite material for kitchen towels because it's fluffy and absorbent. The luxurious look makes even functional towels for the kitchen appear appealing. Their natural properties allow them to be gentle on your dishes and worktops.

The fibers in cotton are a useful distance to pull in plenty of liquid, and in restaurant scenarios, you need to deal with spills fast. They also are resilient from their dense weave, which makes them able to address the cleaning needs of the kitchen.

2. Microfiber

Microfiber is another popular material that's able to take in more substances than their neutral weight. Swiping dirt and food out of your kitchen is highly effective with microfiber towels.

Microfibers are even tinier than a strand of silk's diameter — at this size, they can get into nooks and crannies other materials can't reach. Microfiber can deeply retain small scraps and traces of food, and it's versatile, which solves many kitchen-related problems.

What Not to Do With Kitchen Towels

Although kitchen towels are adaptable to your needs, they do have limits. In a restaurant, they should promote health and stick to cleaning applications. Check out what not to do with kitchen towels.

1. Don't Leave on the Counter

Crumpling your kitchen towels in the corner of your kitchen exposes them to more germs than necessary. As they sit in a heap, they can't fully dry, and there's a potential for them to develop a musty smell.

Counters have spices and leftover food on them that are harmful to designated towels like hand towels and dish towels. Discarding them on the counter also makes them look wrinkly and causes the space to appear unprofessional. Rather than leaving them in a bunch, you can easily drape them over racks or on hooks.

2. Don't Tidy Around Raw Meat and Fish

When you're preparing dishes with meat or fish, the juices can get on surfaces. This runoff is unavoidable in the kitchen, but you don't have to scrub it away with kitchen towels.

Using kitchen towels can even extend the scope of the germs. This contamination could cause diseases, and you want to protect your customers from foodborne illnesses. Disposable towels or tissues are better for nipping germs in the bud.

3. Don't Clean up Raw Eggs

Apart from meat and fish, raw eggs pose some danger to your establishment. It's easy to get remnants on your stovetop or counter when you're cracking large batches of them at a time. Cut down on cross-contamination by following egg safety procedures.

Don't dab up the egg with your reusable towel, though, because you can smear it on other things as you go about your duties. Just like with meat, banish residue with a single-use towel.

4. Don't Do Double Duty for Hands and Dishes

Doubling up with your kitchen towels is tempting because you could save time and opt for convenience. However, hand and dish towels get their names for a reason, and they need to remain separate.

In food service, you shield your dishes with gloves, but additional measures to guard food against substances on your hands can help.

5. Don't Try to Sanitize the Sink

The kitchen sink is a surprisingly dirty spot, and it could be even worse than your toilet. From raw particles to various preservatives and dirt, the sink can become a hub for gunk.

As you're checking off your end-of-day duties, don't run your kitchen towel over the sink to dry it.

How to Clean Kitchen Towels

With continual use, you don't want your towels to get dingy or smelly. To fight off mildew and contamination, it's essential to follow a careful regimen when cleaning your kitchen towels. You can get grime and food particles off your towels with the following tips.

1. Allow Them to Air Dry

In the bottom of a laundry hamper, your wet kitchen towels can get stinky and risk infecting other items. They can be heavy with water and other liquids, so it's helpful to hang them to air out before starting a wash cycle. Circulation on a clothing line or drying rack can keep your towels in top condition.

2. Skip the Fabric Softener

When you use towels for deep cleaning and drying purposes, you need a comprehensive cleaning. Fabric softener decreases the potency of kitchen towels, because it creates a barrier on the fibers. Coating the filaments takes away from their ability to absorb, so avoid fabric softener in your kitchen towel loads.

3. Nix Odors With Vinegar

Kitchen hygiene is vital for maintaining a reliable restaurant, and towels need to adhere to guidelines, too. Accumulated particles can form on your towels, but vinegar is a winning solution. Vinegar breaks through the buildup on kitchen towels due to its valuable acidity.

4. Pick a Hot Water Setting

Heat is your friend when it comes to eliminating bacteria, and setting your washing cycle water to hot can thoroughly cleanse towels. Because your kitchen towels go through a lot during the day, a heavy-duty process is appropriate.

5. Wash Alone

Because table cloths, uniforms and towels get clean and dry at different rates, it's better to wash them in a separate laundry load. Towels also generate a substantial amount of lint, which affects other materials. Only fill the wash with kitchen towels to keep them robust.

6. Spot-Treat Stains

If you swipe up soy sauce or marinara sauce, it can discolor your kitchen towels. With unsightly marks on your towels, especially multi-use ones, they can take on a dull look. You can spot-treat these stains before you wash them to pinpoint the stubborn blotches. Store-bought stain removers can target beverage and food marks, but they need different water temperatures. Check out these fixes for specific stains:

  • Coffee and tea-stained towels can sit in moderately cold water for a while if they're fresh.
  • Wine stains can get lightly sponged with cool water, then apply additional stain remover.
  • Mustard needs a rinse of water through the area, and you can set it to a high heat in the washer.
  • Ketchup should have water strained through the spot.
  • Chocolate can clot on the towel, so brush it off before soaking it in water.
  • Maple syrup needs warmer water to flush through the stain.
  • Butter requires treatment before the wash and a hot water cycle.
  • Oil and grease can get dabbed with a paper towel to absorb the stain. Follow this with a cleaning solution.

7. Find the Right Drying Balance

Both extremes of drying can be tough on your towels. You might be in a rush to get your kitchen towels out of the dryer to store them for the following day, but damp towels can let germs set in. Overdrying can also drain the towels of their quality. Check the kitchen towels periodically to achieve a reasonable level of moisture.

How Often Should You Change Your Kitchen Towels?

You might still be wondering how frequently you should swap out kitchen towels and run them through the wash. Do you wash them every week or every couple of days? Can you tell when they're dirty enough to change?

The main contributor to this decision is food-related illnesses, because the cleanliness of your towels can defend your restaurant against things like food poisoning. Let's go over two food-related sicknesses, salmonella and staph, to help your establishment thrive and steer clear of sickness.

  • Salmonella is a common cause of food poisoning, and the sources include a range of foods. As cooks handle these, they can also touch their on-hand towels. Then, other workers can come into contact with the towels, which extends the reach of salmonella. Cleaning all surfaces and cooking tools can manage the potential for salmonella.
  • Staph, or staphylococcus infection, is abundant when the person carrying the bacteria fails to continually wash their hands. The toxins can disperse in food and infect people. Since you use some kitchen towels to wipe off your hands, there's a higher likelihood of spreading staph when you wait to wash off existing toxins.

How frequently you wash the kitchen towels can reduce the chance of people getting sick. You should wash your kitchen towels at least every day. Incorporate kitchen towel cleaning when you wind down the restaurant and close up shop for the day.

Choose Towel Super Center for Exceptional Kitchen Towels

When you're running an industrial kitchen, there's a significant demand for towels. You need affordable, bulk orders to gather enough kitchen towels for your staff. At Towel Super Center, we offer a wide array of deals on reliable kitchen towels.

We construct our kitchen towels from top-notch materials that can speedily dry your dishes, employees' hands and counters. We also package them to lower shipping costs for optimal savings for your restaurant.

Towel Super Center is the answer to your wholesale kitchen towel needs. If you're looking to stock your restaurant with towels, shop our broad towel selection for your kitchen today.

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