Practicing Japanese Hospitality: Oshibori

Asian culture has inspired many of America’s traditions, including using creative bento boxes and trying to make authentic sushi at home. Now, many people are learning about oshibori.

Oshibori is an innovative way to use towels to show tremendous levels of hospitality and promote hygienic practices. In Japan, eateries give patrons warm, moist towels — called oshibori — on a small tray. The customers then use the oshibori to cleanse their hands before enjoying a meal.

In addition to sanitizing, oshibori can also become a source of comfort. Diners enjoy quickly heating cold hands with the help of a soothing, lukewarm towel.


Beyond Oshibori Basics

Whether you’re a restaurant owner or another business leader who wants to hand your clients oshibori, think outside the box. You can try different ways to mix up the oshibori experience for your guests.

Add a few drops of scented oil to your freshly laundered, moist oshibori towels. The aromas of eucalyptus and peppermint often energize, while lavender and vanilla tend to promote calmness and relaxation.

Try different sizes of oshibori hand towels. You could use anything from a regular-sized hand towel to a generously cut washcloth for your oshibori.

Choose colorful oshibori. Classic oshibori tend to be white. However, you can easily use colorful towels. For example, if your company logo includes yellow or brown, buy hand towels that echo those hues.

Distribute cold oshibori when it’s hot outside. Oshibori does not need to be hot — giving someone a cool towel in the middle of summer makes much more sense.

Go beyond the sensibly folded oshibori shape. Most oshibori are folded into a neat rectangle. Do you want to make a bigger splash or visual impact with an American twist? Try a different form  — you could even present your guests with oshibori animals!


Caring for Your Oshibori Towels

As you might suspect, oshibori should only be used once before laundering. This means you have to order a large enough supply of wholesale hand towels, so you never run out of fresh oshibori. 

When washing your oshibori, use a detergent that’s good for people with sensitive skin. Though oshibori should be used to wipe the hands, some patrons may wash their faces or necks with a cool oshibori. Avoid using any liquid softener, as it can leave residue on the hot towels.

An easy way to ensure that you have a moist, comfortable oshibori is to stop the dryer before your hand towels are dry. Doing this requires a bit of timing, though. You don’t want your oshibori towels to sit wet in a dryer for too long. If they do, they could take on an unpleasant, musty odor and require re-laundering.

Of course, you can also create hot towels for oshibori by running a bit of warm water over your towels. Just make sure the water isn’t boiling or scalding. It should feel a bit steamy but not too intense. Always wring out and test your most recent oshibori batch before giving any to your customers.


Ordering Oshibori Hand Towels

Do you like the idea of surprising your clients with an oshibori towel during their next visit to your facility? Towel Super Center offers plenty of washcloths and fluffy, all-cotton hand towels at deeply discounted prices. Save money and impress your visitors by leveraging one of the most appealing Japanese traditions. Order your hand towels today! 

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