A towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar knife enthusiast can have

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DaveInMesa

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At least, that's the advice from the Guide to the Galaxy, more or less, with a little adjusting to fit. The question is... what KIND of towel?

Now, before one of you Admins moves this to the Off-Topic room, this is actually a serious knife-related question. Everyone agrees that carbon knives should be (washed and) dried after each use, but no one says what to use for that all-important task. What difference does it make, you ask? Well, if you were afflicted with the pathetic excuses for toweling that seem to be all that's available in my area, having driven all the useful towels into exile, apparently, you would not ask such silly questions.

Now that I am no longer affiliated with any restaurants and, therefore, persona non grata at my local supply store, I find myself stuck with an assortment of essentially useless cloths that seem to actively repel water, rather than absorbing it. So, where does a non-professional find decent, absorbent kitchen towels, these days? Preferably without spending a fortune on them. It seems like such a simple thing, but it's trickier than one would expect.
 

cheflivengood

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Paper towels. not being cheeky either. I have very expensive knives that I grind a re-etch myself. I wouldn't trust any cotton, poly, etc to dry them after washing. They also have the advantage of being cheap so you can use oil with them as well which I wouldn't want to use with cotton.
 

StonedEdge

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Ikea has good kitchen towels in various sizes that actually absorb instead of simply spreading liquid around, for next to nothing.
 

El Pescador

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I like linen. They seem to be much better at absorbing water.
 

K813zra

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I use the Fukin that Jon sells. I picked one up because they were cheap and I actually like them. Before that I used a Tenugui that I got from Watanabe but it is kind of scratchy on some of the softer stainless cladding. What I do not like are those micro fiber towels, they repel water and leave little fuzzy things all over the place.

paper towels do work well but my wife finds buying them to be wasteful, the same reason we use cloth napkins.
 

WildBoar

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paper towels do work well but my wife finds buying them to be wasteful, the same reason we use cloth napkins.
Ah, so she likes using the limited clean drinking water on laundering additional items. And releasing more detergent out into the water treatment plants, which results in more treatment chemicals being used.

:sofa:
 

K813zra

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Ah, so she likes using the limited clean drinking water on laundering additional items. And releasing more detergent out into the water treatment plants, which results in more treatment chemicals being used.

:sofa:
I never said we used clean water. :bigeek:
 

TheCaptain

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The Kohls brand has a line that is super absorbent. They're getting harder to find with them carrying all the food network heat embossed pattern crap.
 

foody518

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Next time I place an order at JKI, I'm definitely planning on picking up at least one of his Fukin
Also...I recall last year Maksim had a Towel Day Sale...maybe he'll do it again :)
 

milkbaby

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I like a really plush and soft cotton hand towel for the initial dry then a cheapie poly microfiber total for the final wipe down. The microfiber seems to dry faster.
 

vlad

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Another vote for microfiber waffle towels. Tried a bunch of different ones. These from Amazon have been great performers. Soak up water like a sponge and dry quickly. Bunch of different colors to boot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AV47XW/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

One caution, however, and that's warm wash and dry. If they get too hot, they loose their remarkable absorbancy. I learned that the hard way.
 
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XooMG

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If I get towels that feel promising but absorb poorly, I run them through a few dryer cycles with some denim or whatever and no fabric softener or anti-static sheets.
 

Marek07

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I like a really plush and soft cotton hand towel for the initial dry then a cheapie poly microfiber total for the final wipe down. The microfiber seems to dry faster.
:plus1:
Hand towels over tea towels for sure plus microfibre - but the order of use is dependant on quality/dryness at hand. My tshirt or paper towels as a standby.
 

RDalman

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Linen. I have some old that my grandmother made. I will use them until they fall apart completely. The non fluffy kind.
 

BloodrootVW

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Williams Sonoma makes a good hand towel. We use also the paper shop towels.
 

El Pescador

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My issue is that I can't use a microfiber tower to pull stuff out of the over because it melts/ loses it absorbency. Now I need to have 2 towels, one for the sink and one for the oven.
 

LucasFur

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this is actually a decent topic. - my kitchen towels seem to range from water repelling (after a wash) to food attracting (mid-prep wipe off).
 

milkbaby

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I found what I think to be the ideal kitchen towel. I get these professional cloths from Unger Industries. The wear like nails, are the perfect size and are considerable more hydrophilic and have more surface area than any paper product. I buy in bulk.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G5WNQDE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Thanks for the link, those look nice. For the microfiber I've actually been getting by with dollar store cheapies, would like to try a nicer towel.

Also, I only air dry my microfiber towels. I noticed that they can get too hot in a dryer, so I treat them like my technical fabric athletic clothing, i.e. wash then hang to air dry only.

I like the blue shop towels for glass cleaning too, but due to the cost I only use them when doing an oil finish on my wooden handles.

Great thread topic! :doublethumbsup:
 
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DaveInMesa

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Another vote for microfiber waffle towels. Tried a bunch of different ones. These from Amazon have been great performers. Soak up water like a sponge and dry quickly. Bunch of different colors to boot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AV47XW/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

One caution, however, and that's warm wash and dry. If they get too hot, they loose their remarkable absorbancy. I learned that the hard way.
I wonder if that's why my microfiber towels act more like plastic bags than towels.
 
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DaveInMesa

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...they can get too hot in a dryer, so I treat them like my technical fabric athletic clothing, i.e. wash then hang to air dry only.
Hmm. Sounds like I've been doing that wrong, too :lol2: It's interesting that even some of the 100% cotton towels say to avoid hot dryers. Maybe the shrinkage makes the weave too tight to work well?

Great thread topic! :doublethumbsup:
I was half expecting either nothing but crickets or a ton of disdain for asking such a dumb question. But, it seems like a lot of people think it's worth discussing.
 

kurwamac

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I have a bloody large stack (50) of oven cloths that I borrowed from an employer, which are the only ones I'll use due to being overly familiarised to their shape and grip (have a very nasty burn from oven gloves as a substitute). They absorb the everloving **** out of oil and water, which works for me. I'll see if I can find a pic
 

aaamax

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I like these from Amazon more than the ones available at work. Much more than some available at work.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KM2RZWM/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

These look exactly like the ones 90% of the kitchens use here. We probably should clarify what "wipe after each use" means. I use only high carbon and zero s.s. and can go 15-20 minutes with the blade dripping wet if processing the same material. Then she gets a wipe down, but not completely dry until after my shift or knife is not to be used for a length of time. The last wipe down is the paper towel and usually with a touch of olive oil. Nothing like a touch of oil after a nice day's build up of patina. Especially after processing a case of pineapple, onions and then the cooked meat. I swear the knife looks HAPPY! Yes friends, I've been on this site too long...lol
Cheers.
 
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Triggaaar

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Paper towels. not being cheeky either. I have very expensive knives that I grind a re-etch myself. I wouldn't trust any cotton, poly, etc to dry them after washing.
What? Your knives are so delicate that they'd be damaged by a gentle wipe with a piece of cotton?
 

malexthekid

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He means by then not drying it properly or holding grit and scratching the blade
 

Triggaaar

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He means by then not drying it properly or holding grit and scratching the blade
Ok, I could understand if it was holding grit. But if you only use the towel for your very clean knives, there'd be no grit to hold, right? And if it's not drying properly, you need a different towel.

I see no problem with using paper towels, but then I don't see a problem with a cotton towel either.
 
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