Organizing bathroom towels

The bathroom is one of the hardest-working rooms in your home, and that’s why proper organization is crucial. I’ll leave the medicine cabinet, cleaning supplies, etc. for another time. In this article, I want to look at towels.

In my house, we have three types of towels:

  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Beach towels

What to buy

When purchasing towels — and this may sound counter-intuitive — ignore your experience with in-store softness. Wise manufacturers add softeners to their products for a great, but temporary, feel. Instead, check the label for 100% water-loving combed cotton. The combing process removes the shorter strands, resulting in a towel of longer fibers that will absorb lots of water and resist pilling.

Give your potential purchase a good visual inspection, too. If you can see the towel’s surface through the fibers, put it back and move on. You’re looking for a dense collection of fibers. Also, pick it up. A great towel will feel heavier than it looks. Finally, look for towels with double stitching on the edges. This will reduce fraying and help ensure a long life.

Most of this applies to buying beach towels, with two exceptions. First, look for selvage edging instead of double stitching. Selvage resists unraveling, which is important as beach towels are subjected to rougher treatment than those used in the bathroom. Also, look for a yarn-dyed pattern, meaning each individual loop is dyed through. It will be less likely to fade.

When you’re choosing towels, consider simplifying your laundry routine as well. As color-saturated towels should be washed separately, consider choosing towels of the same color, or in the same color family.

How many to buy

We suggest three towels per person (one in use, one for the linen closet, and one for the laundry). Although, people who do laundry frequently may just need two (one in use, and one for the laundry). You should also buy two bath and hand towels for each guest, plus two washcloths daily.

Where to store them

I like to keep towels highly visible and accessible. The greatest trick I’ve seen in a while is to use shelf dividers. You’ll easily fit three or four folded towels between brackets and up to six if the towels are rolled.

There needs to be a place to dry towels. I have a peg rack on the back of the door that is a good spot for wet towels to dry off. Our beach towels dry outside.

How to determine what to replace

When towels get frayed, snagged, or begin to fall apart, it’s time to get rid of them. Washcloths can become rags for the household or garage, while larger towels can be donated to an animal shelter.

You can easily stay on top of this area with a little planning and careful shopping. You can check out our other post on managing towels and if you have any tips to share with fellow readers, please add them in the comments below.

5 Comments for “Organizing bathroom towels”

  1. posted by G. on

    Don’t forget to consider how heavy the towels are when wet. While thick fluffy towels might be nice to dry off with, my mom had trouble hoisting them out of the washing machine due the the weight. She also hated how long they took to dry in the dryer.

  2. posted by Pat on

    Another use for old bath towels: We keep a Rubbermaid tub of old towels in the garage. My husband likes to dry the car when he comes in from a heavy rainakes a lot of the grime off. The car looks good and it saves trips to the car wash. It helps that I don’t mind washing and folding towels!

  3. posted by Tina on

    I prefer to buy thinner towels. They dry faster, both between showers and in the dryer, and I find them more invigorating to towel off with. On another note, I try to remember to wash and dry towels a couple times before use. Otherwise they leave so much lint on your skin!

  4. posted by Dave on

    I kickstarted (but am in NO way otherwise affiliated with) Onsen Towels ( They are thin, and because of the unique weave they dry very quickly – like a-shower-in-the-morning-and-another-after-the-gym-at-lunch quickly. I prefer a thick fluffy towel, but it’s hard to argue with how much better these are.

  5. posted by SkiptheBS on

    Seconding Tina. In Southern summers, a wet towel sometimes starts to mildew before it dries.

    Military grade towels are similar to expensive camping towels but you get a larger size for less money. They come in basic black, soak up their weight in water, and dry incredibly fast. I’m thinking of ordering an extra to use for sewing wet-hair turbans. They may not be guest-room pretty but they surely are efficient.

Comments are closed.