Why Keeping your Tea Towels clean is the cornerstone of Kitchen Hygiene

Tea Towels, an important instrument in any kitchen, are used often to dry kitchen utensils. However, do we clean these tea towels regularly and properly, considering the frequency of use? Through daily use, they are regularly exposed to a large variety of germs, making them the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. When using tea towels to dry dishes, or mop up the little spill in the corner, do you know how to keep your towels clean and odour free? Below are some factors to keep in mind in order to keep your kitchen as hygienic as possible!

Washing Frequency

How often do you wash your tea towels? Once a day, once a week or just when it is dirty? For brand new tea towels, it is recommended to wash them before using them in order to increase absorbency, which will also improve over several washes. Tea Towels should be washed as often as possible, ideally daily and soiled tea towels should be dried naturally before being thrown into the laundry basket. This prevents mildew and bacteria from developing, and stops any smells occurring.

Machine Washing

Depending on the material of your tea towels and if they’re white vs coloured, there are different recommendations for how to wash them. All tea towels should be washed separately from other items of clothing, to decrease the risk of contamination. White cotton or linen tea towels should be washed at high temperatures, while coloured ones should be washed between 30-40 degrees. All kinds should be washed using biological detergents, which have the additional effects from enzymes which can break down protein, starch and fat commonly found in food stains. If there is still an odour in your tea towels after machine washing, add a cup of white vinegar or baking soda in with your normal wash. If possible, allow the laundry to soak halfway through the cycle for best results.

Drying, Storage

If possible, tea towels should be dried outside on the line to maximise the sun’s natural disinfectant. UV light from the sun can damage the DNA of bacteria and microorganisms, killing or reducing their growth. Clean towels should be stored in a dry kitchen cupboard, while any towels that are between uses should be hung up in an open space to dry.

Why not rent your tea towels instead of washing them yourselves? At Alsco, we provide a managed rental service for food and beverage linen, including various tea towels. With Alsco’s managed rental service, we will deliver fresh linen while picking up soiled items at an agreed schedule to streamline your cleaning process. 


Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.