The Secret Life of a Tea Towel

The secret life of a tea towel

Let’s play a game of ‘Who am I?’. Ready?

First hint - I’m often left by the kitchen sink or over the oven door. Sometimes even on the dining table. 

Any ideas? 

Second hint – I’m a great place for germs to collect.

Getting warmer? No? 

Third hint - you probably use me to dry your hands several times a day, after you’ve washed them clean.

That’s it, you’ve got it. I’m your average household tea towel.

  • One of the most overlooked items in the home...

    A tea towel will spend its day being used for all sorts of things, from cleaning up spillages to covering food. Protecting your hands from hot or sharp surfaces to swotting away flies or greedy fingers. And almost certainly, drying our hands after we’ve washed them at the kitchen sink.

    So why is it so important to start giving a bit more thought to your tea towels? After all, for most of us they are an important part of any kitchen armoury. Well, when you stop to consider everything that a tea towel is used for over the course of a day, you might start to realise just how unhygienic they can be…

  • Daily activities of the tea towel...

    An average morning might see a tea towel used to wipe up some of your spilled coffee, dabbing some jam off a child’s face or quickly drying your hands. The dog might even playfully tug it out of your hands thinking it’s a chew toy. 

    By lunch, perhaps the family might have all washed and dried their hands with the tea towel again after returning from a quick mid-morning walk around the park. You might also use it as a sub for oven mitts to pull a pizza out of the oven, or to cover some leftover bread after you’ve made the sandwiches.

    In the evening, once virtual lessons are over and parents have logged off from work, it’s dinner time – and no doubt you’ll have given your hands a good wash and dry before handling any food. And let’s not forget how the trusty tea towel could be a bib for any messy eaters (here’s looking at you, dad), or even a fan for the smoke detector if you’ve taken your eye off the ball and burned the chips, again.

  • And the lesser known activities...

    Those are just the usual uses, of course – a tea towel also might make the perfect shepherd’s headdress for the Nativity play, a makeshift fly swat, or just a handy placemat for TV dinners.


So, after just one day’s use, a tea towel might be one of the least hygienic items in the house, picking up germs from hands and surfaces. Then imagine after several days…

Tea towels can harbour germs from so many different places, so using one to dry your hands after washing them is counterproductive. 

You know how to wash your hands, you’ve stocked up on antibacterial wipes and you’ve already asked the question “How long does hand sanitiser   last?”. It’s now time to consider putting that tea towel aside and using something more hygienic to dry your hands with, too.

Try keeping a separate hand towel near the sink just for drying clean hands (no food, no spillages) and washing it at a high temperature as often as possible. Or, if you want a no-brainer why not try disposable hand towels? Kleenex Proactive Care Hygienic Hand Towels are made for the job, providing you with the most hygienic way to dry your hands. They’re single-use so you can wipe off and throw any germs straight in the bin, and your old tea towel can retire to a life of peace, folded in the cupboard until Nativity headdress duty calls. 

Check out the full benefits of the Kleenex Proactive Care Hygienic Hand Towels range.


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