The Reason You Should Never Store Dish Towels In Your Kitchen Pantry

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A kitchen pantry makes organization and storage easier and much more discreet, but it can also pose potential issues. Organizationally, it becomes far too easy to haphazardly throw everything in the pantry with no order or reason. However, storing inappropriate items here can also be a cause for concern in terms of food safety and longevity. For instance, this space may seem perfect for your chocolate and maple syrup, but these will last much longer in the fridge and can even introduce mold to the other food stored in a dark, warm environment.

While a pantry is a great place to store dry foods, extra pots and pans, unopened condiments, and some produce, introducing other objects may lead to those items expiring or tarnishing quicker than you intended or causing serious health concerns. Chemicals and cleaning supplies, for example, shouldn't be stored with your food items, especially if you have young children that may not know the difference. However, the same can surprisingly be said about seemingly harmless items found in nearly every kitchen — dish towels.

Dish towels can attract bugs to your pantry

Storing dish towels in your pantry may make perfect sense — there are whole closets in most homes dedicated to linen storage, after all. But unfortunately, dish towels can attract moths and other insects into your pantry, which is cause for concern for those who take food safety seriously.

If your dish towels aren't completely dry, there's a risk that they could spread mildew or mold. However, even clean and dry towels can lead to trouble since moths are attracted to any natural textile — cotton, wool, silk, etc. — and even fabrics with partially synthetic blends. Rags with stains or leftover food residue should also be kept from the pantry since months will flock to these items. If you reuse a dish towel to wipe down your kitchen, let it dry on the edge of your sink. You can also use a specialty tool that attaches to the inside of your sink, like this one from Amazon.

Alternate dish towel storage

There are plenty of places to store clean dish towels instead of your pantry. Some simple alternatives include your linen closet or a drawer in your kitchen. However, other organization and storage options exist if you don't have excess drawer space or your linen closet is too far away.

For displaying purposes, consider installing a wall-mounted towel rack. While you likely won't be able to store every dish towel here, it'll make grabbing a clean towel easier. On the other hand, if you have a lot of towels you need to store, you have options. For instance, you can use a utensil holder, roll up your towels and store them upright, fold them away in a countertop drawer, or find another solution that works for you. In addition, some dish towels, especially decorative ones, have loops that allow you to hang them on hooks, which is excellent if you have lots of wall space. There are also adhesive wall holders, like these from Amazon, which will save a bit of space.