Kitchn Love Letters

The Unexpected $28 Kitchen Accessory That’s Become My New MVP (Most Valuable Purchase)

published Nov 2, 2023
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Credit: Erin Derby

Generally, the kitchen isn’t the place in your house where you’re most looking forward to surprises. However, if there’s one good thing that’s surprised me about my kitchen, it’s that a pair of dish towels has proven to be one of my MVPs (most valuable purchases). Dish. Towels. Yes, you read that right! I discovered them after taking a break from a drinks celebration and dipping into Big Night, a dinner party essentials shop in NYC, to window shop. I’d been wanting new dish towels for a while now, but it was low priority — that is, until I spotted this waffle towel set from Hawkins New York’s Essential Waffle Towel Dish Towel Set. I thought they were so cute and fun that I decided to just go for it. And I’m glad I did — this set of dish towels literally changed my life … in the kitchen, that is.

What Is the Hawkins New York Essential Waffle Dish Towel Set

Made from 100 percent cotton, Hawkins New York’s soft waffle-weave towels are generously sized (each measures 29″L x 21.5″W), super absorbent, and quick-drying, so you don’t have to worry about them picking up a mildew smell. Besides standard white, they come in five other color pairs that’ll suit any kitchen decor: mustard/bronze, blush/terracotta, sage/olive, sky/peacock, and light grey/dark grey. Caring for the towels is easy, too — just machine wash on cold (do not add bleach), then tumble dry on low.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

Why I Love the Hawkins New York Essential Waffle Dish Towel Set

My first set of dish towels was the same brand my parents used because it was what I knew. But, frankly speaking, they weren’t great. First, the towels were thin and flimsy. Second, they did not get the memo that, as towels, they are meant to absorb water. Third, my biggest gripe, is that they leave lint EVERYWHERE. I know I am not the only one who can relate. There I am hand-drying dishes or Tupperware only to find lint on them. It was so annoying I’d end up resorting to using paper towels or resigning all my kitchen surfaces to becoming a drying rack for hours. Then, I tried using a dish towel I received as a present from a co-worker. It was thin, sort of starchy, and definitely meant to be decor and not meant to work (the dream, TBH). 

But that all changed with the Hawkins New York dish towels. First, I love the color opinions. They’re muted but lively, fun, and basically double as decor! I have the mustard/bronze combo because I like yellow and wanted to add something more vibrant to my kitchen. But the next purchase will probably be sage/olive for something cooler.

Credit: Andrea Kaufman

Second, they are thick towels. They understand their job is to absorb water, and they do so quickly — and then they dry quickly too! Third, and most importantly for my temper and arm muscles, they do not leave lint on my dishes. There are no traces of that towel on anything I dry, and it’s made a world of difference.

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen, I love baking and cooking, so having the right tools matters a lot. There are a good amount of dishes and tools that I handwash (pans, knives, certain utensils, etc.) and now I don’t have the dread of wasting paper towels or using up valuable space to air dry everything. I’m much more efficient and as a result, way happier.