Guest Towels in the Bathroom: Are They Off Limits?

It is always an adventure to settle down with my cup of coffee in the morning and read through my emails to see what is concerning my darling friends. I came across this interesting problem regarding towels.

My friend went to a First Communion party at her niece’s house and when she used the bathroom facilities, was dumbstruck that her niece had only provided a small hand towel for the fifty or so guests that she had in her home. Her shock did not come from the fact that there was only one towel, however. The shock came from seeing others using the facilities and then discovering that the towel was perfectly dry…it had not been used! She found wet spots near the sink and the soap was wet, so hands seemed to be washed…so why not use the towel?

I can recall a time in my childhood when I was admonished by my dear mother to not use the ‘guest towels’ that were specially hung on a bar near the sink. So, I never used them. She had elevated them to sacred status in my impressionable mind. For years, even when using the facilities in other’s homes, I avoided touching the guest towels and wiped my hands on my pants! (Yes, I know…the horror of it!!!)

I believe that there can be a solution to this problem, however.

  1. Provide enough small washcloths for a couple of dozen to use. A beautiful stack right next to the sink. As the host, you use the first one…crumple it up, place it in a basket near the sink, and hope that this subtle message tells other guests…it is OK to use the towels! 
  2. Get a festive box of disposable paper towels and leave them near the sink. Perhaps guests do not want to feel that they are creating more laundry for the host, but will feel free to use paper towels.
  3. Leave no towel in the guest bath at all, after all no one is using it anyway. Watch as people leave the bathroom. You take a drink for every person who comes out with wipe marks on their pants (kidding!)

Best Clean Hand Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

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