Feels Like Home: Guest Towel Etiquette Lessons from William Hanson
You can tell a lot about someone from their bathroom. My own are half bathroom, half temple, in particular the ones for my guests. There are so many little touches – little luxuries – that hosts can do to make bathrooms even more inviting for their visitors. The most important touch, in my view, is towels. As part of Christy’s Feels Like Home campaign, I have decided to share my thoughts with you on the ‘etiquette’ of towels for guests.
Who doesn’t love a clean, fresh, soft towel? Clearly there are a few who don’t appreciate this little luxury – I returned a few weeks ago from a friend’s house where the towels provided were like sheets of sandpaper. Quite an achievement to get them to that condition, I must say.
To achieve peak softness you must of course buy good quality towels in the first place. You needn’t remortgage for this – a quality towel isn’t as dear as you’d think (and the towels you can buy in a certain well-known shop in London for three figures feel really oily and uninviting). A towel such as Christy’s Supreme Hygro® carry the COTTON USA international trademark for quality U.S cotton-rich products, which means short of drying off in a cloud you cannot get softer.
Having bought good quality towels, you need to launder them properly. Follow the care guide on the towels but washing somewhere between 40 and 60s degrees C is best, followed by a gentle tumble dry and then finish by air-drying them. (If you do wash below 60 degrees make sure you use a laundry sanitiser product – bacteria die at 62 degrees so anything lower, without a sanitiser, won’t kill the germs. It is very bad form to pass bacteria on to your guests).
Once you have your quality towels you should pre-wash before use or else they won’t absorb any water when ‘in use’ (go easy with fabric softener when washing for the first time or in future as this can prevent water absorption as well – just a splash will do).
When getting a bedroom and bathroom ready for guests where should you place the towels? My pet hate for some years has been hosts plonking towels on the bed when about four paces away, in the en suite bathroom, is a perfectly good towel rail. Towels should only be placed on the bed if it is not en suite and they will have to carry their towels to a bathroom along the landing. For the correct way to fold your towels, take a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpEHoS89G6lKSWiIGixYsdg.
What colour should these towels be, however? You won’t go wrong with white… so long as you keep them white. Dusky pink or dusky blue are my two other favourite alternatives.
There is a strong case for the flannel or face cloth you provide the guests with to be a darker colour, certainly not brilliant white. If the guest is wearing makeup they may really worry about using a white cloth to help remove it. A nice touch I once saw was when a host placed two flannels out for the guest – one that matched the white towels and one that was a deeper blue and had ‘makeup’ embroidered across it. How thoughtful!
If you would like to upgrade your guest towels, Christy, along with COTTON USA are running a giveaway to win a room makeover including towels, bathrobes and bedlinen, which you can enter here: http://www.christy-towels.com/win-makeover-feelslikehome.