This $11 Kitchen Tool Saves Me Hundreds on Paper Towels

Hands down the smartest solution for hanging my kitchen towels.

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OTC towel bar gif

Simply Recipes / Jennifer Causey

Welcome to One Simply Terrific Thing, our ongoing series highlighting the small tools and kitchen goods that make life better.

In most apartments I’ve lived in, the stove was close enough to the kitchen sink to hang a tea towel over the bar across the oven door for drying my hands and dishes. But when I moved to a new place a few years ago, the oven was on the opposite side of the kitchen, far from the sink. Because I’m lazy, I’d just reach for a paper towel that's conveniently right next to the sink. Then, I tried using a small adhesive hook to hang my towels by the tags, but it looked ugly, often fell, and then the adhesive wore off.

So I searched Amazon for a better solution that turned out to be the best solution. mDesign over-the-cabinet towel bars (only $10.49 at the time of writing this story) are sturdy yet chic-looking bars that easily slip onto the top of a cupboard door right below my kitchen sink. The door still closes easily without catching on anything. Plus, it comes in a few finishes, so I could find one to match my kitchen hardware.

OTC kitchen towel bar

Simply Recipes / Jennifer Causey

Hanging a towel on the temporary yet durable towel bar makes it so much easier for me to choose cloth towels over paper towels day in and day out, whether to dry off produce after giving it a bath, to wring out potatoes before making latkes, and to wipe down my countertops. 

I actually bought a second bar to hang a larger, more absorbent towel for drying dishes while keeping the first bar for a less-functional but far more fun and kitschy decorative towel that still gets the job done. (Two of my current favorites are a set from illustrator Marianna Fierro’s mortadella towels, and I’m eyeing these fun mushroom ladies by artist Cecilia Granata next.)

I haven’t done an exact calculation of how much my paper towel usage has gone down since purchasing these bars, but given that I haven’t hit Costco for a megapack since earlier this year, I estimate it’s been cut in half. And over several years, this over-the-counter towel bar is going to save me hundreds on paper towels. Meanwhile, the quirky fun décor in my kitchen has definitely doubled thanks to my fun kitchen towels and everything is nice and dry!

BUY IT: Over-the-Counter Towel Bar