Criteria for Choosing an Organic Towel

bathroom kitchen Jul 27, 2018

by editorial team and Sophia Ruan Gushée


Most people don't realize that their towels can be a source of toxic exposures. When selecting new towels, you should know key ways to select healthier ones. With informed perspective, you can pick healthier bath towels, kitchen towels, and swimming towels.

What's wrong with non-organic towels?

Non-organic towels are often made from petrochemicals. Materials used to create non-organic towels can include rayon, polyester, or other synthetic fabrics—all made from petrochemicals. In addition, these synthetic fabrics can be treated with additional chemicals for colors and other properties (like resistance to wrinkles, bacteria, and stains). These synthetic fabrics can involve chlorine, pesticides, and dioxin. Some of these chemicals are toxic.

Harmful effects of these chemicals on human health may include cancer, reduced fertility, birth defects, and nervous and immune system damage. Toxic exposures from your towels are probably not going to tip your health over the edge. However, whenever you can reduce unnecessary toxic exposures, why not do so?!

How do organic towels help improve your health?

Using organic towels can help you reduce your exposure to chemicals found in synthetic fabrics and dyes. These chemicals may contribute to various health conditions. In addition, choosing organic towels can help support businesses that are more mindful of our environment. Therefore, choosing organic products contributes to businesses that are trying to reduce contamination in our air, water, and soil.

Tips for selecting an organic towel

When choosing an organic towel, there are several materials to choose from: organic linen, cotton, hemp. Consider these five things when choosing a towel that’s right for you.

  1. 100% Organic Fiber Towels. Choosing a fabric that’s made of 100% organic fibers, and is also certified organic, is the safest option. If you cannot buy organic, then still choose natural fibers, such as cotton (though conventional cotton tends to pollute our environment with lots of pesticides), linen or hemp.
  2. Natural Dyes. Organic towels can be colored with synthetic or natural dyes. Choose towels colored by natural dyes. 
  3. Free of Finishes. Most certified organic towels are either free of finishes, or have very small amounts of finish on them. Less is better. You can ask the manufacturer, or retailer, which organic towel has the least amount of finishes.
  4. Thickness. Different material types have different thicknesses. Choose a thickness that makes you feel good about the towel you will be using. Perhaps that means buying a thicker organic towel for the bathroom, and thinner organic towel for drying dishes. Or choose thicker towels for both. Get whichever thickness you prefer.
  5. Patterns, Style, Design. Organic towels come in different colors, designs, and patterns. Choose a color scheme and design that works well in your home. 


Non-organic towels are typically made from synthetic materials and dyes, which have several harmful chemicals. These chemicals may contribute to cancer, birth defects, and damage to the immune and nervous systems. By choosing organic towels, you can reduce your exposure to some of these toxic chemicals.

Opt for organic fibers and 100% natural dyes that are free of chemical finishes. Find a thickness, pattern, or style that works well in your home.


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