Where is the towel that fits my needs?
December 6, 2019 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I have a chronically ill pet, and because of their symptoms I need a constant stream of towels that I lay down for their use then wash. The pet bodily fluids + constant washing + occasional need to say "this is too gross" and toss it in the trash have left my towel supply depleted. I need reasonably sturdy towels that I can use and wash, over and over, and sometimes toss. Where are the towels of my dreams? Specifics inside.

I need:
-- 10-20 towels
-- bath-size
-- not white (so I can easily tell them from my "good" towels that I don't use for pet purposes)
-- they don't need to be superabsorbent (they have to be frequently changed for Reasons)
-- orderable online
-- and yep I don't want to spend a lot of money

Honestly, the pet probably isn't long for this world, so if the answer is "buy these 50 cheap towels and use them once or twice before they each fall apart" that's okay too.
posted by BlahLaLa to Shopping (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We use IKEA Frajen towels for this purpose. They come in a changing assortment of colors and are sort of nubby. Not super absorbent, thinnish, perfectly serviceable.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

+1 ikea under exactly the same circumstances.

posted by supercres at 11:55 AM on December 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

A rag company may be your best bet. They sell in bulk, and have various sizes and colors.
posted by Gneisskate at 11:56 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just want to direct attention back to my "orderable online" need. Thank you.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:58 AM on December 6, 2019

Blue surgical towels will work great for you and the non-sterilized version is super cheap. A bit smaller than bath towels at 16 x 25 but at $24 for 50, I don't think you'll find anything cheaper.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 12:07 PM on December 6, 2019 [12 favorites]

Amazon has some that they bill as "pool/gym towels" that might fit the bill. The ones I linked are 6 for $24.99, not sure if that's the price range you're thinking. Or Target Everyday bath towels are usually $3.99 each, currently $3.79 and Room Essentials towels are currently $2.85 each.
posted by mskyle at 12:09 PM on December 6, 2019

Since you might want the ability to bleach these over and over, and white is great for that (and other colors might become white), consider IDing them by putting a safety pin on one corner or using a permanent marker to make a heart on one corner.
posted by amtho at 1:24 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also - I have white towels for me and white towels for cleaning/spills, and I easily distinguish them because one has a kind of wide ribbed texture.
posted by amtho at 1:25 PM on December 6, 2019

If thrift stores aren't an option, due to not being orderable online, I honestly get the best prices by waiting til Macy's has a sale. Currently, for instance, this bath towel is $5.59 and it's a nice cotton.

I also check Sportsmans Guide. They don't have what need right now but when they do, you can sometimes get amazing deals on military surplus towels so long as you're okay with them coming in bundles of 10 or more. (They only have washcloths at the moment.)

Usually, though, thrift stores are the cheapest way to go.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:27 PM on December 6, 2019

I use those white cheap terry cloth like towels you can get at auto part store for exactly this.
posted by Rad_Boy at 1:30 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know where you're located, but when I open the IKEA US website, I'm able to add IKEA Frajen bath towels to an online shopping bag and input my ZIP for delivery options. (Here in Southern California, the widget calculated $5 for shipping.) Frajen towels are on Amazon, too, for more $ but greater color choice.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:03 PM on December 6, 2019

Are pet diapers out of the question? Only asking because I used them on an elderly cat who had lost bladder control.

Do you have dollar store nearby? They also carry cheap towels; and check out any estate sales - you can get towels/blankets etc for a song at them.
posted by annieb at 3:04 PM on December 6, 2019

Kohl’s currently has this bath towel On sale for $3.74 USD after a coupon code is used at checkout.
posted by epj at 6:31 PM on December 6, 2019

So sorry. :( Amazon has some good deals if you search "bulk towels." Here's one option. There are also painters' rags.
posted by slidell at 9:54 PM on December 6, 2019

or try searching "gym towels 12 pack" on amazon
posted by mr vino at 11:08 PM on December 6, 2019

You might try puppy pee pads. I've got several carpeting the cat's room for unexpected barfing sessions. He normally goes right to them but being a cat, frequently tries to cover his deeds afterwards, sometimes stepping in it and then tracking it on the bare floor. YMMV.
posted by Gino on the Meta at 1:11 PM on December 7, 2019

Thank you for the suggestions. Also, I think an answer got deleted that mentioned freecycle and "ask your neighbors" -- that was actually a really good suggestion, thanks.
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:29 PM on December 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah! I've gotten a ton of cheap linens from thrift stores / Salvation Army stores.
posted by amtho at 10:38 PM on December 7, 2019

Towel Supercenter has bulk buys, & color and size variety. Drop-down menus allow shopping by application, grade/quality, or size. Some examples: economy-quality 100% cotton bath towels 22X44 w/Blue Stripe 17.99 per dozen; at 24X48 size they're 22.99 per dozen; 22x44-Premium Dark Brown Bath towels 100% Cotton, 24.99/dozen, w/ same pricing for charcoal or navy. There's an application category for pet-grooming towels in several colors, but towel size tops out at 16x27.

(I think the freecycle/query neighbors answer was deleted because of the re-emphasized "orderable online" need in the first update.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:44 AM on December 8, 2019

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