How to Fold a Towel.


Fluffy white folded towel on a gold florentine table beside a clawfoot bathrub.


I have nothing enlightening, intriguing or interesting to say about towels.   Nothing.  I’ve gotttttttt nothin’.

I know this because I’ve sat here staring at my computer screen for about an hour trying to think of a story about a towel.  I do not have one.  I have the same basic memories of towels everyone else has.  They’re nice when they come out of the dryer, they’re great for drying yourself off with and they make an excellent sling for carrying around a mountain goat in a pinch.

So, as I said, I have nothing new to add to the virtues of towels.

I do however, have for you a video on how to fold a towel.    Properly.

How to Fold a Towel


How to fold a towel like they do in hotels. ‘Cause stuff like this is super important. I hope to one day do a video that will teach you how to make ice. Or boil water.  Or some other manner of complicated household tasks that seems to elude us all.

Speaking of which.  Need to know how to open a package of spaghetti? 


→Like to Sweat, Swear and do Stuff? GET MY POSTS emailed to you 3 times a week←



  1. Yeah, It’s a bit late but you missed an important off label use for towels: weapon. Ya know, shnap! shanap! SNAP!
    Can’t wait for the fitted sheet tutorial. Mostly as a curiosity. I don’t care if they are wrinkled, as long as they are clean.

  2. Denise Leavens says:

    Towels, shmowels.

    THE TUB is spectacular! I love the black outside, white inside and gold fixtures. Even more I love the idea that it is a nice, relaxing tub to soak in while reading a good book or magazine, surrounded by candlelight and Vivaldi playing softly. The towel can be folded once more leaving room on the table for a glass of wine. Yeah. I’m there. You can have it back in an hour or two.

  3. Veronica says:

    I am also putting in my request for a fitted sheet tutorial. It’s haaaaard.

  4. Forget the towel! I have to know–is the table in the first picture yours? I have an exact match. Found under a huge tarp in the yard of a “trading post” outside Nashville.

    • Karen says:

      Beverly – Yup. That’s my actual towel on my actual table in my actual bathroom. I believe I got mine at a garage sale, if I remember correctly. Mine are plastic. My sister has the same Florentine ones that are wood. Much nicer. :) ~ karen

  5. you are funny and just adorable!

  6. Susan says:

    You are so much fun to watch — do tutorials on anything, say sweeping, and I’m in! Actually, could you please do one on sweeping floors while living with two very hairy dogs? That’d be awesome. Such a lonely job, not to mention seemingly pointless.

  7. Kristen says:

    This was great! I only started folding my towels this way recently, and it really does make them look so much better!

    Now, if you can do a video on how to properly fold a fitted sheet, I will be FOREVER grateful – I can never get mine to look like anything other than a messy pile of fabric.

    • Kristen says:

      And I just noticed I’m not the only one asking for the fitted sheet tutorial – apparently there is a high demand!

      • Karen says:

        Kristen – I cannot even begin to tell you how many people have asked me to do a fitted sheet tutorial. I keep putting it off for some reason. In the next few weeks. I promise! ~ karen

  8. Amy in StL says:

    I loved this! I fold my towels in a higgeldy-piggeldy fashion; some are lengthwise first, some not, the edges rarely line up. I also use this method for placing them in the linen closet. I use fabric softener recklessly; I love the scent and have yet to have one not pick up water (except for that cheap dollar store one my ex bought). I prefer to think of myself as a housekeeping rebel. My niece likes to tell me how messy my house is; this only encourages me for I have no OCD tendencies.

  9. Shauna says:

    Oh, my Mother was so good to me. I totally know how to properly fold a fitted sheet and love to teach people – silly I know. My husband thinks I’m nuts. To do it just right, you’ll need two people, but it can be done on your own. I fear I would take up way too much space trying to explain it in Karen’s comment box, so maybe I too should get around to doing a video;)

  10. Kate S. says:

    Glad to see that your “perfect” towel method is the same as mine. I’ve had to resort to threats and gouging out a few eyes in the past over other controversial “perfect” towel folding methods.

    On a related note, my husband still can’t figure out this simple fold even after seven years of marriage. I’ll have to send him your video.

  11. Rebecca says:

    To the ladies who want a fitted sheet tutorial:
    My New Year’s resolution about 3 years ago was to quit trying to do it perfectly. I’ve never been happier! Seriously, they go under all the other blankets, so nobody ever sees it anyway. Yeah, I like my cupboards organized, but no matter how hard I tried it was never up to snuff, so I just accepted imperfection. I loosely fold them into a rectangle-ish shape and smile every time I do it. I know, I’m a hard-core rebel, but you should try it some time.

  12. I’ve heard if you output pieces of juicy fruit gum squirrels (and probably chipmunks) will eat it and meet an unfourtunate demise.

    Now what you do with that informant is completely up to you.

    Good day.

  13. Langela says:

    I also would like a tutorial on fitted sheet folding. I saw a video on it at one point (I think it was teaching single men the technique) and it was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t go right away and try it so I have no idea how to do it like they showed. And I’ve long forgotten where I found it.

    • Langela says:

      BTW, it wasn’t the typical way of matching corners, etc that so many videos show. I did just see a video of a man who takes his sheets, rolls them into a ball, and stuffs them into the matching pillow case. After both sheets and the other case are rolled into balls and stuffed into the first case, he then takes it and neatly folds over the other half of the pillow case to make a nice neat, rather small, stack of an entire bed set. Interesting…

  14. Marie says:

    Also unable to see the video – see this instead:
    “An error occurred. Please try again later.”
    Will try again later so that I too can have such neat looking folded towels.

  15. Another Karen says:

    Vinegar, not fabric softener, in the final rinse. Works like a charm and the vinegary scent does not become part of the towel. They come out nice and fluffy from the dryer, smelling surprisingly fresh and clean. You’re welcome!

  16. blake says:

    I second the emotion of “How to Fold a Fitted Sheet”
    please and thank you?

  17. kate says:

    well, the really proper way to fold a towel is that the FIRST fold should be length-wise – that way when it is removed from the closet to hang on the towel rod, you do not have to unfold it and fold it length-wise (to fit the rod) AGAIN. — also, the really proper way to put the towel in the closet it to put the hem sides up and facing the front of the closet do when you need to remove it you can just grab the edge and it neatly unfolds for you.

    • Karen says:

      Kate – Mmmmm. No. LOL. ~ karen

      • Deb J. says:

        I agree with Kate. Except I fold my towels lengthwise, then in half (almost) and then roll them. Not quite half so the edges line up when rolled. Except when I fold them lengthwise then in half and half again. Or when I fold them the way Karen does. Gotta adapt to each storage situation and towel size.

      • kate says:

        even the US Navy properly folds towels with the hem sides up and out — this is a fun — thanks for the blog!

  18. Caroline says:

    I was not aware there was any other way to fold a towel! :)

  19. Renee says:

    Good morning from Snowy Colorado!

    I don’t know how I came across your blog, but I am so happy I did. I LOVE it! The researchers who recently decided that men are funnier than women have not read your blog.

    Towels,…back in the day, my mom taught me to fold them properly. Of course, my husband and his family do it differently. I unlearned the proper way for the sake of family harmony.

    The chipmunk pause in your video reminded me of the movie ‘UP’. I wanted to shout, “Squirrel!”, like the cute dog, Doug, did in the movie. (You need to see the movie to really get a laugh out of that.)

    Thanks for the entertainment, and have a great day!

    • Karen says:

      Well, thanks Renee! No snow around Toronto, Ontario yet but possibility of flurries tonight. I love that you started your comment with a weather report. I’m kind of weather obsessed. Thanks for the compliments and I’m glad you found my blog. ~ karen!

  20. Lisa says:

    Hmm. I never fold my towels, I just hang them back on the hooks after I wash them. I guess I could go fold the dog towels in the basement, but that seems rather extreme.

    Also, I cannot fold a fitted sheet either, and Martha Stewart could not help me. Fold it the best you can and stuff the whole linen set inside one of the pillowcases so you can’t see it.

  21. latenac says:

    This is the way my husband folds towels which I’ve been trying to unteach him since our towels go from the linen closet to the towel rack and this method doesn’t render them easy to hang without refolding them.

  22. Ruth says:

    Maybe the chipmunk doesn’t like chickens.

  23. magali says:

    my boyfriend had to accept to fold the towels this way because if I fold his t-shirts they *must* be folded like they are in stores.

  24. Cheap Chick says:

    Love this! I really want to go refold all my towels now!!!!

  25. toni says:

    I am a rebel!…That’s right….I roll my towels…I am also seeking therapy today at 4pm…that will be one of the many things we will discuss….that and compulsive sheet ironing….Toni

  26. Cynna says:

    Re/ fabric softener on towels–not a good thing. It puts a “coating” on the towel therefore depleting its ability to absorb water. Which is what a towel is supposed to do.
    PS – We were taught to fold towels lengthwise!

    • lynn says:

      Fabric softener also ‘coats’ the mesh of your lint screen thereby restricting the airflow. Test: thake said lintscreen and run it under hot water –
      if it’s clogged, it will hold water. Brush with a stiff brush – water test again and it should run right through. Fireman told me this because dryer fires are common and this is one reason why. Whew! Public service message….

      PS – I also tuck my towel tags Karen – surprised you don’t!! :)

  27. Sarah says:

    Loved the video! Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

  28. HAAAaaaa!!!! I love ya Karen !! I knew we were soul sista’s…but not in that crazy nut case sort of way :). My Nana taught me how to fold towels the same way. I have taught my husband, and all four kids, and any other poor unsuspecting soul who comes to my house for a visit. AND A SWIM IN MY POOL. Quick ! Outside everyone! towel lessons for all. hahha..:)

  29. pat says:

    do how do you keep your towels so white????? Foldng = great, but white – greater!

  30. Talia says:

    My sister-in-law showed this technique years (and years) ago. Now my linen closet (yeah, like I have one of those. Damn old house!) okay, shelf in my laundry room, looks professional.

  31. Gettinby says:

    Down here in Texas, women are very particular about towel folding. My mom used to yell at me all the time, until I caught the bug, and now fold them correctly. I even caught an episode of Divorce Court once, and the wife was leaving the husband because, yep, he didn’t fold the towels correctly.

  32. Beautiful executed….I’m happy to tell you that I fold my towels the same way….Thank You…
    And as far as the chipmunk ….they are not part of a the rat family…they are part of the squirrel family….they are (the squirrel) who are kin to the rats….LOL… father said that chipmunk lives around a house when they feel safe….and they will stay there until dead….but when they have babies ….they run them off when they can care for themselves….territory thing… they will also run off other critters as well…snakes, mice, moles, ect….the chipmunk is telling you there is something he doesn’t like….you might want to check it out…could be a snake….never know…

    • Shauna says:

      or 4 chickens;) the squirrels around my house have become much more vocal since the chickens have arrived. They sit up on the telephone wires screeching down at us. I never paid much attention to what a squirrel even sounds like until we had the chickens.

  33. carin says:

    This is great, hotel style. I realize now I’ve been folding mine motel style…

  34. Christina says:

    Hmm I like stitching on the outside but now see the error of my ways. I’d sure like to see your fitted sheets.

  35. Amanda says:

    I love a soft, well-folded towel. I agree that they absorb less water than if you don’t use fabric softener, but….meh. Soft is better for me.

    You know what I have the WORST time with? Folding sheets. I’m so inconsistent – if I even fold them at all. *blush* Any thoughts??

  36. michelle says:

    who knew? i’ve been doing it right all along!!

  37. KEG says:

    I use that technique too. Essential!
    Please plllleeeeease do a post on folding corner sheets! O.o

  38. brie says:

    umm would it be wrong to send this video tutorial to my husband? :)

  39. itchbay says:

    Ha! When I was a senior in high school, I worked at the local Linens ‘n More (kinda like a smaller version of a Bed, Bath and Beyond). One of my more favorite tasks was re-folding the towels in the display. I know, it sounds boring as hell, but it beat trying to help rude customer.

    I like to think that during those seemingly endless hours of folding towel after towel, I got it down to a science. It was all about getting those decorative lines to match up when you stacked the towels.

    That was a perfect job for my barely-hidden OCD tendencies. ;)

  40. Valerie says:

    Dryer balls, the ones with the little teeth produce soft towels and clothing without the addition of chemical fabric softeners. I use three. They will last two years or so before they split and give up the ghost.

  41. SK Farm Girl says:

    I am one of the people who insists towels be folded this way, as it is the CORRECT way! You overlooked a very important point, though Karen. When folding the towel, the turned-under side of the seams must be “kissing” one another – you know, facing one another. Just sayin’! It is a very important point for those of us who are afflicted with ODC!!! Oh, and when the towels are placed in the linen closet, the beautiful folds must face outward! Again, just sayin’!!!

  42. Kate S says:

    I promise to fold my towels properly henceforth, though the boyfriend tends to prefer them in their “natural state” and will never learn

    PS. I love that your site had an ad for today, they make really awesome shirts :)

  43. Dieu says:

    can you do something on a fitted sheet? I do the hand clap from the corners thing that martha stewart showed once but it never works for me. I think I’m doing it all wrong.

  44. Gigi says:

    I learned the same technique from a dear friend. At first I just thought she was a bit compulsive about her linens. Seriously compulsive. Then she came and organized my linen closet. (I told you, dear friend.) I have now seen the light and am converted.

  45. How do I teach my husband that this is the way to do it though?

  46. Rebecca says:

    My husband taught me to fold towels like that (weird, I know). I feel like it is one of the most important things I have learned from him in the 14 years we’ve been together!

  47. kelly says:

    all children should be required to learn said towel folding technique. I know both of mine did. :) Think of the happiness it will bring to their future spouses! :)

  48. karenagain says:

    I can’t see the video, but I do know how to fold a towel perfectly and properly just like the one in the picture.

    Fabric softener interferes with the towels ability to absorb the H2O off of you and should not be used on towels.

    • Karen says:

      Karenagain – Why can’t you see the video? Seems odd. If you open the Internet with a different browser, Firefox maybe … perhaps you’ll be able to view it. Strange. ~ karen

      • karenagain says:

        For sure this is my problem and not yours. Last night I got a blue screen of death on my laptop at home. This morning my computer at work gave me the same BSofD. I feel normal. I don’t feel electric or anything. For the last two weeks I have been craving BLT’s on (heaven forbid for me) WHITE BREAD. So, yeah, I don’t know what’s going on exacty.

        My Mom got her flu shot a couple days ago and now she’s sick. Do you get a flu shot? I never have. I’m scared. I rarely get sick. I do not want the flu, but do not want to self-induce via prevention. Please everyone else in town get the shot so y’all don’t infect me.

        • SamiJ says:

          Why the shot? Get the mist. You just inhale.

        • karenagain says:

          Oh really? I have not heard of this in my small town. Yes, I would much rather inhale flu antidote than have it stabbed into my arm by perhaps an only little bit trained person.

          Why can’t they just put a bit in our drinking water every autumn? I don’t drink the tap water but it could still osmosis it’s way in while I shower. Or work like a big flu patch on my laundered clothes.

  49. Renee says:

    Pretty sure my request for this method caused a divorce. Much like the chipmunk shutting up, my house is quieter now, too. And my towels are folded properly! I emailed the ex a link. ;-)

  50. Marti says:

    That was vital. Do you have something somewhere about the absolute, undeniable necessity of fabric softener? It makes the towels lay smoother, feel softer (doh!) and smell so much better than plain, ordinary “tossed in the wash” towels.

    (You know chipmunks are just fat, striped rats, right?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *