Posted by: Alycia Nichols | January 22, 2013

Stylish Flu Fighter!

I’m still on a much-needed break, but I wanted to quickly share with you what we do year round that could be a great solution to cutting down on the spread of germs when entertaining during this nasty cold and flu season.

Half Bath Towels collageEach powder room in our home has a basket or tray filled with clean white hand towels, just like in fancy hotels and restaurants. They can be bought in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club. Instead of everyone drying their hands on the same towel (because let’s face it…not everyone does the best at thoroughly washing their hands!), each guest uses a soft, clean, dry towel of their own that can be dropped into a mesh bag-lined pail  or basket after use. The mesh bag (the kind used for laundering lingerie…like $1 at Walmart) can be pulled without having to touch any of the towels and dropped into your regular laundry load. No muss, no fuss! It takes only a couple of minutes to fold them up out of the dryer. You save money in the long run, keep thousands of paper towels out of landfills, pamper your guests with a fun little luxury, AND help prevent the spread of germs. What a deal!!!

My germophobic doctor hubby deserves all the credit for this one. We’ve been doing it for years, but with so many people getting sick I thought it prudent to pass it along!

IFAnother display idea for your clean towels might be in an old toast rack. Remember those? If you do, you’re either as old as I am or a fan of “Downton Abbey”!😉

For many more helpful Table Tips on this site, click HERE.

I’ll be joining Yvonne’s Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits blog party this week. It’s a great place to get lots of fun and useful ideas!

See you next week with an all new tablescape!♥♥♥


  1. I like this idea with the mesh bag.. how terrific. I usually buy those pretty paper handtowels.. just cause.. But I can stop that now.. Get better!!! We miss you. xo marlis

  2. Brilliant idea!

  3. Great idea for your guests. It makes perfect sense, because we all know not everyone washes their hands properly. I am sure your guests love it too.

  4. What a nice little luxury to provide your guests, I never thought about the germ factor with the powder room towels, I must amend this today! Yikes! Great idea lining the hamper bin too! Can’t wait to see your next tablescape! Hope you are fully recovered from your little “spill.”

  5. You are just so dear to pass this along to us…….LOVE the idea and will certainly use it.

  6. You and hubby are amazing. Thanks for the brilliant idea. So sad that you are feeling poorly. I pray that you will beat that ole flu and be tip top very soon. Love to you, Ginger

  7. What a wonderful idea ! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your break.

  8. Even out of the flu/cold time this is a lovely and luxury tip.
    I love it. Sprinkle the towels with some Lavender or Verbena, for a step further on the last😉.
    Now the mesh bag is a novelty – Hiltons around the world are mad because they didn0t think of it first ahahah😀 before you, I mean.
    Thank you for always sharing your A Tips!!! :love:

  9. I have just spent one hellish weekend with the flu and it was awful. Thank you and Dr. Hubby for this tip.

  10. Great idea, Alycia!

  11. Great idea, I always have paper towels/long napkins (pretty ones) in a basket, to drop in my lined wastebasket. I always find myself in a quandary of cloth vs paper. Washing uses water and electricity/gas plus detergent. Paper is not ecology friendly. Ay! Do what works best (and easiest) for you, is my motto. :) xo

  12. Ramon and I would get along well. I keep telling Wes that he’s a virus bomb and follow behind him disinfecting the faucets and fridge handles. He gets his own hand towels and is alone a lot when sick! Thank goodness I seem to immune to what he has now because I had it in early Dec.
    I will use this idea for sure. Please try to take care of yourself.

  13. Excellent idea! I especially like the green aspect of it. They can be thrown into just about any load you are washing at the moment. As long as we have been married, 40 years, we have used cloth napkins every day. I never buy paper napkins, paper plates or paper towels, I just never could stand the waste. Now my adult kids do the same thing in their own homes. My guest bathroom towels are similar to yours, placed in a basket by the sink, but my guests are sometimes reluctant to use them! I love your metal basket and liner idea, next time I am see something like that, I’m getting it.

  14. This is a really good idea! Years ago, my mother-in-law shared the idea of using disposable towels usually sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the like to offer guests. She was a nurse so tips like this were always helpful. You take it a step further however by suggesting an idea that is also warm and welcoming and at the same time clean and good for the budget and environment. Thanks Alycia.

  15. GREAT idea Alycia! Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

  16. Amazing! What a great idea sweet friend..BUT I am sad you are sick, I can’t believe you’ve been sick for quiet a while now, maybe you need some C vitamins in a shot! Thanks sweetie for the idea, I’m not feeling in the best of shape either. Come over, you’ll enjoy my post, been the dish lover that you are! Say hi to Ramon and hope you’re better soon.

  17. Great idea for your guests. I can’t stand when you know people don’t wash or wash correctly.


  18. What a great idea, Alycia! We basically do the same thing, although not intentionally…our hand towels seem to be one time use simply because of the giant mess the kids make! They have decided the hand towel is the appropriate tool for cleaning all the toothpaste off the sink and mirror! Thanks for the tip; I could use some fancy at home:)

  19. Love this idea! Unfortunately, I am currently at home with the flu. I will be doing this when I get better.
    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  20. Alycia, This is a great tip, thanks for passing it along. I also like that the towels are reused and now thrown away like paper towels. I hope you are resting, but I know you are probably working on your class and not resting much at all. Looking forward to your next table. Dianne

  21. Love this idea, I will be picking some up next time I’m at Sam’s!

  22. Thank you for this idea. I have always enjoyed fancy restaurants that did this in their ladies lounge. Cloth feels so much better than paper.

  23. Oooh I like this! Thank you for sharing. Where’s the tip jar? Must leave a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ in the tip jar for the doc’s great idea!😉

  24. What a great tip! Thanks for posting.

  25. I have a tray of disposable towels on the back of the toilet for guests to use,but I love your “5 star hotel” towel idea…and they look so pretty!!
    Gotta love your germophobic physician hubby of yours!!!

  26. Great idea! This is what my hairdresser does. I’ve pulled out my paper decorator throw away towels for this season that I got for clearance at 75 cents per package. I’ll try this idea after my towlettes are gone…

  27. This is a terrific idea! I’ve been putting out disposable towels for guest to use, but love the idea of using soft, fluffy, hand towels.

  28. Knowing you, they are probably monogrammed! Get better, ya hear?

  29. Good tip and presentation. I always like going places, even the dentist or doctor’s office, where they have nice hand towels to use. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  30. I love when I see this in nicer hotels and restaurants and I’ve always wanted to try it. I guess I’ve been stumped by where to put the basket for the used towels.since my powder room is small. I’ve been using the pretty disposable paper towels, but this is so much more luxurious. I need to work a little harder on figuring this out. I really, really love this idea.

  31. Alycia – what program do you use to create your collages like the one above? I used to use, but I can’t find the collage tool anymore since they updated their website.

    • I use Picasa. I’m still trying to get the hang of it, but I have the basics down well enough to throw together a collage. If you decide to try it and need help, let me know! A

  32. What a great idea, it pays to have a Dr. in the house. Off to Costco I go I know I must need something else from this month’s flyer.

  33. This is a great tip! or should I say tips! The white towels in the basket are very stylish looking as well! Hope you get well soon! Blessings, Tammy

  34. What a wonderful idea! Alycia, thank you for stopping by and your sweet comment.

  35. This is a wonderful tip Alycia, especially with the mesh liner! My non-doctor germaphobe husband would definitely be on board with this idea:)

  36. Hey
    Alycia, I have missed you at my last few posts….

  37. What a fantastic idea! I use disposable paper towels but they are not as luxurious as yours!

  38. I love this idea better than mine. You are using real towels where I’ve been stacking decorative paper hand towels in a holder and throwing away in the trash. Anything to prevent passing the bugs around. Tell your hubby I said thanks!

    The French Hutch

  39. I also keep a stack of hand towels in the powder rooms, but mine are not displayed so beautifully! Now I’m inspired and I have an excuse to shop for a pretty basket or maybe a tole platter-I’ll tell my hubby it’s the doctor’s orders! hehehe Linda

  40. What a great idea! And it looks so nice…I’ll have to give this a try for our next gathering — thanks for visiting my “snow ball” table~ The snow couple are the only ones around this house who know how to dip and waltz! LOL

  41. This is a great post, especially at this time of year. I like the old toast rack idea too. I giggled at being a fan of Downton Abbey! Can’t wait to see your “new” tablescape, and glad you took the needed break.

  42. I’ve been doing this since a Holland America cruise to Alaska in July and am so glad. Getting guests to understand is a bit challenging, especially kids but its a process. thanks for sharing and helping getting the word out there. Best wishes and get well soon

  43. This is a truly brilliant idea! I am such a germ-a-phobe that I cannot believe I have not thought of this. I am delighted to have read your post! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful and very doable idea!!

  44. What a great idea that you and Ramon thought of, Alycia!! That is the best solution for fighting off other people’s germs. Thanks for Sharing.

  45. This is a great idea! I need to do this all the time not just for guests.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: