Movies and TV always show people living in big homes with large bathrooms. But, in real life, the vast majority of us don’t get to experience that luxury. Older apartments, townhouses, and powder rooms are especially known for bathrooms that are on the small side. While this may be quaint, it doesn’t leave much room for your laundry, toiletries, and wet towels.
In fact, having a place where you can hang towels in a small bathroom is one of the biggest gripes you face if your home lacks space. But though this feat is difficult, it’s not impossible. With some organization and a little creativity, you can find the perfect spot to leave your towels to dry after a nice long shower.
Why It’s Important to Wash and Dry Towels
There is nothing worse than grabbing a towel to dry yourself off, only to realize that it’s still wet. It’s gross and unpleasant, but more importantly, it can also be unsanitary.
Humans have around 19 million skin cells and 650 sweat glands on their bodies. All those glands work together to produce around 0.5‒2 liters of sweat each day. While this may help you keep cool, it isn’t very hygienic. Therefore, you shower and apply many body care products to wash off the grime that builds up on your skin. Since you usually use towels after you’ve cleaned yourself, it’s easy to assume the towels themselves will stay clean after a few uses.
However, towels are highly absorbent and can retain moisture hours after you’ve used them. And damp material is the perfect breeding ground for a whole host of microorganisms you definitely don’t want on your skin. Therefore, if you want to prevent germs from growing on your towels and other bathroom elements like shower curtains, you should wash them frequently.
Most health authorities recommend washing towels after you’ve used them 3 times. When it comes to washcloths you use to scrub in the shower, you should first let them air-dry before putting them in your washing machine.
Other kinds of towels, like your gym towels, should be washed after every use, because of the excess sweat they absorb. The same applies if you have sensitive skin or a medical condition like eczema because that will help prevent further irritation.
Where to Hang Wet Towels in a Small Bathroom
So washing towels is important for keeping things sanitary. But letting them dry is equally as important, if not even more so. As mentioned, damp towels are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Therefore, it’s important to use only dry towels if you want to stay healthy.
This brings us to the big conundrum of where to hang towels. Most people have a lot of different towels to wipe after a shower, dry their hands, and scrub their bodies. And if your bathroom is small, then storing them all in one place is going to be a problem.
However, with some good planning, you’ll be able to make space for your shower towels, hand towels, and freshly washed towels to dry.
1. Towel Rings
Most bathrooms come with a set of towel rings and towel bars. However, if your bathroom doesn’t have them, then you can easily purchase them at your local hardware store. For moderate to large bathrooms, towel bars are a great option. They’re sturdy enough to handle the weight of several wet towels, while still providing plenty of surface area for your towels to dry evenly.
However, they do have a downside — most decent towel bars require a bit more space. And if you have a small bathroom, then that’s one thing you’re short on. So, the better option is to go with towel rings. They are just as sturdy as towel bars, however, they take up only a fraction of the space!
You can easily install them next to your bathroom sink, or above your toilet for a convenient place to hang your hand towel. However, as good as towel rings are, they’re not really big enough to support a larger shower towel or multiple towels.
2. Woven Baskets
Baskets in the bathroom may seem like a weird thing. However, since an eco-inspired interior design is all the rage right now, it’s definitely on-trend. Plus, baskets are extremely useful if you’re short on space.
They provide you plenty of room to store multiple towels, both larger and smaller. What’s more, you can get two separate baskets where you can pack dry and wet towels. While towel rings have a fairly basic design, baskets are much more exciting.
They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and plenty of wonderful designs. So they’re not just a useful organizational tool to help you keep things tidy — they can also be a nice piece of interior decor.
You can store the basket below your sink or next to your bathtub or shower. However, if you don’t want it on the ground, there are some varieties that come with hooks. This means you can hang them on the wall to keep your bathroom clutter-free.
However, just like towel rings, baskets have some downsides. For one, while they work for keeping dry towels clean, they aren’t exactly the best place for damp towels. Stuffing them in a small space will trap moisture and prevent the towel from drying properly. This will, in turn, make them into a bacterial hotspot.
3. Towel Racks
If you’re looking for something with more surface area, then towel racks are the way to go. This contraption is admittedly on the larger side, but it’s incredibly convenient because you don’t need a wall to hang them. You can mount them on your bathroom door to save up on essential space.
However, a bathroom door isn’t the only place you can use. With the right adjustments, your shower door can also comfortably fit a towel rack. Plus, putting the rack there will also help your towels dry faster, and prevent any stray water droplets from moistening them again.
The only thing that might stop you from going with a towel rack is the size of your shower door. Most racks have handlebars that range between 18”‒30” in length. If your shower door is particularly narrow, then a towel rack won’t be the best option for you.
4. A Tight Hook
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one — and it doesn’t get much simpler than a tight hook. This convenient little contraption comes with heavy-duty rubber-coated hooks on cam buckle straps and ratchet straps for easy installation. Therefore, you can mount them on any bathroom wall while taking up minimal space.
Instead of tossing your towel on the lowered toilet seat or sink, simply hang your towel on the hook instead. What’s more, they’re so easy to install. All you need is a couple of minutes and a screwdriver, and you will have a new hook on your bathroom wall in no time, no professional needed.
But, just like the basket, hooks don’t offer a lot of surface area. So any damp towel, especially a larger one, you hang on them may not dry quickly or completely.
5. Bathroom Cabinets
Towel racks, towel hooks, and woven baskets aren’t common house appliances — which means you have to go out and buy them. If you have money to spend, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. However, if you want to save up, you can make use of what you already have in your house to store your towels, such as bathroom cabinets.
Most homes have bathroom cabinets for storing medicine and toiletries. However, you can also make extra room in there for towels. Simply remove a shelf or two, install a couple of hooks in there, and presto! You’ll have something similar to a personal locker in the comfort of your own bathroom.
If your cabinet has extra free space, you can section it to store both clean and wet towels. For a bit of a style upgrade, feel free to add some decor to the cabinet, like putting in a nice wallpaper or a splash of color. You can even replace the door with an elegant glass panel so that you can see inside the cabinet.
6. Using the Wall Space Above the Toilet
As appealing as something like a cute woven basket is, it can still take up room. This is especially true if you leave it on the floor, where you can easily trip over it getting out of the shower. One solution to save space is to install an above-the-toilet shelving unit.
The area above your toilet frequently gets overlooked when it comes to extra bathroom space. However, it’s super convenient for two reasons: it’s fairly spacious while also being out of the way to not hinder your mobility. Therefore, it’s the perfect place for you to hang a shelving unit.
These units are sturdy enough to handle multiple towels, both dry and wet. However, they also offer up enough space for you to store other bathroom necessities, like your toiletries or cleaning products. Plus, you can also equip them with a small cabinet to make organizing your items simpler.
7. Below the Sink
If you don’t want your towels to hang in a very conspicuous place, then consider placing them somewhere more discreet. Here is where that little nook below your bathroom sink can come in handy. If your sink doesn’t use a pedestal, then you can utilize the empty space by putting in a few hooks.
Alternatively, if you have some extra time and funds, you can add a mini shelf under there, as well. Not only will this give you room to store your towels, but you could also use the shelf for your other amenities. The only downside of installing a hook and cabinet under the sink is that you’ll still be a bit strapped for space.
This area is pretty cramped, so you won’t be able to hang anything larger than a scrubbing- or a hand towel. But in case you need to use every inch of space, don’t forget this little nook.
8. Towel Stands
Towel stands aren’t exactly something you see every day. However, they can be very convenient. For one, unlike shelves or cabinets, towel stands use vertical space, rather than a horizontal one. This gives your towel plenty of room to air-dry evenly. Also, since these stands have multiple bars, you can use them to hang several towels at once for maximum convenience.
Sadly, these bad boys do come with a catch. They’re not exactly small. With multiple clunky handlebars, you’ll need to find a fairly large corner in your bathroom to fit them. If you don’t have that kind of space, but still want a vertical surface for your towels, then hooks may be a better option.
If you prefer to store your towels on the floor, then you can always use your laundry hamper. For one, it’s an item you likely already have on hand. Therefore, it’s the most convenient way of setting aside dirty towels.
However, keep in mind that hampers are horizontal surfaces. So, they aren’t exactly ideal places for leaving wet towels to dry. But, they work perfectly as a temporary storage area.
10. Next to the Vanity
Getting creative is always nice when it comes to interior design, But sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones. In this case, that means using the space next to your vanity to hang your towels.
When installing a vanity unit, you need to allocate a lot of space on your bathroom wall to make sure it will fit properly. If the unit itself isn’t too large, then you’ll definitely have a bit of room left on there for a hook or two — maybe even for a small towel rack.
Once again, that means you won’t be able to hang multiple towels. But, if you’re in need of a convenient place for a smaller hand towel this is definitely your best option.
11. On Your Shower Door
Alright, leaving your towel on the shower door isn’t ideal, since the towel will be exposed to stray water droplets. What’s more, it’s kind of hard to reach it, especially when you’re coming out of the shower.
But, if you keep the towel there to dry after you’re done showering, it can work. You can fold it nicely so it doesn’t take much space or spread it out to speed up the drying process.
Alternatively, if your shower has a curtain ring bar, you can hang the towel there. It will stay out of the way and look tidy.
12. Bathroom Radiator
The benefits of having a radiator installed in your bathroom are endless. For one, it will keep you nice and toasty during those chilly autumn and winter months. Plus, it makes for a pretty convenient place to hang your towel.
Since radiators are usually fitted to walls, they won’t be taking up any essential space. In addition, since they’re composed of multiple metal rods, you can hang multiple towels off them. Not only that, but they have warm water running through them, meaning that your damp towels will dry in no time! It’s a win-win!
13. Towel Warmer
No discussion about where you can store towels in a small bathroom would be complete without mentioning towel warmers. This ingenious appliance is a must-have for anyone who wants to have dry warm towels on hand at all times.
How It Works
In simple terms, a towel warmer is a special type of machine that quickly dries towels and keeps your bathroom mildew free.
At the moment, there are two types of towel warmers on the market — hydronic and electric.
As its name suggests, the electric one requires electric-powered low-watt elements to function. Some models use dry elements which heat up wires in the tubes of the rails, while others rely on the oil or water inside the towel rail.
On the other hand, hydronic towel warmers need to be connected to the plumbing to function. The hot water will run through the appliance, generating heat, not unlike that of a regular radiator.
While they require different power sources to function, both types have one thing in common — they’re amazing at keeping your towels warm and dry! Most towel warmers are made from stainless steel, so they’re resistant to rust and limestone buildup. What’s more, they can help regulate your bathroom’s temperature and filter out extra moisture.
The additional heat coming off the warmers acts as a heater, keeping your bathroom nice and toasty during the winter months. Plus, the increased temperature helps evaporate any excess moisture from the air. Less moisture means mold and mildew can’t spread. Not only that, but it prevents bacteria and fungi from multiplying since they need damp environments to thrive.
However, the biggest benefit of these bad boys is that they come in all shapes and sizes. You can even find towel warmers that look like traditional dryers. This type is super convenient if you want a place to stick a wet towel without having to worry about folding it.
Other towel warmers look more like traditional radiators. Equipped with several handlebars, you can easily mount them on your wall, so they don’t take up any space in your cramped bathroom. Plus, they allow you to hang your towels vertically, meaning that they’ll dry up in a blink of an eye.
Figuring out where to hang wet towels in a small bathroom can be a hassle. But worry not! With the right tools and a little bit of creativity, you can make the most out of your bathroom space.
You can install towel racks, warmers, hooks, shelves, and cabinets in various locations that are discreet and out of your way. Plus, if you choose the right kind of storage unit, you’ll be able to keep your bathroom well-organized. A small bathroom may limit your space, but it certainly need not limit your options.
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