No matter what your kid status, you're using a diaper as a dishtowel, right? No? Well, as it seems to me as though most dishtowels are not designed to actually absorb anything, this trick is a favorite of mine. Using a cloth diaper as a dishtowel in the kitchen is perfect, it's soft, absorbs liquid, can get stained, and can really take a beating after being used and washed over and over. It's also great for absorbing excess water on greens and other just-washed vegetable and fruits - try rolling up spinach or other greens you need to squeeze excess water from in a cloth diaper and squeezing out the excess water.
In fact, I'm not all that sad that most dishtowels seem to prefer to be on display. People love to buy me dish towels and I have so many cute prints I love to display. But after being used in the kitchen, real workhorse dishtowels are stained beyond repair and need to be washed constantly. And let's face it, I have a 4 year-old and a 3 month-old, I'm not pretreating my dishtowels.
Side benefits of using cloth diapers in the kitchen - when your dishtowels are actually working for you you will cut way down on your paper towel usage.
The only real con is that they need to be washed frequently and hung up in the kitchen after every use to dry out - and once they get really wet they can take a long time to dry.
Tip! Every time you do laundry grab your dish towels from the kitchen and throw them in the wash. You can't really wash them frequently enough - and at a minimum you need to wash them once a week.
Trick - you can buy cloth diapers easily at Target or similar stores, and these will work great but if you want something even more absorbent, consider investing in a few "real" cloth diapers. You need to wash them a few times before use but they will be way more absorbent and last longer than the ones you get at the store.
If you don't want to use diapers in your kitchen, definitely consider investing in some flour sack towels like chefs use. Next time someone spills cranberry juice your hand won't hesitate reaching for your new Marimekko dish towel. You'll know just what to reach for.