Guest towels are towels which have been designated for use by guests. Many people like to keep them so that their visitors can have fresh, clean towels for bathing, hand washing, and other tasks. Some people choose to keep a separate set of towels which contrast with the towels used by residents of the home, while others simply keep a supply of extra towels for the use of guests.
In homes where guests have their own bathroom, the guest towels will be laid out in the guest bathroom or on the bed, and they are usually neatly folded so that guests know that the towels are clean and designated for their use. In a household where the bathroom is shared, towels for guests can be hung on a special rack and pointed out to guests so that they know which towels to use, or the towels may be laid out on the bed for guests.
At a minimum, keeping bath towels around for guests is strongly recommended. Many people like to bathe or shower once a day, especially if they have just arrived at the home of friends after a long and potentially dirty or stressful trip. Hand towels can also be useful, as guests presumably like to wash their hands, and they may prefer to use clean towels for wiping their hands dry, and some people also like to keep washcloths and face towels for the comfort of guests, as well.
There are a number of ways to identify guest towels so that guests know which towels are OK to use. In a casual household, the host might simply point out the towels set aside for the use of guests. In other households, the towels may have a different color or pattern, which causes them to stand out. Some people use monogrammed guest towels which say “guest” so that guests understand that these towels are for them.
Attitudes about changing guest towels vary. Towels can usually be reused several times, especially if they are hung up after use. Some people provide guests with a set of towels and assume that these towels will be sufficient for the duration of the guest's stay, while others prefer to change the towels daily so that guests have fresh towels. Other hosts may tell guests to help themselves from the linen closet, allowing guests to decide how often and if they want to change their towels. Using only one set cuts down on the amount of laundry generated by a guest, thereby reducing water usage and the subsequent ecological footprint of the host.