Aquis® towels help dry clothes

By Elizabeth Pugh-Zaleski
This item appears on page 47 of the February 2015 issue.

In his letter titled “Do-it-yourself Dryer,” Charles Severs asked for suggestions for a good towel to dry clothes with after washing them while on a trip (Oct. ’14, pg. 56).

I have traveled widely since 1972, but it was during a 3-week trip in South Africa that I discovered my cotton T-shirts would NOT dry overnight. It could take four days! I discarded those and decided to never travel with another all-cotton item if it would need to be washed overnight.

Somehow, I discovered that my microfiber hair towel works well for drying clothes. After washing and rinsing the clothes (polyester/nylon-blend blouses and tops), I roll them in the towel and wring out most of the water, then hang them in the shower on inflatable hangers (purchased from a mail-order travel supply place like An inflatable hanger allows air to circulate between the front and back of a shirt or skirt.

Whether in a hotel room or a ship’s cabin, I hang up the damp clothes before going to dinner and happily find most all of it dry the next morning. Anything not totally dry can (if on a land tour) be hung in the closet for the day and be ready to pack the following morning. 

Nothing in my travel wardrobe requires ironing, but if an edge or collar needs to be flattened, an electric hair-straightener works well.

I have hung almost-dry socks on lampshades with the light on when leaving for breakfast, as heavy items like those are not as easily dried overnight.

The material in microfiber towels — many of which are made by Aquis® (800/466-7379, — absorbs its weight in water. You can find the towels in the “spa” section of T.J.Maxx ( and other such discount stores.

Originally sold as turbans for drying hair, Aquis towels now come in a variety of sizes and are no longer made only as turbans.*

Once I discovered how useful microfiber towels were, I bought them in several sizes. I’ve taken at least one or two large ones along on over 20 trips of at least three weeks each, including a few 30-day cruises, on each trip doing ALL of my own laundry. 

I pack the towels in large zip-lock bags, just in case one is not fully dry when I have to repack in the morning. They absorb so much water, clothing dries MUCH faster than when using the towels provided in hotels.


*Aquis® towels range in size from 19x39 inches ($17.99) to 29x55 inches ($29.99).