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PSA: Throw Your Towel Into the Dryer Before Getting Into the Shower

Forget all the other DIY stress-relieving advice –– all you really need is a nice warm towel

Everywhere, there’s some shoddy advice about how to relax and unwind amidst this quarantine stress. “Meditate,” they say. “Call a friend,” they urge. I’m sorry, but if I didn’t have the emotional energy to complete such self-care when thousands of people weren’t dying all around me, you think I’m gonna have it together enough to do so now? My brain doesn’t even work! 

I can, however, suggest one small, simple delight to provide you with fleeting pleasure: Warm your towel the next time you shower

MEL features writer C. Brian Smith tells me he was notorious as a child for putting his towel in the dryer to heat up while he was in the shower, in order to have a delightfully warm, fluffy towel awaiting him afterward. How notorious, you ask? His family nicknamed him “Mr. Pleasure” because of it, which is a good enough reason by itself to do this. Who doesn’t want to be called Mr. Pleasure?

Of course, to make this method work, you obviously need to own a dryer. Furthermore, this dryer is ideally placed near your shower, if not in the bathroom itself. Given that I’m not the type of person to meditate or call my friends, I’m also not the type of person who has their own dryer. There’s not even one in my building. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative. Legally, I’m not sure I can actually make this recommendation. Can fire marshals make arrests? Because if so, this is probably an arrest-worthy offense. Anyway, if you’ve got a space heater or radiator, you’ve got a towel-warmer. You’re really not supposed to put anything on top of them, particularly not anything flammable, but hedonism isn’t without its risks. 

It’s probably safer to suggest doing this with a small space heater, located in the bathroom with you. Turn it on a few minutes before your shower, so it has some time to warm. As you’re about to begin your showering, drape your towel over the space heater. Commence showering. When you’re ready to exit, you’ll have a cozy, absorbent blanket to help you momentarily forget the complete absence of stability in your life. Turn off and unplug your space heater, so it’s no longer a fire hazard. Ta-da! Your day has been improved slightly! Assuming you haven’t been either burned or electrocuted, both of which seem like very real possibilities when covering a space heater with a towel next to spraying water.

The dryer option is a much better solution, clearly, as it evenly distributes the warmth a bit better and presents less of an opportunity to burn your home down. But placing a towel over a radiator or space heater isn’t that big of a deal if it’s only for a few minutes, and so long as the towel is dry (placing wet objects on them can lead to mold, on top of being extra fire hazard-y). Alternatively, if you’re ultra committed to the warm towel, you can buy a warmer specifically for it. They’re probably safer. 

Enjoy, and please do not hold me accountable.