Concept Rack Keeps Towels Sort Of Clean And Dry

Kim Jin Yeong’s towel rack concept proposes using ultraviolet light to sterilize towels and heat to dry them, making them “always clean and tidy.” We’re not sure how well it would work to clean, but hot towels are almost never a bad thing.

According to the concept product’s description:

Because we don’t use a towel as a disposable item, it should be dried and cleaned right after it is used for the next person. This item is designed to keep the towel always clean and tidy.

From the inner side of this product comes out ultraviolet razes [sic] to sterilize and heated wind to dry the towel. On the bar we hang the towel has holes for ventilation.

Aside from the appeal of hot towels, we’re not really sure if this would actually get towels cleaner. Somehow that aspect of this product reminds us of the classic Dilbert strip in which Wally boasts that every time he dries himself after showering, the towel is getting cleaner. We assume that anyone who uses Kim’s rack as their sole method of cleaning towels will eventually need to ask Wally’s question: Are towels supposed to bend?

Hi-Tech Bathroom Rack Keeps Towels Clean And Dry [PSFK]
Dilbert [Flubu,com]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    Surely, my life would be much better if I could just afford this.

    I live to work, and work to consume. And I pretend (with much help from society) that all this stuff I’ve mortgaged my life for will somehow make me happy.


    • f0nd004u says:

      You either need to find a religion or start smoking pot.

      • lordargent says:

        1) Take the money you would have spent on this thing.

        2) Buy more towels instead.

        /I use a fresh towel every other day. I could easily use a fresh towel every day, but that’s a lot of laundry and wasted water.

    • Daniellethm says:

      +1 For the cold, hard truth.

      Also: I’m with f0nd004u, do lots of drugs, you’ll feel better about spending money on worthless crap, I promise.

  2. acasto says:

    Unless I’m just completely underestimating the power of UV rays, I don’t see how it is going to saturate and penetrate enough of the towel to do much good. Especially if the towel is not moving like a belt so that the surface gets equal UV exposure. Also, f it was indeed strong enough, then you probably wouldn’t want to be putting your hands under it.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      You could fold the towel; of course this increases how intense the light would need to be. I guess it would be figuring out the best way to fold/hang it

  3. perfectly_cromulent says:

    it would seem it would take a long time for this to actually dry the towel…

  4. HogwartsProfessor says:

    It’s a good idea, but I don’t think this design could dry a whole towel. What about the part that is at the bottom?

  5. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Wouldn’t the UV light fade all your towels?

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Yeah it would fade them, and weaken the fibers too. We will need to invent a new open-mesh metallic fiber that will permit penetration and reflection of the UV rays, while still being cuddly enough to use as a handtowel.

      • f0nd004u says:

        I’ve been working on that. The prototype is in the bat-cave next to the cold fusion reactor, behind all the rest of your hopes and dreams.

  6. Omali says:

    “but hot towels are almost never a bad thing.”

    Until you find yourself rushing to the annual cold towel convention only to find you left your heater on. Guess who’s going to be the laughing stock this year?

  7. Alvis says:

    A solution in search of a problem. While the thought of bacteria is icky, you don’t get sick from towels. And I don’t know about that household, but everyone in mine uses their own towel anyway.

    • Englishee Teacher says:

      Perhaps I can shine some light on the situation. Judging by his name, I’d say he’s probably Korean. In Korea, public washrooms often don’t use disposable paper hand towels, but instead have a towel rack with a communal towel. They also seem to believe that UV light does everything. I think this product may have been designed with these communal public towels in mind.

      Personally, I just use my pants. At least I know where they’ve been.

  8. veg-o-matic says:

    Well unless ultraviolet light also folds and straightens towels on the rack, it can’t keep them “tidy.”

  9. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Also, and someone correct me if I am wrong, but how dirty does a towel really get? I mean, the second you step out of the shower, that is the cleanest you will be all day/week. So how much dirt and grime is getting on your towel. I would say that if your towel is dirty, then you need to invest in a more aggressive sponge/loofah/warsh-cloth.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      The towel gets dirty because once you’re done drying off, water is sitting there in the towel fibers and water has bacteria. Bacteria love warm moist places, like towels. Also, if the towel doesn’t dry all the way then mildew/mold begins to grow.

      So yes, you need to wash your towels. I wouldn’t say you’d have to start with a fresh one every day, but you should probably change it out at least every three days, provided you hang them where they can dry properly.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yes, and towels collect shed skin skin cells. even if you exfoliate in the shower, you’re going to get some on the towel why you dry off

    • lihtox says:

      Our towels start to smell really moldy after a few days or so; this would probably cut down on this. It wouldn’t replace washing them, but it might extend their “lifespan” a bit if it works (though I suppose I am skeptical).

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I’m in agreement with you on this. We reuse our towels quite a few times and they never smell like mold or get stiff. They always seem clean and are nice and fluffy. A few dead skin cells don’t bother me, and I’ve never gotten sick from a towel that I am aware of (besides, I’m in the camp that we need exposure to germs to build our immune systems.) Been doing this since I was a kid and I’m 37.

      I just have to throw in a random tidbit here. Our towels are 16 years old. we got them when we got married. I think they are the only cut loop towels still in existance.

  10. Grabraham says:

    I make my own ultraviolet razes at home

  11. shepd says:

    Just what a need, a towel rack that requires I wear sunglasses while I shower.

  12. dreamcatcher2 says:

    UV light has a wavelength in the hundreds of nanometers. In an opaque object like a towel, this means that all of the energy will be absorbed almost immediately by the first surface the light strikes. So, a very tiny portion of the surface area of a towel (which is quite large with all the fuzzy bits) will get sterilized, but the vast majority of the towel will only be slightly warmed, and thus perhaps also slightly more hospitable to bacterial growth.

    UV sterilization only works on non-porous, flat surfaces. Everything else that needs to be sterilized in a scientific or clinical setting is done with alcohol, bleach, or heat. This is a junk product exploiting the latest fad in germophobia.

  13. gman863 says:

    Will this be Vince’s next project after the Eminem CD?

  14. mommiest says:

    Terrible idea. Any dirt, skin cells, soap residue, or oils would slowly bake onto the fabric, making it impossible to clean. The only time you should heat a towel is right after it is washed, not between uses.

  15. SBR249 says:

    “Because we don’t use a towel as a disposable item, it should be dried and cleaned right after it is used for the next person.”

    I don’t know about the inventor, but no “next person” uses my towel except myself in my household…

    • Englishee Teacher says:

      In Korea, they have reusable hand towels in public washrooms. The inventor’s name is Korean.

  16. mdoneil says:

    Heated towel racks exist. I have one.

    UV light will not sterilize a towel. Just wash them every few days.

  17. HungryGal says:

    Wow. I thought that there were two kinds of people in the world: those who reuse their bath towels, and those who wash them after only 1 use. Apparently there is a third kind of person: those who conceptualize towel drying/sanitizing alternatives.

  18. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Or, you could just run them through the dryer on hot for a few minutes if hanging them to dry on a towel rack isn’t your thing.

  19. Skeptic says:

    Heated wind in the bathroom? Get an exhaust fan!