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Facecloths in England ? Common or not?

In France we learned the hard way that they were rare......

Is it the same in England ? God I don't want to pack them but I use them daily.

Anyone ever notice ?

Thanks. Leaving Wednesday. So excited.

Posted by
8889 posts

They are called "flannels" in English (I did not know they were called otherwise in North America until a previous post).
They are regarded as personal items, same as toothbrushes, I would not want to use a stranger's flannel, definitely unhygienic, you don't want to know where my flannel has been!
I suggest you bring your own, same as you bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste. I keep my toothbrush, toothpaste and flannel in a plastic bag,

Posted by
38 posts

Emma, I don't imagine it is the degree of difficulty, rather what one is accustomed to.

Imagine my surprise, as an American who does use a flannel, to read that the reason the Duchess of Cambridge has such a lovely complexion is that she uses a flannel. Would that a flannel worked such magic on us all! ;-)

Photobearsam, take the flannels -- old ones, toss them as you go along. Bon voyage!

I was at a Holiday Inn in Manchester the other day, and having read these discussions I was interested to see a sign in the bathroom that said:

"If you have forgotten a personal item such as a toothbrush, razor or facecloth, ask at reception and we'll be pleased to supply it free of charge."

Interesting both that they're described as "facecloths" (international hotel English I guess) and described as a "personal item" that you might "forget."

I am baffled as to why they're considered so essential these days. In this era of liquid soap and shower gel, doesn't everyone just use their hands?

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, there are two solutions to this very bothersome problem. One is to use the corner of a hand towel as a face cloth, the other is to go to the nearest Boots and buy one. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Posted by
293 posts

(waving my hand high) - I use washcloths! I need a bit of gentle friction to remove sunscreen + makeup + mascara after using a cleanser to loosen it.

I have done it every which-way, but the best way is to bring along some old ones that you can just throw away after 2 days. You can also purchase "disposable washcloths" in the "medical equipment" section of Walgreens, they're like baby wipes, come in a pull-out bag, I used those during my last trip two weeks ago. You can even purchase "Handi-Wipes" at the dollar store - they really are paper, but strong enough to use as a wash-rag.

One year, I purchased a 6-pack of baby-washcloths, but they were too small for use - they kept wadding up into a tiny ball in my hand, wouldn't recommend them.

Have fun on your trip!

Posted by
1128 posts

I've never seen them at any hotel in the UK, Have you considered a bath sponge? You can buy small ones at Walgreens for about a dollar and then just bring a plastic bag to keep it in.

Posted by
18892 posts

I use a washcloth/flannel every night at home to rinse my face after I've washed it. In Europe I am forced to rinse my face by splashing water on it, my body and the floor.

Posted by
427 posts

Lots of European and UK hotels don't supply facecloths. We just simply bring our own and then pack them in a ziplock bag if they're still wet when we move to the next location. We also bring some soap when we travel as not every place supplies that either. We have a travel soap dish that automatically gets packed when we travel. Sometimes we don't need it, but better to be prepared.

Posted by
5666 posts

Olay makes disposable cloths which contain soap -- carry them dry (no 3-1-1 bag required), add water to wash, add more water to rinse, toss in wastebasket.

Posted by
2746 posts

I save old worn-out MicrodermaMitts for travel. They are silk and take up much less suitcase space than terrycloth. They also dry quickly. They're expensive and they only last about 3 mos. for the intended exfoliating effect, but after they're worn out they still make useful washcloths.

https://microdermamitt.com/

For makeup removal, I swear by LaFresh makeup remover towelettes, available individually wrapped from Amazon. (Haven't been able to find them on the shelf in any local stores.) The wipes for "stuffy noses" in the baby aisle at Stop & Shop work pretty well too, even on waterproof mascara. Very cheap, but not individually wrapped.

Posted by
908 posts

Many people use washcloths for the whole bath/shower process. Makes it easier to hold onto bar soap....

But in New Brunswick, facecloths may be only for the face. I dunno!

Posted by
362 posts

I always pack some washcloths when I travel to Europe. I'd rather have them and not use them than want to use one to wash my face and not have one available.

Posted by
2122 posts

We were in northern England last month, and nearly all, if not all, the B&Bs we stayed in had wash cloths. My husband was thrilled because he forgot to bring one. I never use them.

Posted by
11613 posts

My hotel had washcloths, albeit slightly larger than the square that one finds in the US.

If I wanted washcloths, I would probably buy a cheap bundle-pack and toss them as I go.

Posted by
3895 posts

I just take old worn ones that are ready for the bin from home and leave them behind as we move on to our next accommodation. Frees up a little space for goodies.

If you don't have any old ones at home, just get some cheapies at Dollarama. I feel like we've had them at the hotels we've stayed at, but it's been a few years since we've stayed at a hotel in London (we either stay with couchsurfing friends or last time - at an airbnb...don't think they had face cloths).

Enjoy your holiday!!

Posted by
4890 posts

I recently stayed at the Best Western Plus in Kassel, Germany. The tour company said that it was the best (!) hotel in Kassel. But I think it really was selected for proximity to the art fair, "documenta 14." Anyway, while the rooms were spacious, there was only liquid soap (dispenser to be squeezed, like a wall-mounted curry-sauce dispenser.) So be careful which American practices you wish for!

I suppose that's an argument in favor of washcloths, but I went out to the adjacent mall and bought a bar of soap immediately. (I don't use washcloths.) Also, because I had a single, I was given only one of each towel, not two. So I didn't have any "extra" towels.

Posted by
18892 posts

A few years ago I spotted a cheap bundle of brightly colored washclothes at Walmart. When I got them home, something made me test one of them in a bowl of cold water; the color ran badly. Test anything you plan to travel with if you haven't used it at home.

Posted by
2627 posts

Don't sweat the small stuff. Throw a couple of washcloths from home into your bag. Sam's Club sells a bundle of washcloths (6-9) for about $6. Divide them between yourself, hubby, and mom. Get the ones with assorted colors. That way, you won't accidentally leave them at the hotel, as you might a white washcloth draped across a white towel on the rack. You can re-use them over and over because after all, they've been soaped up and rinsed with hot water over and over. Let them thoroughly dry before putting them back into your suitcase. Also carry some zip-lock sandwich bags (two or three) in case you have to tuck slightly damp washcloths into them to pack when changing hotels. Have a great trip!

Posted by
3182 posts

Now curious about the geography of saying facecloth vs washcloth. I’ve always said washcloth but never found a need for one.

Posted by
21200 posts

........ I would not want to use a stranger's flannel, definitely unhygienic, you don't want to know where my flannel has been!....

I have seen this response before and I am always humored by it. Doesn't a hand towel, bath towel go to the save areas that a washcoth might go to. If properly washing along with the hand towels, etc., why would it be unhygienic? I can get along without a washcoth so it is never a concern for me.

Posted by
2515 posts

they certainly are rare in hotels in the UK and Europe. I use them at home but would never want to use them in hotels, just too much of a personal items to be hygienic for me.
You can buy packs of them very cheaply in many place and just dispose of them at the end of your trip or bring some from home as has already been suggested.

Posted by
9777 posts

Much to my surprise we were supplied with facecloths/washcloths/flannels in Paris and now in London in our apartment, but I think a lot of the clientele is American.

Like Laura B, I now travel -- and use at home -- the Olay Daily Facials. Perfect for one use, hygienic face cleaning. And we bring a nylon bath scrubbie for the shower.

Posted by
3895 posts

My main use for a facecloth (as I call it here in NS) is pretty much only when my face gets wet in the shower when washing my hair, to get the excess water off my face and shampoo out of my eyes.

For actual cleaning of my face at home (mostly to clean off the days accumulation of sweat/dirt and to 'prepare' me face for my night cream application since I rarely wear makeup anymore) - lately I just use some toner/micellar spray and a small cotton pad. On holiday, I use the pre-moistened wipes like Olay or Ponds or whatever hubby happened to buy me for Xmas. I have had the dry ones that have the soap that you lather up when wet, but found I got water everywhere while trying to get the soap off my face - I think I'm a little OCD about splashing water on my face and having it drip everywhere...lol.

Posted by
88 posts

I don't use them in the shower but do need them to wash my face at least twice daily. The disposable makup remover towelettes (every brand I've ever tried) irritate my eyelids for weeks after using even only once.

I've never worried where a wash cloth (aka flannel) has previously been because it's laundered before I use it - just like a towel. No telling where a towel has been either or what it's been used to clean up.

Posted by
3895 posts

Yeah...after reading stories about how gross some hotels are, I’d be wayyyyyy more worried about touching the tv remote and drinking out of the glasses than I would using a facecloth that has been laundered. And don’t get me started on how gross the comforters/quilts probably are if the place doesn’t use duvets.

And I’m not even a huge germaphobe...lol. But that is a whole other topic ;)

Posted by
571 posts

One day, all Europoean hotel rooms will have face flannels (or washcoths if you prefer).

And all American hotel rooms will have electric kettles and a supply of tea bags.

And people will still travel because they say they want to experience something different.

Posted by
3465 posts

The difference between a flannel/washcloth/facecloth and a toothbrush is that the flannel (should) be washed in very hot soapy water that will remove the bad stuff while most toothbrushes would not survive that type of cleaning. And you are only fooling yourself if you think the average hotel guest these days only uses a bath towel to dry parts that have been cleaned. I try not to think about it. If I did, I would bring my own towels and sheets for the bed. And probably never walk barefooted across the carpets.

So I have no difficulty using any provided cloth items in a hotel because I assume (hopefully correctly) they have been replaced with freshly laundered and clean items since the previous guest checked out.

Posted by
754 posts

Wow....I had not idea a simple question would turn into 32 answers.

I used them to wash my face at the end of a day. I use a puff in the shower.

I will bring some and launder them as I go.

BTW we own a motel and people use them to wash in the shower a LOT. It's common here. Most men use them too. Just differences.....

I feel that once a towel or facecloth has been washed in hot water it is now clean.

Thanks all.

Posted by
3895 posts

Just curious Keith - if you are creeped out by people using facecloths to clean their 'cracks and crevices'...um - what do you think people use to clean their cracks and crevices who DON'T use the facecloth? But you aren't creeped out by using a hand or body towel?? ;) (This question has taken a weeeeeeird turn...lol).

Posted by
754 posts

Keith, what about towels and sheets in a hotel?

I see no difference.

If you knew how hot the water and how strong the soap is, you would see that EVERYTHING that could be on it is surely dead. LOL

Posted by
6040 posts

When packing for Europe I always throw a few ratty old washcloths into the suitcase and throw them out eventually. I have never had them in hotels anywhere in Europe. For apartments, we only find them in apartments owned by Americans. If there is a bidet, the bidet towel is a good size to pinch hit for a face cloth. Or you can use the end of a hand towel. And there are disposable clothes available in travel stores.

Posted by
3895 posts

...and we are all waiting with baited breath to find out if there were facecloths or not ;)

Posted by
118 posts

My husband likes them to dry is face periodically while he's still in the shower. IDK, always seemed weird to me but apparently he doesn't like beads of water just hanging out on his face for long periods of time. I'm so glad I ran into this discussion so I can make sure to pack him one :)

Posted by
3895 posts

@Natalie - I'm with your husband - need the facecloth to wipe the water and shampoo out of my eyes...

Posted by
754 posts

Day 13 of 35 and only found one hotel so far that had them ..... the Hampton by Hilton in Exeter. LoL

No problem. Mom packed some she says she will throw out at the end of the trip.

All is well. I just brought makeup remover wipes.

Posted by
3525 posts

What Natalie and Nicole said.

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I take a Dri-Soft brand wash cloth folded in a 1 quart Ziploc bag. Wet or dry, it's light in weight and small in volume.

The wash cloth dries quickly due to the ribbed design. It's big enough to use on my back.

I get one in a "hard to leave behind" color. White is not my friend, especially when I'm traveling.

I don't understand the need to use a different wash cloth every day, but I don't wear makeup.

Posted by
6507 posts

My mom is a big washcloth user. I never think about it. I try to remember to tell her to bring some when she comes. Now she has a stash at my house.