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( Towel.png
Name towel
Appearance towel
Base price 50 zm
Weight 2
Material cloth
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Towels have a weight of 5.

The towel is a multipurpose tool that appears in NetHack. It is made of cloth.


Tourists have a chance of beginning the game with a towel.


You can put on a towel using P and blind yourself, then R to remove it and see again; this makes towels a perfect substitute for a blindfold.[1]

You can also apply the towel for multiple purposes:

  • If your fingers are slippery (such as from eating deep-fried food from a tin), you can apply a noncursed towel to wipe them off so you can wield a weapon again.
  • If you are blind because of a cream pie or blinding venom, you can apply a noncursed towel to clean your face and unblind yourself. (If you remain blind for another reason, "Your face feels clean now.") Unlike the #wipe command, a towel cleans your face in one turn.
  • Applying a cursed towel will instead make your fingers slippery or else blind you by gunking up your face.

You can also engrave with a towel; you will not actually write anything, but you will erase anything written with dust, blood, or even magic marker.[2]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

You can no longer wear a towel in a form with no head. Also, wearing a wet towel halves damage from poison clouds and poison gas breath. It also stops potion vapors from affecting you.

Wet towel

You can also wet a towel through various methods. The wetness level is an integer between 0 and 7. The appearance of the towel gives an indication of the wetness level of the towel; the exact wetness is only shown in wizard mode.

Wetness Appearance
0 A towel
1 A moist towel
2–7 A wet towel

A towel can be made wet by any source of water, including an uncursed potion of water or a rust trap. This will add 1–7 levels of wetness,[3][4] to the maximum of 7.

When wielded as a weapon, a wet towel will deal between 1 and (wetness) damage, capped at 6 damage. There is additionally a (wetness) in (wetness+1) chance of drying out, losing 1 point of wetness.

Applying the towel, wiping out an engraving in the dust with the towel, or throwing the towel removes 1 point of wetness.


Towels are introduced in NetHack 3.1.0.

The ability to wet towels was introduced in NetHack 3.6.0.


The many uses for towels in NetHack are inspired by the towels carried by the titular hitchhikers of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.


Your towel gets dusty.
You 'engraved' with a towel while there was no message to wipe off the floor.
Your towel gets frosty.
As above, but you were standing on ice.



In UnNetHack, all characters start with a towel on Towel Day (25th of May).[5] Tourists will not be given a second towel.[6]

Encyclopedia entry

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

[ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams ]