A paper towel is a piece of absorbent paper made for the general purposes of towels but is most often used for drying hands. They are also used to apply cleaning sprays for windows and dusting. There are two distinct classes of paper towels in existence: the "domestic" paper towel, and the "institutional" paper towel. Invented in 1907 by Arthur Scott, the paper towel has ascended to provide a simple and efficient method of cleaning. In the United Kingdom, domestic paper towels are known colloquially as kitchen roll. Institutional paper towels come in a variety of types. These paper towels are usually made of extremely light, rougher paper than are the domestic paper towels. Institutional paper towels are usually made to be placed in metal or plastic box-like dispensers, generally found in public bathrooms.
Except for the roll-type towel that is dispensed from plastic containers, towels are usually available in two forms: white, bleached towels, or brown, unbleached towels. Brown towels are believed to be more environmentally benign (using unbleached pulp). Sometimes paper towels are dyed blue or green. Folded blue towels are often used in American gas station dispensers.