I can't get the word out on when you are "dedusting" a towel. It's like there is dust on it, and you abruptly "flap" the farthest side from you while holding the two near ends of the towel.

What is the verb for it?

2 Answers 2


So, let's say you use the towel to wipe up some (dry) dirt, and now you've got a full towel which you are holding carefully to keep the dirt from spilling out. You're asking what you should then do with the towel? Shake it out:

Take the towel outside and shake it out.

Hold the towel over the dustbin (BrE) / trash can (AmE) and shake the dirt out of it.

Of course, this won't work very well if you're talking about wet dirt or something sticky like that. Instead you'll have to wash out the towel in the sink.

  • I see, so there is no verb for it, just a description. Thx anyway.
    – John Arvin
    May 14, 2019 at 6:29
  • 2
    @JohnArvin Shake out is a verb. So is wash out. Its a good idea to memorize phrasal verbs like you would any other vocabulary, to understand the difference in meaning and usage between this form and other phrasal verbs like shake up
    – Andrew
    May 14, 2019 at 11:33

As a native English speaker there isn't necessarily a word that comes to mind. I know what you're talking about but I can't think of any word for it. When a towel has water in it and you twist it out it is called "wring" (pronounced ringing), but that wouldn't make sense for dusting. "Whipping" is the closest thing I can think of. "Whipping a towel" makes sense but I'm not sure if that's the word you're looking for.

Kind of a pointless response but I tried.

  • 1
    Wring is pronounced ring; and wringing is pronounced ringing . . . May 14, 2019 at 5:49

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