Even though a towel can easily take care of smaller spills, a bigger spill will have you spreading the liquid around. A little bit of flour can absorb the liquid and make the spill much easier to contain.
There is probably some flour in your kitchen, whether you cook much or not. Jacob Harper at WonderHowTo suggests reaching for the flour instead of the paper towels next time you have a major spill. Flour is a thickening agent, comprised heavily of starch, and it absorbs the water out of whatever liquid you've spilled. If you're in the heat of the moment, flour can also keep the spill from spreading. Just drop a scoop of it onto the spill, press the flour into the liquid a little, and scrape up what's left.
Clean Up Liquid Spills More Easily with Flour [WonderHowTo]