Cut the cackle and use the tea towel (3,2)
I believe the answer is:
'towel' is the definition.
I don't understand how the remainder of the clue works.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for dry up that I've seen before include "Lose moisture? -shut your mouth!" , "Shed moisture or stop talking" , "Desiccate" , "Cease talking" , "Use a tea towel?" .)