Ditch Paper Towels For Cloth, Save Money

Whether you want to curb your disposable paper towel use for the sake of your wallet, the environment, or both, home management blog Simple Mom has a great system for switching over to cloth towels for good.

Image by otakuchick.

Blogger Maya acknowledges it's not easy to make the leap from paper towels to the cloth variety, especially since paper is just so darn easy to use. Once you get a system nailed down, though, Maya says you'll find it's not a hassle to go paper-free.

You'll need a batch of sturdy cloth rags or bar towels for deep cleaning, some nice fabric napkins for dining, and a pile of inexpensive, generic napkins for everyday spills and wipe-downs. If you have kids, toss some child-sized washcloths in a drawer as well. Keep a basket under the sink to collect used towels and throw them in the wash every couple of days.

If you're having trouble imagining cleaning up really icky messes without paper towels, Maya says it's time to look at the situation differently.

Change your perspective. Once you start using cloth regularly, you will also start to dispose off older cleaning cloths regularly. Such messes are good opportunities to get rid of old rags. And if you have no cloth you can use, there is really no problem with using a little paper, is there?

The post goes into more detail about how to implement a paper-free home, so you'll want to check it out to get the skinny. Also be sure to take a look at the comments. Some readers wanted to know about the environmental impact of washing all that cloth towelling, but readers say the extra laundry is actually quite minimal.

Is your home paper-towel-free? Do you still yearn wistfully for that roll of paper towels or are you really happy with your system? Share your tips and experiences in the comments.

How to Create A Paperless Kitchen [Simple Mom]


    There is the hygiene issue of re-using a cloth towel too often. I use a mix - and find you're better off using a good-quality paper towel (Viva) than a cheap one. Why? Because it works better, so you use less, and because it's more expensive, you're less wasteful.

    For those of us in South Australia, Viva has the added advantage of being made in SA...

      Yep - paper towels all the way at my house. They are used extensively for cleaning and cooking and anywhere else absorbency is required. And David I use Viva as well.

    I only use paper towels if the spill is so bad that it would damage or stain a cloth permanently. I have lots of microfibre cloths that get rinsed out thoroughly after use and chucked in the washing machine once a week with the clothes. I buy recycled paper towel and only use about 3 rolls in a year. I've never used paper towels as napkins. Cloth all the way there too.

      I only use paper towels when deep-frying. I can't imagine using clothe for that function. The best cloth for cleaning up spills is old cloth nappies! I think when we run out I will just buy more cloth nappies even though we don't need them for their intended purpose.

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