Ditch the Paper Towels

As a former paper towel addict, I can attest to the fact that it is possible to give up paper towels.  We have been on the same roll of paper towels for over a year now.  Giving up paper towels is good for the environment and for your wallet.  Only recently have I started using them again to make Homemade Hand Sanitizing Wipes; although, my plan is to try to use reusable cloths cut from old t-shirts for my next batch.

Going cold turkey may sound impossible but it’s a lot easier than you think.  Here is my list of paper towel alternatives:

  • A large stack of washcloths

That’s it.  I use washcloths for everything – washing dishes, cleaning countertops, cleaning bathroom sinks and toilets, dusting, wiping hands and faces, removing makeup and more.  I have cheap, standard washcloths for the cleaning stuff and I use those thin, soft, baby washcloths (gifts from a baby shower) for removing makeup or cleaning faces.  I even cut up old towels to make my own washcloths.

I have heard some concerns about the washcloths collecting germs and bacteria.  That is why I wash them frequently – as in after every use, which is something that you can’t do with sponges.  So after I wipe down the kitchen counters, I throw it in the wash.  I never reuse a washcloth after cleaning the toilet or something equally germy.  And I just put the cloths in with my towels and sheets so I don’t have to run them in a separate load.

Washcloths have an abrasive surface that paper towels and sponges don’t have so they actually clean more effectively.  And even the cheap ones last way longer than a sponge.  I have been using the same set for 11 years!

The best part about using wash cloths for cleaning is that I don’t have to spend any more money on paper towels.  We used to go through a roll of paper towels at least every week.  Now I’m saving over $86 per year!

If you really really care about the environment, you can choose organic cotton washcloths.  Otherwise, plain old cotton wash cloths will do the job.

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