My family was never very big on paper towels growing up. Yes we did use them, but not on a regular basis like I've seen other families do. We mostly used them to clean up when the cat puked. Or to clean windows and mirrors. And we occasionally had the paper napkins, but I personally never really used them.
The bottom line, there's nothing a good old fashion cloth towel cannot do that the paper towel can. The paper kind might be more convenient (I blame the Bounty ads), use and throw away, but not to sound like a broken record, it is a complete needless waste.
I just want to put out there, before getting too deep into the cloth paper towels, that paper towels are compostable, as long as they were not used to clean up oils or fat (meat stuffs), or poop (not sure about other bodily fluids, aka puke, though, but I would say no).
Cloth not-paper towels just take a little getting used to, but I'm sure you'll be happy that you aren't throwing away all those paper towels, and will never look back! And while you're at it, substitute napkins, too, for the cloth version.
Let's look at a few different options.
This one looks just like paper towels on a roll, but are cloth towels!! I thought that was so cool when I first pinned it. There are a ton of different sellers on Etsy, but this one was one of my very first pins! Plus, how cute are they?!?!
Snapping Paper Towel Set from MamaMade on Etsy
They seem pretty straightforward to make, but just in case, here's a 5$ PDF pattern on Etsy if you need help making them. And that pattern is for the pick-a-size ones.
These ones are made from Birdseye cloth and are quite affordable. I've read good things about this type of material. Thin, absorbent, soft are just a few qualities that make it stand out to me.
LilAdi on Etsy
I also saw some made from terry cloth, microfiber and flannel. So there's a lot of choices for your needs and tastes.
I also stumbled upon some wet bags selling again on Etsy, for holding the not-paper towels that are used. That answers that question that I had!
24$ from pepperjackhome on Etsy
If you use cloth paper towels, I'd love to have your input! Please leave me a comment! How do you make it work, how many do you have, how often do you wash them?! Cuz the thing is, I already rarely use paper towels, so if I'd get cloth paper towels, they might just sit for a month before I need to wash them... Of course when I get kids that will be an other story, but that's not in the close future.
Of course you can make your cloth towels from just about anything, though the more absorbent the better (old towels maybe?). Better save those less absorbent materials for napkins. Great way to reuse old linens!!
Speaking of which, if there's a particularly gross mess that you need to pick up, and really don't want to clean the rag after, use old clothes that were headed for the trash. I'm especially thinking of socks, what are you suppose to do with old socks, anyways? I think this could be a good last effort reuse for them. Moving on.
Tips from a pro: Clean Mama
The idea for cloth napkins is the same. They have been around for a long time, my mom has some that she uses more just for special dinners, so to me they are more fancy. I'm really not sure why we ever preferred the paper napkins, other than the convenience of it.
The best part is you can make cloth napkins out of absolutely any material! If there's a pretty fabric something or other on special that you really like the print, turn them into napkins.
That's what Megan from The Homes I Have Made did. She got a pretty shower curtain on special and converted them to napkins!
The Homes I Have Made
Simple Mom has some really great tips for going paper towel free, and explains the different types of cloth towels she uses every day.
Oh, and while we're at it, could we substitute kleenexes for handkerchief's? Go back to the way it used to be? This one is a real biggy for me, I dunno if I could, but I'd like to try! Maybe. I'm not gonna mention reusable toilet paper, I'm really not there yet!!
image courtesy of Cozy Green Cocoon
Are you ready to throw-in the paper towel?! Just try it out and see how it goes! If you need more motivation I'm here for you!
Have a great weekend everyone, and see you tomorrow!
Catch up on the series:
I party at these parties.