Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paper Towels Suck

Paper towels suck.

Hear me out. I can prove it to you.
A few months ago, spills and accidents had me going through paper towels at a rate of one roll about every two days. If you figure about $1.50 per roll, this would cost our family around $274 per year. Sounds stupid, right?
This doesn't even include freak events that could burn through several rolls of paper towels at once, such as the following:
- a dishwasher leak
- that time a bottle of soda shattered all over the kitchen
- that time a bottle of apple juice shattered all over the kitchen
- forgetting to empty the dehumidifier until it was WAY too late
- potty training *shudder*

Want to know a great substitute for paper towels?

I kid you not.

I got a pack of cheap wash cloths at Walmart forever ago (a dozen of them for a couple of bucks) to clean the white board and chalk board in my room. On maternity leave, I used them to clean up the kids and little meal-time messes. Now, I always have a wet one draped over the faucet of the sink to grab in the event of an emergency,

My collection has grown past wash cloths and I HAVEN'T HAD TO PURCHASE ANY OF IT.

Isn't my motley assortment pretty?

I have old towels and hand towels of ours, ones donated by family members, those cutesy seasonal dishtowels that people give me for some reason that I just can't fathom, and even old burp cloths from when the boys were babies.
A wet wash cloth and some spray cleaner cleans the table, stove, counters, etc. A dry wash cloth and the same spray cleaner takes care of windows, mirrors, and the TV. Dish towels or hand towels dry the dishes, the table, and the counter, then absorb small spills at meal time. Used bath towels already destined for the laundry are used to mop of the bigger messes, like when the toddler doesn't get that underwear WILL NOT WORK LIKE A DIAPER.
When I'm done, they all get tossed into whatever load(s) I'm washing the next day, because let's just agree that laundry is perpetual. It doesn't even matter if they get wrecked or bleached, so long as they still absorb fluid.

It's brilliant, easy, saves money, saves cart and trunk space on shopping days, and you probably have everything you need already on hand.


  1. I definitely agree, I have been doing this for years! Saves a ton of money, especially having 4 kids and a dog who likes to occasionally knock things over.

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  3. I've been doing this for years. Except that I am super-fancy and use my home-knitted/crocheted wash clothes for the dishes. I use the cheapy-cheap bought ones for cleaning. I actually bought paper towels for the first time in about a year to clean with pre-move.

    1. Yeah, but you're fancier than I am!

  4. I'm with you until someone throws up all over the floor/couch/bed/themselves. Then, I want something disposable.


    1. Paula, this hit home today when cleaning up a poop-related incident. Thank heaven our washer has a 'sanitize' setting. I'd never get over it otherwise.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you! I love what you have done at Our Homemade Happiness, so that compliment means a lot to me. :)

  6. great post! I still use paper towels, but mostly for things I wouldn't want to put through the washer. :)

    wash "rags" as they were fondly referred to in my family are so handy to use !