Goodbye Paper Towels

Let's face it, paper towels are convenient. And you can get them in 100% post-consumer recycled paper, so it's easy to feel fine about using them. But unfortunately, they're still wasteful. That recycled paper could be used to make something else: printer paper, toilet paper, whatever. And they come wrapped in plastic, so that's a downer too.

So to find a replacement for paper towels, I had to think about what I actually like to use them for. Basically, I like to use them for things that I don't want my dish cloths touching, because I wouldn't want that mess to touch anything I eat off of. For the most part, these things are: messes on the floor, cat-related messes, super greasy stuff, and cleaning the toilet.

I have to admit, there's also a part of me that was hanging on to paper towels because I really like my paper towel holder. The thought of having a paper towel holder sitting empty under my kitchen cupboards for the rest of my life bothers me a little bit! Weird, right? But it really would, it would bother me.

I played with different options for cloth towels and read quite a few related blog posts on the Internet. People have solved this issue in what seems like a variety of ways but is really just one - you use rags. Maybe you use dish clothes, maybe you use pieces of fleece, or maybe you use your old socks, but basically you take some sort of cloth and use it instead of paper towel.

But I was looking for something that I could put on my paper towel holder like the old days. So we gathered some old, hole-y t-shirts. I cut them into roughly 10.5'' squares, and wrapped them around an old paper towel tube, overlapping a few inches with each towel. The end result?

I made about 10 so far. Likely I will make some more, but my hand was sore from scissor-work, and I thought I had enough for now. I was happy with these for three types of messes, but still preferred something separate for cleaning the toilet. Can you guess which rags below are for toilet cleaning?

The brown rags are made from a hand towel I bought at Value Village and cut into four pieces. The torn towel rags on the left I decided to designate to the basement, where it is mostly cat-related messes that need to be cleaned up.

So that's it! Cut up old t-shirts for paper towels, brown rags for the toilet, and old towel rags for the basement. And now I have one more wasteful item eliminated from my home. Awesome!

Have you replaced paper towel with something new? What do you use?


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