Eye Spy

Reusable Paper Towels?


Something that is a paper towel but not? I have to admit I do feel guilty about the 5,000 paper towels I use a day cleaning up after Bug. Could this be a good alternative? But what about germs and the fact that I don’t have a washing machine or a dishwaher? Would I need to stock up on them or would a good rinse under scalding hot water do the trick?


  • Ashley

    That just sounds like having a dish cloth. I may feel slightly guilty about the fact that paper towel gets used for many a job around here but my purpose in doing that is so that I do NOT have to wash anything else. Two small kidlets, a mechanic for a Daddy and 1 sloppy Momma make waaaay to much laundry for me to buy anything new that requires washing, drying or *gasp* folding!

  • beyond

    excessive paper towel use is one of my pet peeves.
    why americans love their paper towels so much (while being very suspicious of bar mops/dish cloths) i will never comprehend.

  • Erin

    I think you would probably just have to stock up and wash them at the laundry mat. BUT I think you could use them for at least a day before they would need to get thrown into the laundry (separating ones with cleaning stuff on them and ones just for dishes, hands, etc.). I get all hyped up about this kind of thing- making spreadsheets about how much money I spend on paper towels…then comparing that to the cost of the washable ones plus the extra cost of washing…and then if it doesn’t break even in like, 6 months…I hesitate. Luckily most things do, though. That’s why we switched to cloth diapers.

  • Kara

    I just use washclothes, they’re cheap and easy. Yes they have to be washed, but I have to do laundry anyway and they don’t add much to it. We have a washer and dryer so they just go right into the washer when I’m done using one. When we didn’t have a washer I had a waterproof bag that I tossed the dirty ones into until laundry day. I don’t fold, I have a box they go in and I just stuff them in there until I need them. I rinse them in hot water, but if you’re more of a germaphobe you could microwave them and I’m pretty sure that would kill anything.

  • bonnie

    I don’t have a washer, either, but I have about 400 kitchen towels from Ikea that I use for almost all jobs instead of paper towels. They don’t take up too much room in the cupboard or the laundry.

    Or you can do what my grandpa used to do and use regular paper towels but wash them and lay them out to dry to be used again. Why he didn’t use cloth (with a washer in his house) is beyond me!

  • nicole

    I rarely use paper towels except for cat vomit and bacon…it takes me forever to use a whole roll. I use rags for other clean up’s…sometimes a sham-wow, or other “fancy” rags but most of the time I use old cloth diapers and spit cloths. I know this would mean more laundry for you but depending on what you are using it for rags can be rinsed and hung over the sink or balcony to dry and be used another time. Were you asking for opinions?

  • Kuky

    I bought some dish towels trying to cut back on paper towel use. But I can’t ever find them. :-D Now I use those paper towels that are perforated smaller so you don’t use a whole big piece of paper but half the size. It seems like we use less now but I would still like to use my dish towels. Maybe I should just buy some more…

  • BeachMama

    At my house I am the dishcloth girl and Hubby is the paper towel boy. I rarely use them and he uses one for everything. I find it funny and he hates dishcloths so what to do? He probably wouldn’t use a reusable paper towel because to him that would equal a dishcloth.

  • andrea from the fishbowl

    I rarely use paper towels. We get the kind that are perforated in such a way that you can easily use half a sheet if that’s all you need.

    I use microfibre dishclothes for almost all of our wiping up. To make them last longer between washings I microwave them at the end of the day for about a minute and hang them to dry by the sink. Sometimes I take a bar of solid laundry soap (eg. Sunlight) to the dishcloths and give them a good scrubbing in hot water and THEN I microwave them.

  • Brittany

    One idea is to just make a bunch using the old fabric that you have lying around the apartment and then use the seamer to give them unified edges (kind of like the party flags).