Ditching the Paper Towels

About a year ago, I started putting more of an effort into using less paper towels and using more reusable cleaning options. I was resistant to using cloths instead of paper towels in my cleaning for a long time because I just thought that it would create more work for me in the form of laundry as well as increase my water usage because of the increased laundry.

Well, I finally gave up on those hold ups and gave in to reusable cleaning cloths. It really has not increased my laundry very much and if it has made an impact on my water usage, it has been so inconsequential that, I haven’t noticed it.

Reusable cloths can be rinsed out in the sink, squeezed dry and reused throughout the day provided they haven’t been used to wipe up anything that would cause the spread of germs. A simple wiping down of the crumbs on the counters and the tables doesn’t dirty the cloth enough for a washing.

I have a drawer in my kitchen that is set aside for clean cloths, so they are within easy reach for cleaning (and drying hands). Things like old wash cloths and hand towels work great, so you don’t always have to purchase something new.

In the beginning, there was the dilemma of what to do with the dirty rags. I didn’t want my dirty clothes hamper full of stinky wet rags. When I’m done using a rag and it is dirty, I rinse it (if it is really soiled), shake out any debris, and squeeze it dry in the kitchen sink. Then I put it in my laundry room sink. If you don’t have a laundry room sink, you could have a plastic basket specifically for these dirty items.

Depending on how much cleaning I’ve been doing, I will once or twice a week do a load of wash with only towels. I’ll gather all of the towels from the house to include, such as bathroom towels and hand towels.

Once I got over the initial habit change, it has been easy to transition from paper towels to reusable cloths. I like that I’m not spending as much on disposable products and that I’m able to reuse these items over and over.

I still use paper towels for really dirty projects, especially when cleaning things that involve a lot of germs (such as wiping counters that have raw meat drippings, etc.), but overall my paper towel usage has decreased dramatically. It has been one way to easily make our house a little more green.

Do you use reusable cloths for cleaning?

While SC Johnson is the sponsor of the 30 Green Days Challenge, all opinions and comments within this post are my own.