Quick- Grab a Paper Towel!

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That is one phrase you will never hear in our house.  (yes, I know never say never, so maybe in our house, but not said by us)  I am not a paper towel nazi, but I don’t care for their use either.  In a year’s time we go through maybe 3 rolls.  By we, I mean dear hubby :-) Instead, I keep a trash can close by the sink filled to the brim with rags to use for all sorts of spills and messes.  Besides our spaghetti shirts and painting shirts, this is yet another great way to reuse old T-shirts instead of sending them to goodwill where they stay on the racks for months or get thrown in the trash.

I cut brightly colored shirts in half so that when we have a big spill we can easily grap for a large bright rag to fit the size of the mess.  Gray and white shirts are cut into smaller squares for regular sized spills and messes.  I wipe sticky food off Little One’s and Turkey’s faces with these rags too.  Don’t worry- I don’t use the same ones for icky things.  Old socks get cut off at the ankle (so they don’t find their way back into the sock drawers) and both parts make wonderful rags for mopping floors and scrubbing in bathrooms.

One of the main reasons people argue for the use of paper towels is how sanitary their use is.  Because I have so many rags I can use them once and toss them in the dirty clothes basket.  I do throw them out if they get too stained since I have so many.  Occasionally I will use a paper towel myself, but usually only when I’m handling raw meat.  You’re thinking that’s just about every day right?  Remember, I like to do my cooking in batches to save me prep and clean up time.  The last time I can remember getting messy with raw meat was when I cooked for the February casserole swap- 4 weeks ago!

If you typically use a lot of paper towels – try cutting up a few old T-shirts and putting them in a convenient location to use for spills and messes in your kitchen.  Hopefully you can soon see a decrease in what you’re spending on paper products.  If you’re like me and change is hard, you may need to just leave them piled in the place where you would normally keep the paper towels (which you’ve conveniently hidden out of sight)  Because we use so few, I can usually get my paper towels for under $0.10 a roll!  Even as cheap as I can get paper towels, I think the rags work better and are certainly better for the environment.  Any other rag users out there?


  1. Anonymous says:

    We use both, but I am using cloth napkins at the table, so I think that’s a good step for us. We have a lot of used clothing items for rags, but usually tend to use them outside.

    Old towels or tshirts cut apart on one side are good “weed blocker” instead of buying the plastic at the store!


  2. I quit buying paper towels all together as we don’t use them. I do keep some paper napkins in the kitchen from fast food restaurants and leftover from parties and use them mostly for grease which isn’t very often. We use cloth napkins at the dinner table as well and otherwise the kitchen towel or wash cloth for other spills. Another nifty tip I read about was cutting up old t-shirts for reusable baby wipes. Very economical if you don’t already get a good deal on wipes. Precouponing, I had some specially made reusuable wipes and if I ever run out of my stockpile, I plan on using them again until I find another incredible deal. Same goes for cloth diapers.

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