Replace Paper Towels with Resuable Cloths
We switched to using reusable cloths in the kitchen and around the house a few years ago. I loved the convenience of using paper towels but once I realized there were other alternatives that satisfied my urge to be more eco responsible AND worked great too, I began to experiment with how I could use less of them. It took a couple of tries to get the hang of it but now although I do keep them on hand I hardly ever find a need for my one use disposables anymore.
Here are some tips for ditching the paper towels;
Have a system in place Where do you store your reusable cloths? Where will you stash the dirty ones? How often will you wash them? Answer these questions before switching and it will make the process so much easier.
Try a wire or woven basket on your kitchen counter to hold your folded cloths. It is both pretty and practical. Keep an extra stash under the sink where they are easy to reach.
Hang a laundry bag inside a kitchen cabinet door or at the end of a cabinet and when it is full of dirty cloths throw them in the washer. Keep some extra stored for use while the dirty ones are being washed and you will never run out of clean cloths.
Have more than you need The reason most of us love using paper towels is because reaching for one is mindless and there are always plenty in supply. I think it's best to approach switching to cloth the same way - have more than you need on hand and it will be almost as easy! Every six months or so just take stock and see if you need to add to your supply.
Wash the dirty ones early! Don't wait until all your cloths are dirty.Tossing the dirty ones into the washer while still zipped in the lingerie bag makes it simple to pull them out of the washer or dryer for a quick hang or fold before they get lost in the rest of the laundry and their ready to reuse.
Separate them according to their uses I don't like the thought of using the same cloth in the kitchen that I use in the bathroom! So keeping separate cloths for different purposes keeps that from happening. Keep some for general cleaning as well as a group for the kitchen and another designated for the bathroom. You can even use a permanent marker to signify which cloths are used where; b=bathroom, k=kitchen and so on.
Reign in the Fussy - I'm not too fussy about my white cloths that get dirty but it is nice to have some dark cloths around for really messy clean ups. There are still some things that I just don't want to dirty my reusable cloths on so I keep one lone paper towel roll around for those moments when only the paper towel will do for cleaning this mess. The longer I have done without the paper towels though the less frequently I seem to find those occasional needs.
Share your special tips for changing over to cloth from paper towels