Paper Towels: I Love To Hate-To-Love Them

by Lynda Houston

Paper Towels. I love them, I hate them. 

As an avid environmentalist, I cringe as I still find myself falling back on this bulky monthly staple, and besides, I don't want to be a typical American "weirdly obsessed with the paper towel." 

That awkwardly large pack of paper towels not only takes up a boatload of space in my shopping cart, it's apparently going to be more expensive if the national tariff situation is not soon resolved.

So, I've turned my back on paper towels for good, and rejoice daily in saving money and the environment.  

As I researched how to do this, I learned the the startup costs can get rather steep if I let them.

So, I started small and took a mental inventory of where I commonly used paper towels - then I searched for alternatives that were simple and cheap.

The biggest member of my towel arsenal is a stack of IKEA dish towels. I used my $15 off coupon (received during my birthday month) to purchase as many towels as I could. At 79 cents per towel, it seemed a good deal.

TEKLA Dish towel IKEA The colors are retained wash after wash thanks to the yarn dyed cotton. With loop for hanging for easy storage when not in use.

Additionally, I found that using cloth diapers is genius, as they are obviously super absorbent and easy to clean and bleach.

As a vegan I have no worries about wiping up raw meat or heavy grease, but for you omnivores, I also suggest cutting up T-shirts.  Yes, head to your closet and purge, along with a sharp pair of scissors. I cut mine into smaller squares, then store them in a basket under my sink. I wash and bleach them along with my towels.

Huck towels are also great for wiping up grease and heavier spills, and I have used these on my windows and mirrors.

Overall, it has been impressive, the amount of reused wipes I blow through in any given week.

Lastly, I realized I go through a lot of scrub sponges in the kitchen.

I found some biodegradable sponges which I think would do perfectly. The cost wasn't that bad either.

What other ways do you save money and protect the environment when it comes to cleaning your home?

Let me know in the comments!