Ever stop to think about how much money you waste buying paper towels every week? I have! We used to use a ton of paper towels every week. We used 7 rolls per week. We bought them for $12.99 at Wegmans for a pack of 12. We used them in the guest baths, for cleaning, in the kitchen and for drying our hands after washing them. That's a total of $394.03/year that we wasted on paper towels, not to mention the environmental impact.
We switched a while ago to almost all cloth towels. We bought a variety of sizes and thickness as well as some speciality cleaning cloths with microfiber and scrubbies. I found really nice thick dish towels that I use as clean hand towels. The rule in the house (followed religiously) is that no one touches that towel (hung from the microwave) without freshly washed hands. I found wash cloth sized towels in packs of 6 at The Christmas Tree Shoppes (although it's called “And That” down here) for $2.99 and bought 2, thick dish towels in packs of 2 for $2.99 and bought 2, and a pack of 12 specialty cleaning cloths for $9. At Walmart, I found a pack of 20 cheap (thin) wash clothes for $5 and bought 2. I spent a total of $30 to supplement the 25 or so cloths we already have. I wanted to make sure that I could use as many as needed during the day (it's not unusual for me to use 20-25 cloths in a day.)
When we first started using cloth towels full time, I kept a pack of 3 paper towels in case we needed them. After all of this time, the only thing I've found that I needed the paper towels for is microwaving bacon and raw meat drippings in the kitchen. You can imagine how often that's needed.
We keep baskets full of cloths in the needed areas- the two bathrooms that we use and the kitchen. I pile the used cloths on the staircase to go upstairs at the end of the night and I throw them in with the night laundry.
It works better for us than the paper towels did, we save almost $400/year and create less trash.
I love happy endings like that!
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