Growing up in Germany, we never used Paper Towels. In fact, it was well after I had gotten married and came back to visit that I saw the first roll of paper towels at my parent’s house. My mom told me later, that the only reason she bought it was because she saw us using them all the time and thought we might need them. Hmm…
That got me to question the habit I’d gotten into of reaching for them any time there was something to be wiped up or cleaned. Just because most families in the US use paper towels on a daily basis, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should as well. So I went through my “rags” pile, picked up a few of them and started using them instead. It worked like a charm for all sorts of spills and cleaning chores.
Start With What You Have
Don’t go out and buy a bunch of rags to replace your paper towels. Use what you have including:
- old t-shirts
- old towels, cut into squares
- stained kitchen towels
- cloth diapers
Keep Them Handy
Set up a drawer or box to keep these rags in so they are handy when you need to wipe up a spill, clean a toddler up after lunch, or get ready to do some dusting.
Rinse and Repeat
As your rags get dirty, just throw them in the washer. Yes, there is some cost associated with washing your rags, but from my estimation, I spend less washing and drying my rags than I did buying paper towels. For added savings, air-dry the rags instead of tossing them into the dryer.