Paper towels can be quite expensive, especially in a large family like mine (with small children). In trying to save money on paper towels, the first thing I did was switch to cloth napkins for our meals. We use them for about 2 days before switching to clean ones (unless they’re extremely dirty, or a child is sick and we don’t want to risk spreading germs). I also keep old cloth diapers on hand (I mainly used these as burp cloths) to use for deep cleaning, or soaking up large spills.
I had been wanting to try making my own UnPaper Towels, but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t expensive or time consuming. I saw all of the tutorials on how to sew your own, but I really don’t have time to spend hours sewing paper towels (and honestly, who would want to?). I even thought about trying to rip old flannel fabric and blankets into squares to use for paper towels, but I didn’t have any on hand, and I didn’t want to spend any extra money on it.
While walking through one of my favorite thrift stores one day, I came upon a large basket of cloth napkins. They were 25 cents for each set of four. I grabbed as many as I could, realizing that these would make an excellent replacement for paper towels! I mainly picked up the cotton napkins, as the synthetic fabric ones aren’t as absorbent. I put a basket under my kitchen sink, and once I had washed them, I threw them all in there (no folding or worrying about making them look fancy since they’re under the sink). I use them for almost everything…I can’t bring myself to use them to clean up raw meat messes or any bodily fluids…ahem. Once I’ve used them, I throw them in a basket I keep in front of my washer and wash them when I’m running low. Greasiness can be an issue, but I’ve found washing them in hot water with some Borax (along with my regular detergent) helps to reduce it.
So there you go, an easy, cheap way to start your UnPaper Towel journey! Please feel free to comment if you have any of your own tips or tricks you’ve found helpful when using UnPaper Towels.