Alternatives for Paper Towel
Kitchen Towel: It can be used as regular paper towel and thrown in the dirty basket waiting to be washed. However, it can be costly to replenish your house with it. Similarly, it can cost on energy bill to dry them in the dryer as some of them can be heavy.
Dish Towel: It is small size, easy to handle and soak water well. It can be used to wash dishes and sanitize all together rather than using sponges full with germ. However, the drying time can be somewhat longer as well. Further they don’t last long. They can tear overtime. But it is not a big deal. You would have recouped your cost by then. I have a friend that bought a load of washcloths and turn them into paperless towels in her kitchen.
Do It Yourself
This brings us to homemade towels.
There is so much pride in things you make yourself! It doesn’t have to be perfect. There are different fabrics in the market you can use to make your own paperless towel.
Flour Sack: It is rare on the market today but can be found in fabric store like JoAnn’s online website and Walmart in a hidden aisle. You can find the unbleached one at JoAnn which is very thick and the bleach thin one at Walmart. It comes wide and can be cut into 4 towels for wiping hands and things and larger pieces to wrap food. Just make sure you sow the edges. There are about $5-$6, 6pk at Walmart and run a little small. Jo-Ann’s is about $25, 6 pk(30”X 34”) larger and thicker. They are both cotton.
I have to say they are the least light among the cloth towels listed above and fast to dry thus, saving on drying time. I bought both from JoAnn site and local Walmart, cut them in 4, few in 2, and very few left uncut depending on whether, they will be used to wipe hands, dry dishes or wrap food. I sew the edges and voila! I have paperless towels that I have been using for two years. They get stained though, since there are white, but it is fine. Just keep some stored for special occasion. When people wash their hands in the kitchen, they just grab one to wipe hands and put it aside. I spread them to dry on a hanger in the laundry room for some days until I have a load to launder.
I wash them all by themselves in hot water to sanitize and dry them in the dryer or on a cloth line if the weather in good.
During winter, you can even dry them on a portable drying rack inside. It works.
Nina’s Soap Paperless Towels
I am so glad I made that choice two years ago. Now they are my go to in the kitchen. I just recycled 1 gal of ice cream or a bucket to keep them in on the counter.
If you choose that route, please wash them in hot water to sanitize them unless you will dry them outside in a sunny day. By the way, do you know the sunlight sanitize and remove stain? Yes it does! But I would wash them in hot water either way to be safe.
Hemp fabric: You can buy hemp fabric to make towels as well. It dries way better than cotton. If choosing that route which is more expensive, you might just buy hemp fabric with a blend of hemp and organic cotton. I ordered some to make homemade diaper for my kids and the extra, I cut them in small size for my paperless towels. It is heavier than flour sack but totally different quality.
Bamboo Fabric: It is a good one as well and dries better than cotton. As hemp, it is a blend of bamboo and cotton. Choose organic cotton one. It is little more expensive but a better alternative as well. I have few of those as well. It is litter than hemp.
Birdseye Fabric: It is cotton. I like it unbleached. It can be a little pricey but still more affordable than hemp and bamboo fabric.
Muslin Fabric: found at fabric store like Jo-Ann Fabric. It is lite fabric with a lot of versatile in your house. It is cotton. It does not soak water easily like flour sack but good at wiping hand and wrapping food. It is affordable and sometimes goes on sale at JoAnn for $0.99 / yd. You might buy the unbleached muslin.
In short, paper towel can be replaced with traditional kitchen towel, dish towel, homemade towel using Flour sack, Hemp, Bamboo, Birdseye, or Muslin fabric.