Wednesday, July 8, 2009

WFMW - Using Fewer paper towels

It is so easy to have a small spill in the kitchen, grab a paper towel, wipe it up and throw the towel away. As I have been on a journey to find simple, yet meaningful, ways to save money, I have found I can be very wasteful with paper towels...
So i bought a package of 18 plain, inexpensive white washcloths for about $4 at Wal Mart. And I bought 2 small painter's buckets for about $2 each.

In one of the buckets I add a little bit of Oxi Clean powder (you can use any cleaner you might want) and some water. I add a handful of washcloths and let them soak. Then, when I need to wipe up a spill or wipe down my counters, I just grab one that has been soaking. If the mess is not bad, I rinse off the cloth and put it back in to soak for next time.
If the job was a bit bigger and I do not want to add it back to my bucket o' clean water and Oxi Clean, I use my other bucket to hold the dirty ones until I wash them all in the laundry.
I store them both right under the sink, so they are accessible and ready to go. I still buy paper towels, but use them for things like getting the grease off the bacon before I eat it and drying out my fresh lettuce leaves that I have just washed to eat...

This is something I have found that works great for me and my family! We buy and use less paper towels (good for environment and our budget) and the cleaner is stretched a lot further when in the bucket o' water! For more great ideas, head on over o We Are THAT Family.


  1. Have you found that they start to smell mildewy? I tried making homemade baby wipes with a similar idea as yours and they started to smell mildewy. Let me know how it works for you!

  2. Tara,
    I have been doing it this way about a month. I have not found that they smell mildewy at all. I try to wash them once I get 5 or 6 in the dirty bucket (and I know I am doing a load of towels anyway).

  3. Just a quick suggestion as I've been trying to use less paper towels too. I bought a pack of microfiber cleaning cloths from the auto dept at Wal-Mart to use. I cut several in half and use a new one each day for wiping down counters, cleaning the stove, etc. The package is so huge I've found uses for them all over the house! I also bought some larger sized ones from Target in their auto dept for drying dishes and they do a great job. They're red/tan stripes and match my kitchen to boot.

    Kudos to you for using less paper towels! :)