The Basics of Unpapertowels
Once you read this post you'll think "goodness, this is so easy, why was I overthinking this for so long".
Because having adopted unpapertowels in our home for over 7 years at this point, I've tried them all and I'm going to tell you how we make them work for cheap and easy.
That is what I need in my life in this season, cheap and easy.
It was 2016 and Nick and I were newlyweds, we finally moved into our first apartment as a married couple and I was ready to live out all my homesteading, non-toxic living dreams. The first project was unpapertowels, not the most exciting but still important. I got into my head that I wanted these white towels, clearly I didn't have kids at this point, and had read a blog about this woman who sewed hers from cloth diaper. I promptly requested 10 yards of diaper cloth fabric from my father for Christmas. He didn't ask questions at this point he knew better.
Well I'll tell you those white diaper cloth towels served us well but they are long gone. And since then I've learned a TON about cleaning my house naturally and also using cloth towels instead of paper towels.
Here in Pennsylvania the average 8 pack of paper towels is well over $20. I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y.
I'm going to show you how to adopt paper towels in your home in a way that fits seamlessly with your weekly wash & cleaning routine.
#1 - Don't Go Broke
A quick search on Etsy will offer you packs of 6-20 beautifully handmade cloth towels priced any where between $20-$40. I don't know about you but my house can go through that amount of towels in a day. And I'm not during laundry daily. No thank you.
These don't need to be fancy. Seriously guys, you are going to be cleaning up raw chicken juice, toddler spills, bathroom sinks and muddy footprints with these. Don't fall down the Instagram fancy aesthetic rabbit hole on this.
You could totally rip up old dump-destined t-shirts for this job but since we keep these in a jar on our counter I don't want old "glee" scrap t-shirts greeting guests in our home. Go to the store, grab a cheap pack of washcloths, yes the ones you find in the bathroom department. You can find a cheap pack of 6 for less than $4 at Target.
These are a great size since you can easily dry hands, clean up a spill or wipe down a counter top with one.
#2 - Clean All The Things
Yes, these towels are going to clean gross things.
Chicken Juice? yeppers
Muddy hands? Sure
Dog pee spot on the floor? You betcha
Generally speaking our rules are poop and excessive oil or grease are the only things we use actual paper towels for and we have a roll stashed under the sink. But other than that we use our cloth towels.
#3 - Don't Make Washing Complicated
When we started using cloth towels I did do a separate load of laundry. Now-a-days? I don't worry about it so much.
Our washer is on our first floor, if we have a really gross clean up the towel gets walked right into the laundry room and goes right into the washer and waits for the next load. But most towels simply get thrown in the small laundry basket I keep in the living room. This basket is there is collect the cloth towels but also the kids cloths and random socks my children, and husband, leave scattered in the living room throughout the week. Once the basket is full it gets washed. With this process we have clean cloth towels being washed with every load of laundry so it never feels like I'm doing extra and we constantly have clean towels being replenished.
#4 - But What About Bacon?!
The inevitable bacon questions. You've probably read that you don't want to put oil soaked cloth, towels or clothing in the washer and dryer since it's a fire hazard. Yes. So we simply strain our bacon with a fine mesh strainer over a bowel. We can then keep the bacon grease drippings for cooking later and we don't have soggy greasy bacon. If you are REALLY picky about your bacon simply use your paper towel stash for those instances.
And there it is! Unpapertowels - Cheap & Easy.
It's been years since we've bought paper towels regularly. My pocketbook is happy because those things are expensive! and my heart is happy because paper towels are simply a waste! I'll be honest that I slightly hate the word unpapertowels. If you said that word to our great great grandmothers they would look at us like we have ten heads! This is simply what good old fashioned cleaning looked like!
Clean - Wash - Repeat!