Making the Switch to UnPaper Towels

Cloth diapers were a gateway drug into other eco friendly habits in my life. After a year and a half of using them I started thinking about ending my addiction to paper towels. The idea even surprised me!

The most worrisome concept about using UnPaper Towels was cleaning. I was perfectly fine with using paper napkins at dinner; it was the thought of cleaning my counters, wiping spills from the floor, and cleaning my toilet that terrified me. I knew it would be ok but how could I break the paper towel habit?

The easiest way is to go Cold Turkey. We were running low on paper towels, so once we were out I just stopped buying them. I ordered some flannel unpaper towels with serged edges- 1 layer- in pretty reds/oranges/and yellows from Etsy.com. You could just as easily make your own if you are handy. My husband was out of town on business when they came. When he returned there were cloth towels and no paper ones in sight! I never told him my plan.

Here are my tips for making unpaper towels a success in your home:

  1. Don’t keep paper towels around. You will fall back on them!
  2. Purchase a kitchen wet bag- one with two handles that can be hung on your oven- or use an open container somewhere. Easy access is nice. Toss your dirty towels in this and wash them all together.
  3. Find an easy storage solution. I fold mine in half and lay them in a basket. The basket is in the exact spot that my old paper towel holder was. That was no accident.
  4. Shake off or rinse food particles before putting in the wet bag. If you don’t you might get mold when you go long in between washes.
  5. Try to wash every 2-4 days to prevent smells or mold.
  6. Buy Cleaning Rags and dedicated Dinner Napkins. Use the rags for the messy jobs, save your soft and decorative towels for everyday dinner. You might also want to buy real napkins for nice meals and for guests.

I have stopped apologizing for not having “real” paper towels and just offer what I have to our guests. My lifestyle choice shouldn’t be something to apologize for or be embarrassed of. I’ve now been Paper Towel free for almost an entire year and I’m very proud of that! Let’s not forget, there was a time when there were no paper towels!

I know our family has saved a lot of money by changing over to UnPaper Towels. Now every time I pass the paper products aisle I chuckle knowing I rarely have to visit it. We haven’t crossed into using Family Cloth yet (cloth wipes for the bathroom to replace toilet paper) but we stick to virtually no paper products other than toilet paper. It’s a good thing!

– written by guest blogger, Kim Rosas

Kim Rosas is the mother of a 2.5 year old and her newest baby born 10-20-2010 at home. She runs www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com and www.clothdiaperfinder.com. Her family resides in Central New York where they are all dreaming of Summer and berry picking.

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About the Author

Giselle Baturay is a mother, herbalist, aromatherapist, prenatal and postpartum educator, boutique owner, community builder, gatherer of dreams, task juggler and a lover of life.



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