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Reusable paper towelsare one of the most convenient ways to clean up your kitchen. However, they are also one of the most environmentally unfriendly things you can use around the house. When it comes to household cleaning, paper towels can make any job simple and easy, but in the long run, using a sustainable option is better for your household and the planet. There are so many wipes, single-use towelettes, and paper towels that you can purchase for household cleaning purposes. However, the convenience of these single-use cleaning options may leave your pocketbook hurting as much as the environment. You see, with sustainable options being what they are today, you may not realize just how easy it is to make your own single-use wipes and towelettes that can replace disposable paper towels. The trick to making the most out of every dollar you spend on household cleaning products is to find alternatives to single-use paper towels. Not only are recyclable kitchen towels a good idea, but they are also environmentally friendly, and customizable.
Top 11 Eco-Friendly Paper Towel Alternatives
Say “Goodbye,” to wasteful, single-use paper products, and try these sustainable alternatives to paper towels. Here is a sample of the top 12 best eco-friendly options.
Microfiber – Cleaning cloths made of microfiber work well in all shapes, and sizes. You can find a collection of basic cleaning cloths for household use at a drugstore for just a few dollars. Cut the full-sized cloth down into the right sizes for small spills, large messes, and surface cleaning of counters, basing, and sinks.
Cotton Napkins – You can make small napkins out of everyday materials you find around the house. Use recycled pillowcases, blankets, towels, sheets, and anything else made of cotton to create the perfect alternative to paper towels. You can also cut longer towels for use in the kitchen, all the way down to squares, rectangles, and even circles to suit all of your household’s uses for cotton napkins.
Unpaper – Towels used for spills, drying hands, and storage can be called unpaper. This type of reusable paper towel can be made out of a range of non-paper materials including hemp fiber, cotton, and other recycled materials to create a unique texture that seems like paper, but is washable. Unpaper napkins make the closest match to real paper towels but offer a more sustainable option.
Sponges – The ultra-absorbent nature of a sponge makes it the perfect cleaning companion in the kitchen. You may not realize how many options there are to choose from when you are shopping for a reusable sponge because you may have only seen kitchen sponges in a pop-up style. Sheet sponges make ideal reusable towelettes because they are unmatched in absorption, durability, and grease-fighting capacity. Use a sheet sponge to clean any type of mess around the house, and to wipe surfaces with all-purpose household cleaners. Sheet sponges are so thin and durable that they usually last for six months to a year – even with regular use!
Chambray Napkins –More than a paper towel or micro cloth, these napkins are ideal for entertaining guests. Use them to dab your mouth, wipe up small spills, and offer an attractive appeal to any meal.
Beeswax Wrap – Mother Nature took great care when she made the diligent worker bee. Responsible for making honey and wax, the little buzzers make reusable beeswax wrap possible. Using beeswax wrap is easier than using conventional coverings like cloth or paper towels because you can simply hand wash the sheets after using them for food storage. Try swapping your paper towels for beeswax to cover reusable containers, store food, and warp avocado, lemon, cheese, herbs, and other items that spoil.
Linen – You can stop using plastic in the kitchen, and toss out all of your paper towels by using linen. Reusable linen works well as a bowl cover to store food, and keep it fresh even when you do not have plastic storage containers. Simply use the linen, like you would any other type of cloth, or paper towel to protect your produce and leftovers. Making your own DIY bowl covers is easy when you use linen because you can simply stitch a small piece of elastic to the edges, making a gripper that works for any size container you desire.
Huck Towels – Using this type of low-lint cotton is ideal in the kitchen. Not only are huck towels breathable, and more durable than paper towels, but they also offer more cleanup capacity. Create pre-moistened towelettes from huck towels to make single-use wipes ideal for household cleaning jobs large, or small.
Textured Cloth–Larger spills, and soiling around the house may require a little more elbow grease. Try using a coarse-textured cloth as a replacement for paper towels. In the kitchen, and around the house these clothes are ideal for removing deep stains, grease, and dirt from all surfaces including carpeting. A 24-pack of textured clothes can cost as little as $5.00 at your local drug store.
Sandwich Wraps – Many people use disposable plastic bags, along with a paper towel to store their lunch. Packing your lunch is a great way to cut costs and support sustainability, but if you are simply tossing out your baggies and storage containers, it could be costing you. Reduce your lunchtime budget, and become more environmentally friendly by using sandwich wraps. Reuseable and recyclable, these wraps are perfect for every meal you make to-go.
Silicone Bags – Storage bags can create a heap of trash if you use them every day. If you toss in a paper towel for every sandwich bag you use to store your favorite foods, you could end up with more trash (and more money spent) than you wanted. Replace your plastic sandwich baggies with a silicone bag for fresher foods and less waste. Silicone food savers are also available as an alternative to paper towels for food packaging so that your produce last longer.
Should I Replace My Paper Towels?You may be wondering, “Why should I replace my paper towels?” There are many reasons to toss out your paper towels including less waste, and more savings. However, if you have not considered replacing your single-use towelettes with a more eco-friendly option, it is most likely because you simply do not have a good reason to. It is estimated that 318.4 million Americans used paper towels in 2019, and this figure is projected to increase progressively through 2023. That is great news for paper towel companies, but it is bad news for the planet. Save trees for a greener purpose, and choose one of these 11 best alternatives for paper towels in your home.
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