This week, I'm making an effort to kick my paper towel addiction and all the waste it produces. Reusable paper towels not only reduce waste, but they can also save a ton of money. Americans spend $5.7 billion on paper towels every year. One 8 pack roll of single use Bounty paper towels costs $17.99 at Target. On the other hand, most of the products listed below last for months, if not years, and cost less than $20.
Who Gives A Crap Dream Cloths
Dream Cloths are just swedish dish cloths by a different name. They are extremely absorbant and can be rinsed and reused for months. Every week or so, throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher to clean. Dream Cloths are made of 100% plant-based materials, so they can go directly into thee compost at end of life. In addition to making a product more sustainable than conventional paper towels, Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of profits to charities who work in water, hygiene, and sanitation.
Price: $12 for three cloths.
Marley's Monsters UNpaper Towels
Marley's Monster UNpaper Towels are made from 100% cotton flannel and can be washed and reused for years. Once they have been washed and dried a few times, they will shrink to fit perfectly on a standard paper towel roll. To clean, wash and dry normally. Marley's Monsters fabric products are all handmade in Eugene, OR and shipped plastic-free.
Price: $16 for a 6 pack, $30 for a 12 pack, $54 for a 24 pack
Mioeco Unpaper Towels
Mioeco Unpaper Towels are made of unbleached cotton in a carbon neutral, solar powered facility. They are machine washable and quick drying, potentially replaced multiple years' worth of disposable paper towels.
Price: $20.95 for a pack of 10 towels.
Wowables are another washable, reusable paper towel alternative. They are made of wood pulp and cotton, so they are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Wowables are dishwasher and machine safe, making them easy to clean.
Price: 12 sheet roll for 9.99 or 30 sheet roll for $19.99
Who Gives a Crap Bamboo Paper Towels
Who Gives a Crap paper towels are a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to be more environmentally conscious, but isn't quite ready let go of disposable paper towels. Instead of coming from trees, they are made of bamboo and bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane. These paper towels can be composted after use, as long as they haven't been contaminated by grease or toxic cleaning products. In addition to making a product more sustainable than conventional paper towels, Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of profits to charities who work in water, hygiene, and sanitation.
Price: $18 for 6 rolls.
I started using Dream Cloths, in the kitchen, as I find they work best with food messes since they are very absorbant and can be rinsed and dry quickly. After some trial and error, I've learned they should be left where they can dry, otherwise they get a little slimy. And once they are dirty, throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher to clean.
For other surfaces in the house, I use a cloth rag or resuable wet wipes. However, I do keep a box of bamboo paper towels on hand for grosser cleanups like vomit or pet mess.