Yesterday we talked about getting started with using cloth instead of paper for cleaning around the house, and today I want to go into a little more detail to help you make that switch.
Along with moving your paper towels to a less convenient location, the next thing you need to do is decide what types of cloth you want to use to replace your paper towels. Here are several different ideas of cloths to get you started. You can choose to use just one type for everything, or use different types to fit your different needs.
- Bar Mop Towels – In my opinion, these are the best replacement for paper towels. They are versatile enough to be used for lots of different jobs around the house, including basic and deep cleaning, drying hands or dishes, wiping spills, and more.
- Microfiber Towels – Microfiber Towels are perfect for cleaning all around the house. They are great for dusting, either dry, or just a little bit damp, for cleaning the bathroom, washing windows and mirrors, and even dusting or mopping the floors (I wrap them around my Swiffer mop for easy sweeping).
- Wash cloths – Wash cloths are great in the kitchen for light wiping up of the counters, table and chairs. They’re also much better than paper napkins or towels for wiping little hands and faces after meals, especially if they are a little wet.
- Cloth Napkins – If you currently use paper towels as your napkins, then investing in cloth napkins for your family to use instead is probably a good idea.
- Misc. Cotton Cloths/Rags – These are some of the best types of cloths because they’re usually free! You can cut up old t-shirts, flannel receiving blankets, or any other scraps of fabric that are past their prime and use them for basic cleaning.
After you’ve chosen what types of cloths you will use, you need to set up a laundry system along with somewhere to store your cloths until laundry day.
We use a mesh laundry basket that hangs in our basement and we throw our cloths down there when we’re done with them and usually do at least one load a week, and sometimes two. If I have really wet rags I let them hang over our baby gate that is on the basement stairs until they’re dry and then toss them down.
I have found that the key to not having stinky/moldy rags is to not let wet rags sit bunched up in an unventilated place and to wash often. I wash rags on the heavy duty cycle with hot water and add either Borax or oxygen bleach, which helps to keep them clean and odor free.
There were several great questions and answers in the comments on yesterday’s post about getting started with cloth, if you want to head back there and read through those. Or, you can post any questions you have about making the switch to cloth here too and I’ll be happy to answer them as best as I can.
Also, one question that I get asked often about using cloth is draining bacon and other greasy foods. I usually use a plain brown paper bag from the grocery store to drain bacon and have found that works pretty well. It’s not as absorbent as a paper towel, but it gets the job done. Also, Anjanette commented yesterday that they use a cloth to drain their bacon every morning and just wash it with the rest of their cloths and haven’t found it to be a problem.
If you’re still using paper towels for cleaning around your house, do you think you can start making the switch to cloth?
Go here to read all the posts in the 31 Days to Green Clean series.
Top Photo Credit: storebukkebruse/Flickr
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