The downfall of the paper towel

We use a lot of paper towels in our home.  I keep a roll handy ~ next to my kitchen stove for quick clean ups.  Right next to the paper towel-sized bottle of wine, an absolute necessity for cooking~after business hours, of courseHa ha.  I would feel lost without my paper towels.  Remember, I run a childcare business inside my home.  There are a ton of little messes to clean up. 

I used to keep a roll in the downstairs bathroom next to the sink for drying our hands with after washing.  I quit putting cloth hand towels in that bathroom some time ago and I'll tell you why.  Children are so germy!!!   I know, shocker.  They are amazing little germ factories and they love to share those germs with anyone and everything they get their hands on.  They may actually wash their hands after using the facilities or they may just run them under the water quickly ~ apparently to fool you.  Sometimes they wash very well and then rub their cute little nose before drying.  Or, they may just take the hand towel and use it to wipe their adorable little germy faces clean.  Really, who knows??? 
So, no multi-use cloth hand towels hanging in my bathroom. 
It really has cut down on the spread of colds and other minor illnesses.  The problem is stocking that many paper towels.  It gets spendy.  Not to mention the poor trees...right!?  I priced one of those paper towel holders that attach to the wall, you know those big rectangular metal jobs that hang in many public bathrooms.  Expensive.  Not to mention you have to refill with special paper towels that you cannot buy at your local Safeway store.  But, while I was getting my Child Development degree I took a class about Health and Safety in the Classroom.  I learned that many Preschools have adopted a cloth hand towel policy.  They use terry cloth - maybe even old towels, or cotton - like from t-shirts.  They are cut into washcloth sized squares and thrown into baskets next to the sink for single use ~ then thrown in the laundry.  I was excited to implement this in my own home but I didn't have a bunch of extra towels or t-shirts hanging around.  What I did find though, was a white cotton flannel sheet set that had a small tear in the center of the fitted sheet.  I was about to throw it out when it dawned on me how I could use it. 
flannel pillowcase

I took my scissors to the flannel sheets and pillowcase and cut out a bunch of squares:

My new washable, reusable hand towels!!!  So easy and inexpensive!

I have a cute little basket that sits on my bathroom vanity and holds a nice supply of hand towels.  I put another larger basket (easier for the kids to toss into when done ~ who wants them all over the floor?) to collect the used towels.  When I do a load of whites I just grab the dirties from the bathroom and toss them into the wash!  So easy. 

Hand towels on vanity

 Used hand towel basket in corner of bathroom

And that last pillowcase that I haven't cut up yet?  I think I'll leave it intact.  I can get it wet and soapy and use it for cleaning my ceiling fan blades...less messy than wiping with a regular cloth.  If you wrap the pillowcase around a blade and pull back while wiping you don't knock all of the grime and dust bunnies down onto whatever is beneath because it is caught inside the pillowcase!  Then just throw the pillowcase into the laundry.  Brilliant!  (I read that in some magazine or online...I can't remember...but it works great if you haven't already tried it.)

Always finding something to improve. 

Enjoy your projects,

1 comment :

  1. VERY good idea! I may have to try this. Thanks for sharing.