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 course. Ha 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.