Green in 15: No More Paper Towels

>> Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I've been meaning to post about our no paper towels system for ages. It's not that it's complicated or fussy. It was laziness on getting a good photo. I figured I need to get over that part and just post about it already! So, here's my latest installment of Green in 15, all about banishing paper towels from your home.

Here you go:


  • Basically, we have 25-35 assorted towels. Some are flour sacks, some are nubby bar cloths, some are tea towels, and there are a few stray rags and washcloths in there, too.
  • We hung a fabric tote (similar to this one) containing all towels using some hooks in the closet right off the kitchen. I think this space was originally a utility closet, but it's quite small. Our vacuum doesn't fit very well, so I like using it for this purpose.
  • Underneath, we have a slim Simple Human Trash Can lined with a diaper pail liner to collect all the dirty rags.
  • You take a clean rag, use it up, and when it's dirty -- toss it into the bin. Easy, right? 
  • When the bin gets full, we grab the liner and take it downstairs to wash everything. We usually have a good stock of towels to use on wash day (and only do laundry once or twice a week).
  • We don't take the time to fold the towels. We simply toss them into the bin. We use the towels for general kitchen cleanup, napkins at dinner, and general cleaning tasks. 
  • Though they're all tossed in together, we use the nubbier cloths to do heavy cleaning, the flour sacks for everyday kitchen spills and even helping bread rise (in place of plastic wrap), and the tea towels for napkins. It's not always perfect, but it works.
  • To wash, we use our homemade laundry detergent and pour some vinegar into the rinse. They don't smell, though some do have stains from heavy use.
And that's really it!

You may already have towels on hand and some of the other supplies you need to get a system like this going. Mostly it's a matter of finding nooks and crannies to store everything into. You could probably sneak something like this on a smaller scale underneath your kitchen sink or in an unoccupied kitchen cabinet.

Those of you who don't use paper towels, what do your system look like?


Green in 15: Revamping Your Cleaning
DIY Natural Lotion Cubes
Powerful DIY Laundry Detergent
Cleaning with Vinegar
5 Green Cleaners That Work
5-Minute Homemade Deodorant
8 Ways We've Eliminated Plastics
Cleaning Produce The Natural Way
Chemical-Free Clean With Castile Soap

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