What began as an experiment has turned into an obsession of sorts for me. I now prefer cloth over paper for almost all household uses! One would think that would mean more laundry, but what are a few extra towels in a load of clothes that are already being washed, or an extra load in general?
I started by buying bundles of washcloths to use as table napkins. They are pretty, and you can change out colors with the seasons or holiday decor. They are more absorbent than paper napkins or towels, and for family use, can be used for more than one meal in a day if you’re not too messy. They can be rinsed after a meal & used to clean up a messy baby face & then wipe down the high chair.For a more pretty yet still useful napkin, get some pretty fabric and make some like these at thethriftymama.com.
At the same time, I bought a bunch of microfiber cloths for cleaning the kitchen. I forget how many were in the package, but it ended up costing about 50 cents per cloth. They work for both cleaning & drying dishes, counter tops, tabletops, and for dusting. I recommend buying different colors if you plan to use them in your bathrooms, just for psychological reasons. I use old washcloths in there, so there is no mixup. I keep a bucket of vinegar handy to toss them in. This helps separate any gooey stuff from the fibers before washing. Just so you know, microfiber cloths should be washed separately from other fibers to help maintain their absorbency.
From there, I moved into the bathroom. (Here it gets more than a little personal!) I bought a couple of flannel sheets at the thrift store & cut them up for, um, bathroom cloth. That’s toilet wipes of the old fashioned cloth variety. Once I got past the ick factor, I actually began to prefer it to paper. It’s no worse than cloth diapering, and while I can use it for 2, I still opt for paper there. They get a good rinse in vinegar, then a regular wash cycle.
I also began using cloth feminine products. A little more “ICK” factor, but I am now more comfortable than I have ever been. No irritation & I feel completely protected. Again, an extra rinse & we’re good to go. If it was good enough for my grandmother (whom I loved dearly) and the generations before her, it’s good enough for me!
All in all, my journey back to the world of cloth has been quite fulfilling. I save a ton of money each month, even with the extra load or two of laundry. I still have a ways to go, as I still use paper for draining fried foods (don’t judge me NOW, folks!) and for certain animal cleanups, but from the kitchen to the bathroom, cloth is the way to go!