Several years ago, I was at a friend’s house and spilled something. After looking all over for paper towels, I asked where they were. He said, “I try not to have unnecessary paper, here’s a rag.” It was something I had never considered. Disposable paper towels were the norm for my whole life. We used them everywhere, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

So, I decided to try a household change. Instead of throwing away worn cotton t-shirts or flannel sheets, I cut them into rags (when doing this, a pair of fabric scissors is your friend). I keep a pile under my bathroom and kitchen sinks, and that’s what I grab for all clean ups.

They get tossed into a basket for future washing. If a mess is especially distasteful, I just throw the rag in the trash. That old t-shirt was headed there anyway. It just got a little more use first!

As a bonus, cotton doesn’t leave any residue or fall apart like paper can. Combined with white distilled vinegar and water (50/50 and add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil), you’ve got yourself a super eco-friendly, nontoxic, and very inexpensive cleaning system. I’ve even started to use rags to wash dishes instead of buying, using and disposing of sponges. It’s been a few years now and I genuinely never find myself needing paper towels. Give it a try!  

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