How to Save on Paper Towels – Paper Towels vs. Rags
Tawra just emailed me and asked if I would write something concerning rags vs. paper towels. I have not spent a whole lot of time deeply contemplating the issue of paper towels vs. rags so, at first, I wasn’t sure what to write.
I do love paper towels and totally believe in using them, but I only use them rarely. I had a friend once who used nothing but paper towels. Not only did she use them exclusively, but she would think nothing of yanking off three or four of them at a time to use for just a small job. She definitely needed to learn how to save money on paper towels
I remember watching her once and thinking that, some day when I am rich, one of the luxuries I was going to allow myself was to use nothing but paper towels and lots of them. Well I haven’t arrived at that point yet but now I find that, in most cases, a rag seems to do a better job.
I do use paper towels sometimes as I said because I have found nothing that works better for things like draining my bacon or lining my fruit and veggie drawer in the fridge. In the fridge, when the bins become dirty I can just throw out the paper towels and quickly wipe them down. I also like to set them under my spices and things that will create spills because it makes for easier clean up.
I have often wondered if others don’t use paper towels the way I do, especially after seeing shopping carts piled high with them and seeing so many people buying them in bulk. Then when I saw a show where a woman had a shower stall filled with them, I knew something was very different.
Since I use only one to two rolls of paper towels per year, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what people were doing with all these paper towels. Just then, I realized that many people not only don’t use rags, but a lot of people don’t know how to use them or even that you can. Hopefully the next few paragraphs will change all of that and maybe help you save money on paper towels.
Yes strange as it may seem, I do have a background in rags. Not many people can say that. On the other hand I’m not sure whether this is something one should be proud of or not. : ) You might say my grandmother was an expert in rags and rags were her business. Now before you wonder what kind of a strange family I come from, let me explain.
My grandmother wove rag rugs for a living. She did it all of her life and her mom did it before that. They made unbelievably beautiful rugs, completely different from the ones you see sold now. The colors and designs she used would make any artist break down and weep and she made them all with rags.
I remember as a child going to her house where she would have huge appliance boxes full of carpet balls. These were balls of fabric (from rags) that had been torn into strips, sewn together and rolled into balls. My brother and I had great fun rolling and playing with all of those fabric balls!
Nothing was thrown away. Every button, zipper and piece of trim was cut off and saved. I guess frugality must be in my blood. : ) Needless to say, I did learn some things about rags that I hope will help you to look at rags in a whole new light.
Cleaning Rags – A Great Way to Save Money On Paper Towels
One of the main complaints we get against using cleaning rags to save money on paper towels is that people don’t like to wash them because they get so nasty sometimes. I don’t like to wash them either, so I don’t. My cleaning rags fall into two categories: rags to toss and rags to wash.
Rags to Toss
The cleaning rags I toss are the ones I use for the nasty jobs:
- If I wipe something greasy
- When I clean the bathroom floor
- If something is sticky like a bottle of spilled syrup
- My dust rags
- If I use them to dust mop my floors
- To clean really dirty tools or really dirty anything
- At times, if I just don’t want to wash them, I toss them.
By the time a rag gets to my “use and throw” pile, it is already pretty far gone. I have probably used it for many other “clean” jobs and it is on its last leg, so I have no qualms about tossing it. I use it just like I would a paper towel.
Rags to Wash
These are my studier cleaning rags. They are usually old tea towels, wash rags, etc. I use them to:
- Wipe fingerprints off of the wall
- Wipe mildly sticky things from furniture
- Wipe the spray starch off of my ironing board
- Shine my mirrors
- Wash the insides of my windows
- Wipe my bathroom faucets and wipe dry everything in the bathroom
Now here’s part 2, we’ll look at where to get cleaning rags and ways to make the most of them to make your life easier and save money on paper towels and cleaning in general.
For even more tip to save money on organizing, cleaning and laundry, take a look at our Keeping It Clean e-books.