Paper towels | My Plastic-free Life

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Paper towels
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September 19, 2011
4:34 pm
julsie
Guest

We can't seem to break the paper towel addiction at our house.  We use cloth for food spills and most household cleaning, but we have several pets, which inevitably means messes that my washing machine simply can't handle.  Thus the paper towels.

Has anybody ever seen them without the plastic wrappers?  Preferably recycled paper -- I'm not too picky, even the cheapies are good enough for cat puke.

September 20, 2011
9:25 pm
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September 20, 2011
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I use rags to pick my cats' puke - well, it's mostly hairballs and some kind of liquid, most of the time.  I rinse them, dry them on the side of the tub, and when I have enough, I do a load.  I made the rags from old fabrics, t-shirts, etc.  I don't really use paper towels all that much, actually, very very rarely. 

The paper towels I have are from Cascades (12 rolls of 100% post-consumer natural brown paper towels), and yes, there is plastic packaging - hopefully, these paper towels will last years.

December 30, 2011
11:05 am
Melissa B
Guest

How about clothes you don't want to use as rags? I have cloths for cleaning and some (old socks, ugly shirt bits, unders) for single use.

January 1, 2012
3:54 pm
kanishka
Guest

julsie said:

We can't seem to break the paper towel addiction at our house.  We use cloth for food spills and most household cleaning, but we have several pets, which inevitably means messes that my washing machine simply can't handle.  Thus the paper towels.

Has anybody ever seen them without the plastic wrappers?  Preferably recycled paper -- I'm not too picky, even the cheapies are good enough for cat puke.

evergreen paper towels from green bay packaging. available at greenline and letsgogreen.biz . my house mate can't break the habit yet, though she is trying to switch to all rags. she does a lot of painting and has dogs, cats.

January 4, 2012
8:17 am
julsie
Guest

Thank you so much!  I've made a lot of progress, but sometimes you just need to throw the whole mess away.  We have some home repair projects coming up, and I think disposable towels are inevitable for a little while.

January 4, 2012
9:18 pm
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January 3, 2012
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What do people do to wipe up cooking out (as in a cast iron skillet) in place of paper towels? Currently I use trash clothes (old socks, etc) or a cheese clothe - I can't imagine washing an oil soaked clothe.

January 5, 2012
6:08 am
julsie
Guest

I haven't figured that out, either.  I think paper towels help us avoid the heavy-duty dishwashing liquid. 

January 5, 2012
1:38 pm
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February 16, 2010
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We don't buy paper towels, but for the occasional super gross mess (cat misses litter box, for example) I just use some recycled toilet paper. We rely on Skoy cloths for everything else. http://myplasticfreelife.com/2.....-free-and/

January 6, 2012
7:36 am
julsie
Guest

I love my Skoy cloths!  But they're starting to come out of the washer still nasty, so I might go back to paper towels for certain things.  I can't justify sacrificing a cloth that cost at least a dollar and has lots of uses left just to clean one greasy skillet or huge cat/dog/kid accident.  I keep wishing I could buy single rolls of paper towels with a paper wrapper, like toilet paper!

January 6, 2012
2:12 pm
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Do you wash your Skoy cloths in the clothes washer or dishwasher? We put ours in the dishwasher because the water gets much hotter in there to kill germs. We also sometimes zap them in the microwave. We've been using the same ones for a couple of years, and in fact I was planning to blog about how long they last. But I don't clean up heavy amounts of oil or gross things like cat poop with them.

I think someone might have mentioned Evergreen paper towels come packaged without plastic.

January 8, 2012
10:37 am
peaJayFish
Guest

S.Assilem said:

What do people do to wipe up cooking out (as in a cast iron skillet) in place of paper towels? Currently I use trash clothes (old socks, etc) or a cheese clothe - I can't imagine washing an oil soaked clothe.

I don't use oil for cooking anymore.  At all.  Don't miss it one bit.  Food stuck to my pans all the time when cooking with oil, not a bit without.  "Needing" oil is a myth.  I had a hard time believing it, but it's true.  You just have to "engage" a little more with the process!

Speaking of, have you seen that horror called the "robo-stir" on TV?! Ugh! Prime pickings for the Plastic Wall of Shame (I'm sure it's already there).

January 9, 2012
4:54 pm
julsie
Guest

That's impressive.  I've gotten good at using my cast iron skillets, but only with plenty of cooking fat. 

My clothes washer cleans the Skoy better than my dishwasher.  How do you keep them from ending up on the bottom in a puddle of slightly dirty water?

January 9, 2012
7:02 pm
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Occasionally they fall off and end up at the bottom. But I just figure that since they were washed at such a high temp, the bacteria will have been killed. We also put them in the microwave sometimes.

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