Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: UnPaper Towels

I haven't bought a roll of paper towels in years. Now don't let me give you the wrong impression - I can't seem to prevent my spouse from buying them for use in his car, but I have not brought a roll of paper towels into the house in probably five years, maybe more.

But instead of buying fabric to make UnPaper Towels with, I like to take the recycling approach. Surprise, surprise, huh? The sweet fall leaves fabric you see here used to be a pair of pajama pants. Yes, it's true, all our old pajamas become UnPaper Towels. It is hard to see in the photo, but the pile on the left is the reclaimed fabric after I cut out all the seams and ironed it flat. The pile on the right is the finished product, serged all around with wooly nylon. I use the serging process to make built in loops at each corner. I use those loops to secure the towels to the paper towel holder over my sink. The towels are in the same place everyone is used to them being. They work for all the same things, only they're much prettier and don't create waste. In fact, for quite some time they are keeping themselves out of the waste stream.

When they become too soiled they get put in the rag bag. Once there they can still be used many more times, until they do eventually get tossed in the trash. But even then I feel good about how much work I've done with them as UnPaper Towels and as rags.

Do you use UnPaper Towels? Do you make them or purchase them?


  1. What a great idea! I haven't bought paper towels in about 2 years myself and have just been using my poor old dishtowels for every cleaning task. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I do use some paper towels, but mostly for things like picking up puked up cat hairballs. Although, I guess I could use toilet paper and then flush it, but I'm not sure that's any better. I try to use old dishtowels for clean ups and I use cut up old t-shirts for cleaning.