I’ve been on a mission to find paper towel alternatives for the last few years.
Yes, paper towels are a great addition to any home. There are a ton of ways they can be used to make things easier and faster. But, they are also a complete waste of resources. And, they create a lot of extra garbage.
In our home, I want things to be as simple as possible so that I have plenty of time to do the things that I need and want to do. I have all kinds of home organization tips that I use so that my house is tidy and functional. If I can minimize clutter – I’m a happy camper!
But, I also want to make sure that I am being considerate of the environment and not adding to the growing waste. So, what’s a gal to do when she has a kitchen counter mess to clean up but, doesn’t want to generate a whole pile of garbage?
She researches and collects paper towel alternatives and shares them with her friends!
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
These are perfect for dusting or for doing a quick spot mop on the kitchen floor. What I love about them is they are about the exact same size as a paper towel. Use them for Windexing the bathroom mirror or wiping the dust off of your television screen. Keep a small bucket next to the washing machine to collect these cloths as you use them throughout the week and then just toss the load in when the bucket is full! Get them here
We use cloth napkins for meals and I always have a few in my purse for various needs. But, they are also the perfect addition to this list of paper towel alternatives! I like to use them to wipe down the kitchen counters after I make dinner. With a few warm water rinses and some cleaner spray, I can use one cotton napkin to clean the whole kitchen. Whereas, with paper towels, I would have to pull a new batch off of the roll for each section of counter. Get them here
I used to store stalks of celery, fresh herbs and other produce wrapped in paper towels and then stuffed into a Ziploc bag. But, then I learned about beeswax wrap and it has completely changed the way that I store things in our fridge. The best part about this wrap is that it is reusable. With just a little bit of dish soap and water, I can clean and sanitize it for another use. I use it as an alternative to saran wrap and Ziploc bags if I’m out of bowl covers or snack bags.
These little guys such an amazing alternative to paper towels. You can actually put them on a paper towel roll and hang them the same way you would a traditional roll of paper towels. They naturally cling together so there’s no snaps or fancy rolling methods needed. And, they’re perfect for use as a mealtime napkin or for cleaning up. Anything that you use paper towels for, you can UNpaper towel it! Get them here
They’re not just for washing dishes! Sponges are one of the great paper towel alternatives because they can be used for pretty much anything that a paper towel can be used for. In fact, I use a sponge to spot mop the floors and then run a short sinkful of cold water and tea tree oil and soak the sponges. It’s an easy and quick way to disinfect the sponges after use! Then, they just get tossed into a storage container under the sink for the next time that I need them. Get them here
These are my go-to for summertime. We always seem to eat dinner with people during the summer months and we love to cook outdoors. These linen napkins aren’t great for cleaning up spills but, eating outdoors doesn’t really require that. The reason they are one of the great paper towel alternatives is that they make a table look beautiful while being extremely functional for wiping away barbeque sauce or ranch dressing.
I mentioned these before and I absolutely love them. When my bowl covers are all being used, I do use beeswax paper but, the bowl covers are one of the most awesome paper towel alternatives for when it comes to storing food or protecting it from bugs next to the grill. They’re super cute too and always remind me of putting a little shower cap on! They make it easy for the kids to help clean up and you never have to worry about finding a lid to match a container. Get them here
I used to be a bartender on a cruise ship and there were never-ending spills during my 12-hour shifts. Having a tall stack of the low-lint cotton towel was the perfect way to keep the bartop clean and dry without burning through roll after roll of paper towels. The ship that I worked on was partnered with National Geographic and was an environmentally responsible organization. So, all of our practices onboard were designed with the environment in mind. Get them here
Linen Bread Bags
I personally don’t eat bread because my diet is gluten-free. But, my kids love peanut butter sandwiches so, I always like to have a supply of these linen bread bags in the house. They’re great for drying off toys after cleaning them or for wiping off wet hands in a pinch. Get them here
Cotton Texture Towels
You’ve seen the paper towel commercials where the advertiser brags about the “moisture lock” pattern on the paper towel. Well, these textured cotton towels are pretty much the exact same thing without creating extra garbage. When one of the kids spills something or there’s an accident in the bathroom, these are the towels that I reach for instead of paper towels. And, I am never disappointed. Get them here
Reusable Sandwich and Snack Wraps
Ditching the plastic wrap, plastic bags, and paper towels in the kitchen can have a huge impact on the amount of garbage you generate. These reusable bags and wraps are perfect for school lunches, picnics, and potlucks. Or, just storing leftovers. I love how simple it is to wash and reuse them too. Get them here