Ditch the Disposables: Cloth Paper Towels

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We are starting to make the transition from using paper towels to cloth towels. We’re not 100% there yet; I’m weary about using the cloth towels for everything. As it turns out, microwaved cheese does not clean off well from a cloth towel.

We’re using these terry cloth towels, and you can get a pack of 50 towels for around $20, at the time this post was published.

How much can I save?

Let’s do a little calculation since I really like math.

Say your family uses about 20 individual paper towels a day.

That’s probably on the lower end if you think about using it to wipe counters, use it as a napkin, cover your food to microwave, clean your bathrooms, and other things you may or may not do in a given day.

We used to use the brand Viva, which is on Amazon for $57.96 for 24 rolls, with 88 sheets/roll.

  • $57.96/24 rolls = $2.42/roll = $0.03/sheet

The cloth towels I linked to are $19.99 for 50 towels right now.

  • $19.99/50 towels = $0.40/towel

If you took the amount of money it costs for cloth towels to see how many paper towel sheets you could get with that money, you would get:

  • $19.99/$0.03/sheet = 666 sheets

At 20 sheets/day, the cloth towels would pay for themselves in 4.75 weeks. So, in less than 5 weeks, you would have spent the money on disposable paper towels that you could have used on reusable towels.

One more calculation, because like I said: I like math. In one year, if you continued using 20 sheets/day of disposable paper towels:

  • 20 sheets/day x $0.03/sheet x 365 days = $219.00

That means you’re spending almost 11 times more by using paper towels in a year, if you’re using the conservative amount of 20 paper towels per day. Not to mention, you’re saving the wasted trees and the waste sitting in a land fill by using cloth.

It’s a win, win!

But I don’t like the look of the cloth towels…

I totally get it. They’re not the prettiest thing to have sitting out on your kitchen counter.

Since there are so many other people out there doing this, there has become a market for “unpaper towels”. People make and sell really nice looking towels that can double as paper towels and napkins.

Doing a quick Google search, you can find these unpaper towels sold on Etsy, Amazon, and other online shops. You can DIY (free patterns online for it!), buy fancy patterns, get single or double layered, snaps or no snaps; there are so many variations out there!

Are you already using unpaper towels? What are your thoughts on them?

Products mentioned in this post

Ditch the Disposables: Cloth Paper towels. Saving quite a bit of money over time by switching to cloth! reuse | frugal living | recycle | save money