I have been meaning to start this blog for some time now but never could find the time. I suppose that is the silver lining of this whole Corona Virus mess we find ourselves in. Most of us have loads more time at home, and we find a need to try and conserve resources. This makes now the perfect time to make some positive changes to our habits.
Let’s start with one of the easiest changes AND one that turned out to be the most surprisingly wonderful for me…. Ditching the paper towels. Now, I *loved* paper towels. LOVED them. I used to them for EVERYTHING. I used them as napkins and for cleaning up messes in the kitchen. They were even my primary cleaning method for bathrooms too. I even used them for cleaning the shower, which I feel particularly stupid about now. So to be completely transparent, I was scared of transitioning away from them. How was I going to do that and survive!??!
It turns out that I VASTLY prefer using Bar Mop clothes to paper towels in every.single.way. For real. They are just simply put, better. A spill on the counter that used to take a million paper towels, gets wiped up easily and effortlessly in seconds by a bar mop. It’s actually less work. Instead of constantly traveling back to the paper towel roll for more, I can clean every counter surface in a fraction of the time with my bar mop. At the very least I use one a day, but often I use two. When I’m not using them I just drape them over the edge of sink front to dry out a bit. At the end of the day I throw them over the edge of a little laundry hamper I have in my mud room. Every weekend I wash the week’s worth with whatever other towels we have used in the house.
These are the ones I purchased from Amazon that I have been super pleased with. When you first get them the fibers are very compacted and they don’t feel soft or like they would be very absorbent. Definitely wash and dry them at least once before using. I thought I would need to get a second pack, but so far one pack has worked for our household. The greenest option would be to forego buying these AT ALL, and simply make your own out of an old towel you may not like or need anymore. Simply cut it into bar mop cloth sized bits with pinking sheers if you have them, regular scissors if you don’t. This is what I would do now, or will do when we need more of these bad boys in the future. Lord knows I have too many towels as it is.
I store my clean bar mops in a little basket in my drawer now. In the past, before my kitchen renovation, I stored them rolled up in a glass jar on my counter. This is a great option if like me back then, you don’t have room in your drawers.
You’ll also notice that I use cloth napkins! No more paper towels for napkins anymore! Huzzah! I also sourced them from Amazon. Again, the most eco-conscious choice would be to buy these thrifted or make your own out of perhaps an old sheet that you sew around the edges to keep from fraying. I treat these the same as my bar mops, they go in the same small laundry basket and get washed together every weekend.
I should note- these will get stained. Both the bar mops and the napkins. Initially these stains bothered me and I would bleach them with every load. But bleach is not environmentally friendly, and it wasn’t getting them back to totally white anyway. I made the decision quite a while to just stop caring. These are for me to clean with and for my family to use. They are not my fine dining napkins, I don’t pull them out for special occasions. We know they are clean and that is good enough for us, even if they have a spaghetti stain on them.
So, in closing, I STRONGLY urge you to either make your own, or order a set RIGHT NOW of bar mop cloths and cloth napkins. Then, once they are washed and ready, move your paper towels somewhere less convenient to access. If you leave them in the same place they have always lived you will continue to use them. I just moved mine under my sink versus next to it. It was enough of a change that it stopped me from using them.
I still keep paper towels on hand for things I *really* don’t want to clean with bar mops, mostly cat pukes. But now we ONLY buy 100% recycled paper towels and that’s pretty much the only thing we use them for.
Switching to cloth saves us money, saves us room, they are more effective, and it’s better for the planet. This is one of the best switches you can make! Try it! I promise you will never want to go back!