Paper towels seem to disappear quickly in kitchens, especially with large families or when guests are around. They are used for cleaning, during cooking, and often become a substitute for napkins. This is a problem for you as a consumer because you need to keep spending money on more of them and taking time to make trips back and forth to the store. Fortunately, there are some great methods to conserve paper towels and begin to use less of them.
Having Separate Cleaning Towels
When you need to wipe down counters, stoves, sinks, and the inside of a microwave, it can be better to use a real cloth towel rather than a paper towel, especially if you can keep a separate one dedicated to kitchen cleaning. These can be used again and again and washed regularly with no added cost rather than paper towels that need to be replaced every time a roll runs out.
A low cost towel or rag that is dedicated to cleaning around the kitchen may only cost as much as one or two rolls of paper towels and last much longer. There are also durable, low cost cleaning and multipurpose rags that can be used as an ideal paper towel substitute. The risk of reused towels and rags contributing to more germs or spreading sickness is actually very low as long as they are cleaned often.
Use the Dishwasher More Often
Paper towels are one of the most attractive options to quickly wipe down and dry dishes. However, when a dishwasher cycle runs, it does this automatically and leaves you with clean, dry dishes that are ready to be used again.
Most modern dishwashers actually do a very good job of leaving your dishes spotless and totally dry. If you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, put it to work often to save money on paper towels and time washing dishes. You can actually go through lots of paper towels when washing and drying a large load of dishes by hand.
Get or Make Paper Towel Rolls that have Smaller Sheet Sizes
Some companies that manufacture paper towels have caught onto the idea that a full sheet of a standard sized paper towel is to large to wipe up something small and is bigger than most napkins. Their response has been to make smaller sheets, as it is much easier to use multiple small sheets if needed rather than try to tear up a larger sheet into small pieces.
By consistently only using as much as you need the roll will last longer. Some innovative people have also come up with the idea to take a standard roll of paper towels and cut it across the middle, meaning you now have two rolls of smaller sheets for the price of one.
Reuse Old Items as Towels
Sometimes old t-shirts, cloth bags and sacks, and other similar items can be used for significant periods of time to wipe up around the kitchen. This works best with fabrics that both absorb water easily and dry out quickly. Test out some old cloth based items before throwing them out to see what will work best for your needs.
Keep Paper Towels Out of Sight and Out of Reach
Your family members will be tempted to use paper towels more often if they are within sight and always available around the kitchen. Just grab one or more and wipe or clean anything nearby or when eating. T
his is a psychological technique that will condition your household to use other lower cost items such as reusable towel and rags instead if they are placed out in the open. Paper towels can be hidden away in cabinets and only used when necessary, meaning overall usage gets much lower.
With these tips in mind, money spent on paper towels is easily saved and can be put towards the more important things in life. Try to be creative and come up with your one ways of either substituting or conserving paper towels, and you may be able to sae hundreds of dollars each year.
photo: Santeri Viinamäki [CC BY-SA 4.0]