7 Things You Should Know About Reusable Paper Towels

Unlike conventional paper towels, reusable paper towels have many environmental benefits, but most people recently heard about them.

When you hear something new, you will start asking for more details about it like;

What are reusable paper towels anyway? Why should you consider using it?

Are they really worth using? How do they work? What are they made of?

Today, I will answer these questions.

Let’s dive right in.

1. What are reusable paper towels?

A reusable paper towel is a cloth towel that you can use repeatedly to sop up spills or any other clean-up purpose.

They are also advertised as unpaper towels.

Most people call them rags, washcloths, dish towels, or cloth towels rather than reusable paper towels.

You might find these terms fancy words but these towels are meant to replace paper towels so it reminds us to reuse rather than single-use.

They’re slightly spongy when wet but feel just like paper or cloth when dry depending on which type of reusable paper towels you are using.

You can use reusable paper towels anywhere that a regular paper towel can be used: tabletops, countertops surfaces, floors, appliances, glasses, drying your hands, and as a napkin for meals.

However, I wouldn’t recommend using it in your toilets unless you immediately plan to throw them out.

2. What are reusable paper towels made of?

Most of them are made of bamboo, cotton, and cellulose(wood pulp).

If you are looking for a cloth reusable paper towels, they are mostly made of cotton flannel or bamboo fiber.

It is easy to say what reusable papers are made of.

I’d rather like to show you the pictures of different reusable paper towels so that next time when you see them, you’ll know what they are made of.

There are many types of reusable paper towels but I would like to show 4 different types.

Most reusable paper towels are in these categories:

  • Natural bamboo fiber reusable paper towels- White cloth towels chamfered with different colors
  • Bamboo rayon reusable paper towels – Total white rolls
  • Wood pulp reusable paper towels – Also known as Swedish Dishcloths
  • Cotton flannel reusable paper towels – Mostly printed cloth towels.
Picture 1 – Natural bamboo fiber reusable paper towels
Picture 2 – Bamboo rayon reusable paper towels
Picture 3 – Wood pulp reusable paper towels – Also known as Swedish Dishcloths
Picture 4 – Cotton flannel reusable paper towels.

In the next questions, I’ll discuss the differences between these reusable paper towels.

3. Are reusable paper towels worth it? Are they better for the environment?

If you want to reduce your paper towel waste, become more eco-friendly and save money then they are definitely worth it.

When you need to clean up a spill or wipe down the kitchen table after dinner, paper towels are great, because you don’t have to reuse them.

But we all know paper towels are not good for the environment and create a lot of paper waste — they’re single-use, often chemically bleached, and made out of trees via a chemical-laden process.

According to Gemma Alexander, ‘’Americans spend $5.7 billion dollars a year on paper towels for home use — nearly half the global total and nearly $5 billion more than each of the next four biggest paper towel spenders.’’

If you start using reusable paper towels, you will save:

  • Money — Approx. $250 for a family in a year
  • Paper waste — You will be free from buying paper towels and their waste.
  • Trees & Forests — Paper towels are made from trees. Each reusable paper towel helps you save trees and forests on our planet.

Reusable paper towel materials need to be grown from the environment, just like paper towel production. However, fewer materials go into reusable paper towel production, which is sustainable from a production standpoint.

Also, most reusable paper towels can be composted after use, another environmental benefit.

You can make a slow transition from paper towels to reusable paper towels.

If you’re looking to live in a more eco-responsible way — but you want to keep that paper towel option open — reusable paper towels are going to be your new best friends for the majority of messes that need wiping up.

4. How do reusable paper towels work?

Reusable paper towels work pretty much the same way as regular paper towels do:

Step 1 – Replace your paper towels with reusable paper towels.

Step 2 – Use like regular paper towels on any spills or wiping up missions.

Step 3 – Rinse with water and dish soap, ring out, and place them out to dry flat on a rack.

Step 4 -To further disinfect between washes, you can wash them in the washer warm with like colors. (Bamboo rayon reusable paper towels are not suitable for washers, only handwash. See picture 2)

Aren’t they annoying to use?

Unpaper towels might be annoying to use initially but they are only sustainable if you actually reuse them.

It is tempting to give up on them at the start that they are not as convenient as the single-use towels we all know and love.

But they do get better and all good things take time.

According to a study by Phillippa Lally and colleagues from University College London, it takes 66 days to form a new habit.

If you use reusable paper towels for 66 days, it will become a habit in your daily routine and you will not look for paper towels anymore.

Even if you can’t commit for 66 days, commit to trying them out for at least a week using the following tips and see if you can make it work:

  • Use different color towels for different jobs so you don’t get the counter towels mixed up with you use to clean up your pet messes.
  • Have at least four towels on rotation in your kitchen at all times. This way, you’ll have backups if one is dirty or being washed.
  • After every time you use a towel, handwash it with lukewarm water, rinse thoroughly, wring it out, and hang it to dry on a drying. After a few hours, it’ll be dry and ready for the next emergency!
  • Store the washed towels within easy reach in a drawer or on the shelf where conventional paper towels would otherwise have their place.
  • Reusable paper towels are more absorbent than normal paper towels, so you should be able to get away with using one on larger spills.
  • Experiment with splashing a little water on your towels before use. Some varieties soak up more when a little damp.

After the week is up, reward yourself with something you love.

And then, let your newly empty trash can serve as motivation to keep up with the habit for 66 days.

5. How long can you use a reusable paper towel?

It depends on a lot of factors like:

  • Reusable paper towel material
  • How often do you use
  • How do you care about your reusable paper towels

Cloth reusable paper towels (bamboo fiber and cotton flannel- pictures 1 and 4) are much better than wood pulp and bamboo rayon towels (pictures 2 and 3) in longevity.

Because of their materials, wood pulp and bamboo rayon towels are reusable up to 100 times.

On the other hand, cloth reusable paper towels can be used for a year if you care for them well.

But, when the reusable paper towel is starting to look dingy, even after washing and drying, or its edges are starting to curl or fray, it’s time to dispose of it and move on to the next one in the pack.

6. Which reusable paper towel is the best?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of 4 different types of reusable paper towels so you can decide which one is best for you.

Natural Bamboo Fiber Reusable Paper Towels

Picture 1 – Natural bamboo fiber reusable paper towels

Pros: Soft, thick, highly absorbent, durable, machine washable, and different edge colors so you can use it for different jobs without mixing up. Natural bamboo doesn’t stain, doesn’t get mildew, and dries quickly with hanging loops.

Cons: Shrinks a little bit. Not rollable if you are looking for a roll-type reusable paper towel.

Great for: All kinds of spills, wiping countertops, tabletops, appliances, drying your hands, and as a napkin for meals. Good for drying vegetables, fruits, or any other thing in your kitchen. You could even use these under a wire baking rack to soak up bacon grease if you’re trying to completely eliminate paper towels from your household.

Bamboo Rayon Reusable Paper Towels

Picture 2 – Bamboo rayon reusable paper towels

Pros: Comes as a roll with perforations just like paper towels. Soft, highly absorbent, sturdy.

Cons: Only suitable for handwashing. Kids or guests might think they’re regular paper towels and tearing off a new one to throw out after one use.

Great for: All kinds of spills, wiping countertops, tabletops, appliances, drying your hands, and as a napkin for meals. Good for dishwashing, drying vegetables, fruits, or any other thing in your kitchen. These are compatible with mops so you can clean your floors with a mop and save you from buying sweeper pads.

Wood Pulp Reusable Paper Towels – Also Known As Swedish Dishcloths

Picture 3 – Wood pulp reusable paper towels – Also known as Swedish Dishcloths

Pros: Very absorbent, dishwasher safe, durable, different colors and designs are available.

Cons: When they dry they don’t dry flat and feel and look like wrinkled dirty cardboard. They’re not soft and flexible like regular kitchen towels.

Great for: All kinds of spills, wiping countertops, tabletops, appliances. Good for dishwashing, drying vegetables, fruits, or any other thing in your kitchen. These are great If you are looking for sponge-type reusable paper towels.

Cotton Flannel Reusable Paper Towels

Picture 4 – Cotton flannel reusable paper towels.

Pros: Machine washable, durable, rollable, and different designs are available.

Cons: Not absorbent as expected like other reusable paper towels. Colors and designs are fading quickly. They also do not stay on the roll very well.

Great for: Wiping countertops, tabletops, appliances. Good for drying vegetables, fruits, or any other thing in your kitchen. These are great If you are looking for special design napkin-type reusable paper towels.

7. Where to buy reusable paper towels?

ECOBOO is a family business located in Sheridan, Wyoming.

The company was born in 2018. Being passionate about the ecological lifestyle, we were inspired by the planet’s current needs to create in-demand, sustainable and ecological products that reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.

Our main goal is to produce natural, eco-friendly alternatives for household disposables.

Rather than wasting your money and time, you can choose to save these for your future.

We would love to help you save your money and time.

A true zero-waste lifestyle is not for everyone, but with our products, living in a more eco-responsible way by taking small daily actions becomes much easier.

You can buy our natural bamboo fiber and bamboo rayon reusable paper towels from our website.

You can also buy from our Amazon store as well.