Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

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noodlez89 noodlez89
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Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

So I'm still in college living with 4 other people with varying degrees of eco-consciousness. We buy paper towels for the house and its so hard for me to let go of paper towels when it's right there. I use cloth for big clean ups but for small clean ups I always feel that I would be wasting a whole cloth towel and I only do laundry once in 2 1/2 weeks. Is it normal to reuse cloth towels that are dirty on one side/corner? What is the most effective way to use cloth towels? I'm still relatively new to cleaning on my own so some effective cleaning tips would be great!
Jay Jay
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Re: Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

This post was updated on .
Sponge/sponge cloth to clean, a clean dishtowel to dry?? Sponges should be sanitized once a day or so with boiling, running thru dishwasher, or zapping in a microwave 1 min (no plastic/metal scrubbie parts obviously). Hang the -clean- towel somewhere  (e.g., drape, spread out, over oven handle) every night to dry. Color coding might help designate sponge's purpose.

Don Aslett has a great little book (in your spare time!) on basic cleaning techniques. SPEED CLEANING is another source. May seem silly, but many of us did not grow up learning how to clean.
Julie Julie
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Re: Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

I've got questions about this too. We haven't made the transition to no paper towels yet, but when we do, what am I supposed to do for guests? We have people over all the time and they are constantly washing their hands and grabbing a paper towel to dry. I swear on evening we went through nearly 2 rolls of towels. Seriously!

I was also worried that the baby wouldn't like to have her face and hands washed with a handkerchief, but she loves it. So that's one convert. But what do you suggest for potty training ooopsies? I might have to keep one roll under the sink until she is fully trained...
CMD CMD
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I was a big hand-drying kid with the dish towel in the kitchen and still do now. Is it the germ-phobia society that gets people to do this w/paper towels? (I can't remember the last time I've had a cold or flu, BTW.) Retrain! :) Maybe have a designated "hand drying towel" in the kitchen for guests and keep paper towels out of sight (I keep them under the counter and compost what I do use).


Julie Julie
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Retraining the family is no problem. They're all on board, even if the babies don't know it. ;) I guess my problem is with guests. Some of them are serious germphobes, but they are my friends after all. I guess we can try it at our next dinner party and see how it goes. Sometimes I just want to not have our lifestyle be an issue. But maybe that will come after they get used to it...
Jennifer Jennifer
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Re: Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

I grew up with a cloth towel used for hand drying in the kitchen so I've continued it in my own home. I drape one over the cabinet door below the sink where it is easy to see and change it a few times a week. When company comes I tend to hear, "Where are your paper towels?", but just say to use the towel. No one has complained and many have said it was a good idea. It seems so wasteful, as well as expensive, to use paper towels to dry clean hands.
Amelie Amelie
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Reading this message I thought of something I once saw in a friend's mother's kitchen. She had stitched several "flour sack" type dish towels together to form a continuous loop. This hung in their kitchen for drying hands. You could pull a bit of clean towel as needed. When the whole loop had been used, they washed it. Do you remember the old metal dispensers that dispensed a bit of clean cloth towel in public restrooms? The ones with the scary label about getting caught in the towel loop? It was a lo-tech version of that. Hope this description makes sense. It was clever.
Henny Henny
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In reply to this post by Julie
I am hiding the paper towels while we transition :)
They are (in)conveniently behind everything and right at the back of the under-sink cupboard, so if anyone wants to get them they have to dig, haha!

I have also found a use for clothes that are beyond donation to the Thrift store (too stained, torn etc) - a rag bag! My plan is to use these for totally disgusting messes that are just too awful for your standard array of cleaning sponges/cloths etc - baby accidents, toilet misses, squashed roach etc. However, while the cloth is biodegradable, so I would compost the unsanitary ones separately to stuff that is going back onto the vege patch. (Sadly, I don't have a compost or vege patch yet, but that is my goal).
Marvin Larry Klitzke Marvin Larry Klitzke
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In reply to this post by Jay
 I have invented a paper towel solid waste reduction product that I am trying to get some feedback on and interest in order to find funding to help me develop industrialized and residential units for the mass markets out there so they can become available to waste reduction programs and environmentally concerned citizens and businesses.

 

If you have time and if not could please forward my message to someone whom you think may be interested in knowing more about my paper towel solid waste reduction invention the I.C.T.S. “Individual Cloth Towel System” which dispenses sanitary (laundered) individual cloth towels I have enclosed a link to my funding site that has a video on it which goes into more details about my invention I believe has significant practical applications worth considering.

 

Video link to funding site:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2091539073/icts-is-an-individual-cloth-towel-system-dispenser
leica leica
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I'm very wary of re-using cloth towels because bacteria lives in them until they dry it - it's a perfect breeding ground, bit of organic matter, warm, wet.

You have to make sure you rinse them well and let them dry then it is fine.

I do actually re-use paper towels, especially when wiping up splashes of water around the sink or counters.

I use olive oil or coconut oil for cooking and wipe that up with a paper towel as well, then re-use those to put a bit of a shine on counter tops or wood tables when dusting those.

I use heavy duty ones like Plenty (aka "Bounty" in the States) or Blitz (don't know if there is a US equivalent) and one towel lasts around a week.

Hope that helps. :)
Marvin Larry Klitzke Marvin Larry Klitzke
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Yes. this is good information and needed for discussion points. Cloth towels like any other product has to be used correctly.  Everyone uses cloth in one form or another.  Fancy restaurants and hospitals (surgery cloth towels)  use cloth towels all the time where hygiene is a Very High Priority and Very Critical to pubic health. Cloth does a good job and is 4-times more absorbance than paper towels.  Un-programing ones self from the sales efforts and tactics of paper towel manufacturers in using paper towels for simple and convenient chores and switching to using cloth towels for hand drying or clean up needs really is quite simple to do and it will save you money because cloth towels can be laundered over 100 times and by making a switch to using cloth towels it reduces solid paper towel waste which has to be burned or buried and using cloth towels helps to save trees and creates other positive environmental impacts such as no waste generated after using a cloth towel which paper towels you generally throw away after each use and they do not have a positive impact on our environment. After using a clean cloth towel simply place it in a laundry container for soiled laundry then processes them just like you would do for your regular laundry.  

Thank you,
Marvin
Catherine Sultana Catherine Sultana
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In reply to this post by leica
On YouTube "how jen does it" uses a bucket with water and vinegar to store her used rags until she accumulates enough to do a load of laundry. Seems fairly doable unless one uses a laundromat...
coldswim coldswim
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Re: Hard time letting go of paper towels :O

In reply to this post by Jay
A good way to wean from paper towels is just to not have them around.  Trust me, you'll figure out something. :p

Great idea to hide paper towels to disavow your friends of their supposed germ-phobias.  The imperialist countries are some of the largest polluters on the planet  and yet people freak out because they can't dry their hands with a paper towel?  Unless they have an Anxiety Disorder with Specific Phobia, their "germ-phobia" is likely more of an attitude problem attributed to propaganda or an irrational  fear due to ignorance, or both. Sorry.

I've never  been a fan of paper towels. They don't work well as cleaning cloths because they  can't pick up dirt like fabric cloths. They are  too small to deal with really icky stuff like muddy shoes or spilled drinks or food or whatever, unless you're pulling off half the roll.  I was at a party once and the hostess brought out a roll of paper towels for a spilled drink and ended up rolling off something like 15 paper towels.  I wasn't the only person in the room who was gobsmacked by that move.  And drying clean dishes and hands with paper seems monumentally absurd.

I use dish towels that have seen better days as rags, as well as torn up shirts, but I no longer have many of those because I've capsuled my wardrobe down to the bone. I only own two T-shirts at the moment. My cleaning lady uses  those microfiber towels, she rinses them out and throws them into my laundry basket along with the cotton rags, and I just wash with the next load. I can't stand the feel of those microfiber cloths, but I know people swear by them, and my house always look great after she leaves so clearly they (and she) are working!

Marvin Larry Klitzke Marvin Larry Klitzke
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Wow sounds like you have figured out the brainwashing activities of the paper towel industry. Not sure where you are from but here in the USA over 70 million tons of linens are thrown away each year and re-proposing linens is a key propriety aspect too.  You are on the right track.  My invention (individual cloth towel dispenser) I have a few more adjustments to do with the hands the free dispensing mechanism part of the electronic dispenser (manual one works fine) and I hope to have both models available this year. 

The goal for me is to take the thought process out of how people think waste reduction is so difficult and time consuming and in the industrial/business setting to have individual cloth towel dispensers which are basically the same size and shape of a paper towel dispensers which looks like a paper-towel dispenser but it dispenses the individual cloth towels just as fast and conveniently as a paper-towel dispenser do either manually or electronically and then replacing the business owned paper-towel dispensers and offering a home model for families and individuals too.  As you may have seen on the video I previously had posted of the working prototype home model I build out of wood it works great and dispenses towels quickly, conveniently and is reloaded with fresh clean laundered individual cloth towels fast.  Once the individual cloth towel dispensers are available in the open markets this will create a lot of business opportunities for a very large host of companies or individuals in a verity of business categories to offer it in retail, wholesale or a service to supply a laundered towels for the individual cloth towel dispenser owners or customers who do not wish to launder their own towels for the dispenser themselves.

Traditionally with an invention like I have most likely an industrial laundry would end up offering such an individual cloth towel service to their customers for their restroom needs however what I am finding out by calling around to many of them and asking would they be interested in a product like what I have invented for their customers and what I get is a lot of opposition from industrial laundry companies around the USA  to making available an individual cloth towels dispenser and service for their customers. The reason why they appose a product like my invention is these industrial linen/laundry companies all seem to make the same statement and that is they sell to their customers paper-towel dispensers and cases of paper-towels and garbage cans and garbage bags which they make a lot of profits from so they would not be interested in providing such a linen product or service.  So, what I have to do is figure once this system (individual cloth towel dispensers) becomes available there will have to be a "ground up approach" to take market share away from these large paper-towel manufactures because they will be protecting their paper-towel customers vigilantly.

I could go into further details about the hidden paper-towel markets and how to approach them and what they say (paper-towel manufactures) and what they do to discourage using a system other than theirs.  I have a few things to fall into place to where the individual cloth towel dispenser system I invented will be available to the markets and I am working on it and it will happen. It appears you have witnessed the ridiculous wasteful acts associated with using paper towels which could be avoided if other convenient options where available. There are over 300 million people in the USA and each on average spend over $100 per person from home use of paper towels and the expenses is going up. Next time your in a large grocery store walk down the paper towel isle and see if you notice a substitute paper towel product being offered.  My hunch is all you will find is a huge stock pile of paper-towels because they go through a lot.  Used Linens can be cut down and re-purposed (there are a lot of companies or a combination there of which could do this activity) to use in an individual cloth towel dispenser which can be laundered with an antibacterial soap and reused many times.  If for some reason an individual is apposed to reusing a laundered towel then I guess they have an option of using an individual cloth towel dispenser with cloth napkins like the ones that are used in fancy restaurants for drying their hands.  It's all in how you look at it and have been brainwashed to systematically think. Linen towels are already being used for many applications and have been for centuries so why are paper towels not being replaced more intensely? Convenience? 

On Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 11:08 AM, coldswim [via Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Boxbe coldswim [via Forum] ([hidden email]) is not on your Guest List | Approve sender | Approve domain

Great idea to hide paper towels to disavow your friends of their supposed germ-phobias.  The imperialist countries are some of the largest polluters on the planet  and yet people freak out because they can't dry their hands with a paper towel?  Unless they have an Anxiety Disorder with Specific Phobia, their "germ-phobia" is likely more of an attitude problem attributed to propaganda. Sorry.

I've never  been a fan of paper towels. They don't work well as cleaning cloths because they  can't pick up dirt like fabric cloths. They are  too small to deal with really icky stuff like muddy shoes or spilled drinks or food or whatever, unless you're pulling off half the roll.  I was at a party once and the hostess brought out a roll of paper towels for a spilled drink and ended up rolling off something like 15 paper towels.  I wasn't the only person in the room who was gobsmacked by that move.  And drying clean dishes and hands with paper seems monumentally absurd.

I use dish towels that have seen better days as rags, as well as torn up shirts, but I no longer have many of those because I've capsuled my wardrobe down to the bone. I only own two T-shirts at the moment. My cleaning lady uses  those microfiber towels, she rinses them out and throws them into my laundry basket along with the cotton rags, and I just wash with the next load. I can't stand the feel of those microfiber cloths, but I know people swear by them, and my house always look great after she leaves so clearly they (and she) are working!




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coldswim coldswim
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I'm in San Francisco. I've never had a guest over who wasn't willing to use the kitchen towel hanging next to the sink that is used for drying clean hands and clean dishes.  It's easy to put a few more out on the counter top if it gets too wet or a bunch of people are milling around.  But if they didn't want to use it, it's easy to open a drawer and pull  out another one.  Or get some washcloths from the linen closet. I haven't used paper towels in years and I"m not about to start for people with faux-phobias (fauxbias?).

Your invention sounds ingenious for the "convenience" crowd. They can alleviate their green guilt and look cool in front of their friends.  Perhaps knock-offs will occur as well, which will drive the cost down.My only issue with it is that it requires buying a contraption to hold the towels. But I'm all for anything that gets people to stop using paper towels.  Most  people already have a place for at least one kitchen towel. I keep one out by the sink and the rest are in a drawer so I don't have anything on my countertops. But your idea could take the place of paper towels sitting on a countertop on one of those spinner things people use. :)

I'm opposed to "Kickstarter" on principle, isn't that hitting up the working class for your idea with no return on their investment except to make your product profitable for YOU?  :(
Marvin Larry Klitzke Marvin Larry Klitzke
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Sounds like you’re really doing the right things. Thank you for your kind comments.  My invention will work out great for the convenience crowd in some respects.  Most that use paper towels in their homes have their paper towel holder sitting on their counter or mounted upon a wall. The internal mechanism I invented and used in my individual cloth towel dispenser also can be built right into kitchen cabinets so you just push a button and out pops an individual cloth towel.  I am very confident knock offs will occur and my goal is to keep the prices down as low as possible so its affordable right from the start when it hits the markets.  Thank you and I hope your evening is a great one too! Cheers.


On Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 4:39 PM, coldswim [via Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:
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I'm in San Francisco. I've never had a guest over who wasn't willing to use the kitchen towel hanging next to the sink that is used for drying clean hands and clean dishes.  It's easy to put a few more out on the counter top if it gets too wet or a bunch of people are milling around.  But if they didn't want to use it, it's easy to open a drawer and pull  out another one.  Or get some washcloths from the linen closet. I haven't used paper towels in years and I"m not about to start for people with faux-phobias (fauxbias?).

Your invention sounds ingenious for the "convenience" crowd. They can alleviate their green guilt and look cool in front of their friends.  Perhaps knock-offs will occur as well, which will drive the cost down.My only issue with it is that you buy a contraption to hold the towels. Most people already have a place for at least one kitchen towel. I keep one out by the sink and the rest are in a drawer so I don't have anything on my countertops. Have a great evening! :)




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