I tried washing my mirrors with tap water (relatively hard, unfiltered water) and a microfiber cloth. Amazing! I didn't think it would work, but I now have clean, streak-free mirrors! Thanks for the tip, ZWH =)
I tried it with a microfiber cloth on my mirrors, too. Awesome. Who needs paper towels? I never when I used to dust my childhood home growing up. Just an old, cloth diaper (I was a cloth diapered baby!) and some furniture polish. Then, I started using Swiffer duster. Why? It really does take the same amount of time and is FAR cheaper. Swiffer is evil. :)
I finally broke down and bought microfiber cleaning cloths yesterday. I also bought cloth napkins and napkin rings and am vowing to use more dish towels and less paper towels when cooking. I do my laundry at the laundromat and line dry my clothes so this is going to be a pain in the butt, but this blog has motivated me.
I'm finding wiping messes down first with a damp sponge works. But now the prob are the sponges. I guess 3-M has biodegradable ones (but packaged in plastic). When I run out of my current supply, I'll need to look into alternatives.
Re: the less paper towels, more microfiber towels - I've been able to avoid doing the microfiber towels in the regular laundry (they should be washed on their own anyway, as lint from other fabrics decreases their amazing cleaning abilities). After one is soiled, I immediately give it a quick wash in the kitchen sink with a little dish soap and hang it on my drying rack. Or I do a little batch after meals. It's been working fine so far and then the laundry aspect isn't so daunting, because they don't pile up.
Wow, microfiber cloths, just wow! Why have I been wasting my time with anything else?? Seriously.
Thanks for the tip about cleaning them alone. Did not know that.
I hang my stuff on the clothesline as well. You know, I thought it was going to be a big deal having the extra cloths and napkins, and I haven't even noticed a difference. But then we haven't totally switched yet, I only bought a couple...