When my sister in law got a nice used serger, she took all of her kitchen rags and serged around them, so they had a nice edge, and doubled the thinner ones. There was always a supply to clean, and they were washed several times a week, which saved on paper towels, big time.
This week end I found a nice used sewing machine for $25 dollars. I went through it and oiled everything that needed oiling, with turbine oil [the best oil for everything I've ever found] per the booklet which came with the machine; an added plus. It works like a charm.
I took all my rags and doubled the ones which were similar weight and size, and zig zagged with the 2 setting so it kind of flattened out the edges of the cloth, went around the edges, leaving just a 2 inch or so unsewed portion of the last side. I trimmed any area which didn't quite fit the squares or rectangle and turned inside out. Then I top stitched with a straight stitch, about an 1/8 inch in, and closed the little gap by tucking seam allowances in to match the rest. I didn't bother to iron as I sewed, just finger pressed. The sewers out there will know what I mean.
They weren't serged, but they came out nicely and now I have a little stack of nice little thin pads to use as kitchen clothes, wipes and so on. I cut up an old stained t shirt, used a worn dish towel, and assorted rags from cut up towels. For the towels I just zig zag around the edges and trimmed any straggling threads. Altogether I have about a dozen little clothes.
I live with my son and grandson, and they will use rags as long as they are clean to begin with. I just keep throwing them into the wash with anything else to keep them circulating.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have seen the forests and trees disappear in great numbers in my lifetime. I hate to use paper towels.
Source: Sister in law and numerous old ladies throughout my life, who never threw anything away.
By pikka from Westminster, CO
Economically and ecologically sound! Now, if only I could get hubby to cooperate. :P (05/29/2009)
I just laugh when those articles telling you how to save money say to go out and "buy" a package of wash cloths to use in place of paper towels. How does buying something save money? Why do people not think of using their old clothing? I can find all sorts of thing to do with them: cleaning cloths, small squares in a container used for homemade disinfecting wipes, rag rugs, buttons for my sewing projects, refashioned clothing, quilts. (05/30/2009)
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