Make Paper Towels Serve Dual Purpose

For those of us who still find paper towels a necessity, try this to get more out of them. Every time I wash my hands and use a paper towel to dry them off (especially in flu and cold season!), I use the fact that it is wet and give a quick clean-up swipe to either the splashes of water on the sink and counter top or another small spot of dirt that could use the ol' once-over. It makes me feel a bit better about using paper towels in my house!

By AlaskanAurora from Dutch Harbor, AK

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November 3, 20100 found this helpful

Oh I do that too! If I dry my hands off on paper towels (I only get the select-a-size type) I use the paper towel as a wet napkin if I'm about to eat, or to clean up my shoes if I've been working on the car, or I use it to freshen my face (I don't wear makeup). There are many many things you can do with a damp paper towel that was used to only dry hands!

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October 14, 20110 found this helpful

But during cold and flu season aren't you just spreading the germs by wiping off a counter after drying your hands?

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October 14, 20110 found this helpful

I make paper towels go further by using a small kitchen towel to dry my hands in the kitchen instead of using a paper towel. I also use newspaper, which is very absorbent, to mop up large spills before wiping down with a paper towel. Newspaper is great for absorbing extra liquid! Just remember that on light surfaces the newsprint could make a mark, so don't leave the newspaper down too long, or put a layer of paper towel down first on light surfaces to avoid any marking by the newsprint.

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October 14, 20110 found this helpful

I started buying Scott paper towels and making my own Lysol wipes. My daughter's school uses them for lunch tables and they get expensive to buy so I make my own and donate. I read the tip on this site a while ago and it actually works great and is so much cheaper than even no name store bought. Take the paper towels off the roll and either crumple them up into a recycled Lysol canister or put them into a large ziplock bag. Mix a solution of just a few teaspoons of Lysol cleaner to about 1/2 gallon tap water. Add enough solution to moisten towels but not soak. It works great. I don't plan to buy ready made wipes again.

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October 15, 20110 found this helpful

Wiping a counter or anything after you have dried your hands with a paper towel could be cross contamination, ''especially'' during cold and flu season. You could have possibly only wet them with water or not cleaned them as you should by washing them with soap for ten seconds or while singing the happy birthday song. I learned this in my Dietary Manager training. Your fingers are the most common away to spread foodborne illness!

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October 15, 20110 found this helpful

PS: You'd be much better off to use a mixture of vinegar & water in a spray bottle and use a fresh paper towel to clean your counters with during cold & flu season.

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October 15, 20110 found this helpful

PS: You'd be much better off to use a mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle, along with a fresh paper towel and let dry on it's own anytime and ''especially'' during cold and flu season.

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October 23, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks I always use paper towels. I also use coffee filters to help my paper towels last longer. They are cheap (buy at dollar stores) and they will do a lot of what paper towels do for little things or what paper towels can't do.

Here is a list of how useful they are:

Cover a bowl of food with a coffee filter to prevent splattering when cooking in the microwave.

Coffee filters can shine your mirrors, TV screen and your computer monitor.

Make great bowls for popcorn.

Prevent rust in your stored iron cookware by placing a coffee filter in it to absorb moisture.

Clean your glasses with a coffee filter and they will be lint free.

Place a coffee filter over the drain hole in the bottom of a planter so the soil won't leak out.

Cork bits get into your wine? Use a coffee filter to separate the wine from the cork bits.

Coffee filters can keep your fingers clean if you serve a messy hot dog or popcorn in them.

Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

After deep fat frying, use coffee filters to help catch the small food remnants from the oil.

Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

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