So I feel like am doing part, granted a small part, but I believe that if we all just make small changes, it will add up to something much larger! Small steps are easier for a lot of us to make and to stick with. By doing this little trick, I cut my purchasing of paper towels in half.
By Roamingeskimo from Vanceburg, KY
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I take damp paper towels that I've used to wipe my hands, clean up water spills or veggie juices from my cutting board (ie. cucumber liquid, etc.) rinse them, then dry them in the oven overnight. I place them on the oven rack and the pilot light from my gas oven is all it takes to dry them completely. Germs need a wet environment to grow in, so the heat takes care of that. The next day they're bone dry and ready for another go round for counter, stove or floor clean ups. Then I throw them out. Of course, you have to start with a good, sturdy, paper towel to begin with. I use Brawny. Paper towels are way too expensive to discard after only one use, if you can help it. I've been doing this for years and haven't succumbed to any dreadful disease yet. I also put my dishwashing sponge in the oven to dry overnight so it doesn't become a petri dish for growing germs and bacteria.
I'm much like aloham58. After washing and drying hands, I save the paper towel for later. Before I toss it I can use it again for either wiping away drops of water on the counter or splashes on the mirror. Or I hold onto the damp paper towel to wipe my hands when I'm eating a sticky finger food. I dust off items or clean my chihuahua's teary eye face or wiping up sticky stuff like jelly, honey or sugary liquids that may have dripped on the floor. My boyfriend got me started saving paper towels. He always stuffed them in his jeans pocket. Looks like he's wet his pants. lol. But I have to agree, why waste a perfectly good paper towel when you can put it to use elsewhere.
I guess I don't understand, some of you say you don't like using cloth towels because of spreading germs, but you will reuse paper towels. Besides being gross, what's the difference, either way aren't you spreading germs.
Hubby hides his once-used paper towels (easy to do with a blind chick like me, lol!) I've learned to hoard my barely-used paper towels. If I'm not wearing something with a large pocket, I'll get up and tuck the mostly-clean paper towel into my robe pocket, which hangs on my bedroom door within easy reach. (Our house is small.) We also use the Choose-a-Size brand, which in itself tends to cut usage. It isn't much, but it's the best I can do. Of course, when he isn't looking, I'll gladly use cloth.
I personally would rather use cloth towels, but I suppose if you must use paper, this is better than one use. I think a freshly laundered towel is much more satisfactory to dry with than paper. In my house, we use paper for hardly anything. I also use cloth napkins.
This is not a good idea. Proper handwashing requires washing hands thoroughly for a set amount of time and then using abrasion to dry. This final step is necessary because it removes trace germs and dead skin. Small unnoticed paper cuts with invisible spots of blood, improperly washed hands (you cannot guarantee that each person thoroughly washed and rinsed all the germs away) are all reasons to use and toss. You are potentially spreading germs throughout your home and putting others at risk.
A better idea would be to cut old towels, washcloths, clothes, t shirts into hand-size cloth towels. put them into a basket, and then wash each one after each use. you could label the basket to say that these are freshly laundered and disinfected towels for their use.
I also save our slightly used paper towels if they are not dirty. Such a shame to take a nice new paper towel and clean up a dirty mess like grease.
I store them in the grocery bag I have hanging that I collect the daily recyclables in. While they absorb any moisture left in cans etc. they are still good enough to clean up a dirty spill.
My husband and I also reuse paper towels that we've used just to wipe some water up around the sink. This has cut our usage down quite a bit!
If you don't have a salad spinner and use paper towels to dry lettuce, reuse the paper towels! Just drape them over a drying rack. They dry very quickly. Then fold them up and store with your kitchen linens until the next salad. You can also dry lettuce in clean dish towels and avoid using paper towels at all!
By Stephanie from Anchorage, AK
I originally made them as dinner napkins but they have taken over the house, so we clean with them, use them as dinner napkins, and also they are good for just using to dry your hands..I wash them and they dry in a hurry. I cut a triangle edge on the ends of the fabric so it wont fray. I don't like kitchen towels, they don't dry worth anything, and they get used up to fast, and then they take forever to dry.
Thought I would share this! We love them, also it is good to wash lettuce and greens in baking soda and water, and rinse them off. (07/30/2010)
By Robyn Fed
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