Our family of four includes two children who can get very messy during mealtime. Instead of having them use cheap one-ply napkins that fall apart the minute you try to wipe your hands with them, I decided to use cloth napkins.
The napkins can usually be purchased for $0.50 to a $1.00 each depending on where you buy them. I once purchased a clearance priced set of 4 from Target for a $1.00. I made sure to purchase enough for when we have family over.
You can also make your own from old cotton t-shirts but keep in mind the type of fabric you use will determine the amount of absorbency. I would strongly recommend you refrain from decorating the homemade napkins with glitter or puff paint as that might defeat their purpose.
By linex_4 from San Antonio, TX
I buy small towels from places like Walmart and if they're long enough I cut them in half and make 2 napkins. They are great for messy finger foods (bbq chicken for one) and can be tossed in with the other linens. When it's just the 2 of us we can use 1 napkin each for a day or more, depending on what we eat.
Several months ago I was called for jury duty and was trying hard not to waste a whole day. I found a home decor magazine and saw an article by a noted designer. I can't remember his name but he had a show on HGTV called Homes Across America. He had written an article about what he did with some kitchen towels he inherited. He and his wife saved the prettier ones that weren't worn too badly for napkins. I liked that idea.
Even with the soap and water necessary for washing, this is still greener than paper towels. I'm working hard to convert hubby and would rather use a cloth than paper anyday! I can't wet a paper towel and have it still be sturdy enough for use.
Linex~ You will find the more you use them you will wonder how you ever did without?! I have been paper product free (except for TP) in my home for over 25 years. Some of my cloth napkins that I still use are from the beginning. lol I have about four dozen & rotate them in use. In the kitchen I only use kitchen towels & I use rags in place of paper towel. You won't be sorry you made this decision to go green.
Trish in CT
Inexpensive wash cloths would work too. I have thought about switching from paper, but when it costs me $3.00 a load to do my laundry, I just don't see it as being very economical. As it is we do four loads a week, and using cloth napkins would more than likely add another load, and I don't spend $3.00 a week on paper napkins.
I use the cheap washcloths you can get at discount stores for 18 for 4 or 5 dollars, use them for everyday. and save the fancier ones for company. I put them right by the paper towels and we grab them for everyday spills too
We have saved lots this way.
i use the cheap washcloths you can get at discount stores for 18 for 4 or 5 dollars..... use them for everyday. and save the fancier ones for company.
I put them right by the paper towels and we grab them for everyday spills too
we have saved lots this way.
I have a suggestion. I have been using other things for napkins for many, many yours. I hate paper towels & napkins. Poor trees, just to have something to wipe your hands on. For really grimy stuff, like eating pizza or fried chicken, I have a number of those shop wipes. They have been washed many x's & are soft.
I also use those microfiber cloths. Get the cheapest one's you can find & you can find them in many different colors, black included. When you 1st start using these cloths, they feel funny, cause they are not like cotton or anything, but they are very absorbent & clean your hands well.
I have 2 laundry bags hanging in the washroom area & I put the lighter colored 1's in 1 bag & darker 1's in another. These micro fiber clothes have to be wash by themselves cause they attract lint like mad. But by washing them by themselves, you can use very strong cleaners & they release the dirt & grease nicely.
I also use them for dusting, cleaning, dishes, counter tops, in the bath, mirrors, for everything. They last 4 yrs & you don't use fabric softener on them either. You just have to make sure they are rinsed really well. I always put them through an extra rinse. But I do this with all my clothes, anyway. You would be surprised how much dirt & oils are left in clothes after washing, cause they weren't rinsed enough. Many years ago, I had to wash some already clean sheets. I put them in the wash, with no detergent, & I was amazed at how much soap & crud is left in my supposedly "clean laundry".
What came out could have cleaned those sheet all over again & that crud was being put on me & my family' skin & with sweat & whatnot, it goes back into your body. So these days, my laundry gets rinsed till there is no soap left in the rinse water. I also put about 3 cups of white vinegar in 1 of the rinses, cause it releases the detergent from the material.
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!