Or maybe instead of paper towels

September 27th, 2007

Jennifer from Tree Hugging Family reminded me that it’s better to use cloth dish towels than paper towels. (But, if you do use paper towels, recycled ones are better.) I agree, but that’s a difficult one for me.

I briefly considered not using paper towels a few months ago. I do use dish towels for some things, but if we’re talking about something gross like raw chicken juice or cat vomit, I’d rather have paper towels around. Maybe that’s because I’m a germaphobe.

Then, there are all those evil commercials that tell you it’s better to use disposable cleaning products because of germs. I would be washing my dish towels after a few uses and wasting water.

There’s another option here, a sponge. I don’t think I’ve used one for cleaning in a long time. I use rags or paper towels. So, how would one go about getting rid of nasty bacteria that might live in sponges? Here’s an article from ehow that details the process. I’m picturing this. A sponge bath in the microwave.

Have you tried the microwave method of cleaning sponges? If so, please leave me a comment. I’d like to know about it. If sponges are really that easy to clean, then it takes much less energy than a cycle through the washer and dryer.

Michael from Green Living Tips has some useful ideas on kitchen sponges. Which ones are best for the environment?

5 Responses to “Or maybe instead of paper towels”

  1. sam on September 28, 2007 5:48 am

    Man, oh, man. I don’t know if you’ve read about my dog’s health problems, or not, but there’s NO WAY I could go without paper towels. The blankets/quilts/comforters alone amount to several loads of laundry on a daily basis.

    I DO wish they sold the recycled paper towels around here, though…

  2. Kathleen Frassrand on September 28, 2007 4:38 pm

    I can’t stand sponges. I don’t ever feel I can get them clean enough. I switched a long time ago to dish rags. And here is how I keep them clean (because I too am a germaphobe sometimes). I purchased enough dish rags to use a fresh one each and every morning. I still do my laundry once a week, and I include my weekly supply of dish rags in my towel load. At least once a month, I fill one side of my sink with hot water and bleach, and let all my dish rags soak. It kills all the germs and makes them smell good. You could probably also use vinegar to soak them.. it is better for the environment… I think. Anyway – I try to use as few paper towels as possible.. but there are just some things that really really call for them.

  3. chocmoon on September 28, 2007 5:35 pm

    Sam, I do remember your dog’s health problems. : (

    The recycled paper towels I mentioned can be ordered through Gaiam http://www.gaiam.com/retail/gai_searchresults.asp

    But it seems to be more expensive than finding them in the store.

    I have also seen where you can order these towels in bulk from amazon.com. Just do a product search and you will see the options.

    And your store manager might be interested to know that his customers want recycled paper towels.

  4. chocmoon on September 28, 2007 5:37 pm

    Hi Kathleen. Thanks for stopping by. The only problem with me letting something soak in the sink is that I’d have to guard it from the cat who would dip in it and drink from it. I guess I could lock him up. I also have to guard my drinking glass from him. I guess he’s worth it though.

    Thanks for the comment. I’m still thinking about the sponge thing. But, I bet my cat would eat it!!

  5. Jennifer on October 7, 2007 9:46 am

    Sponges aren’t that great either though… You know I think I’ll just go post about it. but I can see why you might want to use paper towels for icky pet issues — I would. So, it seems recycled is the way to go. I guess look for my post on sponges.

    Also for the folks above you can order recycled paper towels online. If you order enough you could ask for free shipping and see if you get it.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind