4 good reasons NOT to use paper towels today.

Looking to cut down on your household waste?

Consider getting obsessed with reusable Swedish dishcloths.

I personally know people who are paper towel addicts. In fact, some have to gall to bring them to MY house because I don't use them.

While I’ve managed to convince some of my previously addicted friend to start being a little more eco-friendly, some still need a paper towels. (I admit I keep one scrunched up roll under the sink for these friends when they can't stand it.)

As Covid-19 anxiety rose over the past months — I am sure it has gotten worse, wiping down countertops, faucet handles and door handles multiple times a day with paper towels.

If you can relate to these paper towel crazed cleaners, I am here to tell you there is an alternative, and you can stop using SO MANY paper towels. You don't have to stop cold turkey but you can change to using fewer a day. Not only is this consumption bad for the planet, it’s also bad for my monthly budget. Why not save some money? I've seen hoarder size bundles of paper towel cost over  $30.00 (and due to our coronavirus-era, are often temporarily out of stock).

My more more sustainable suggestion? Swedish dishcloths. I like them to be fun or funny, to make me smile and add some cheer to chores.

Good reasons to stop using

1. Paper towels are still hard to come by

2. Paper towels are wasteful and bad for the environment

3. Paper towels are expensive!

4. One Swedish dishcloth can replace 17 rolls of paper towels.

Think about it.

History of the Swedish dishcloth: Invented by a Swedish engineer in 1949, the dishcloths are reusable, compostable, very affordable, and highly effective. Our Scandinavian friends like Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, have been using them for years which may be why they are some of the world’s most eco-friendly countries. After my own heart, you will hard-pressed to find a roll of paper towels in any Nordic home or business, because they all use Swedish dishcloths instead.

So forget the green of them. They still have lots of great selling points that are finally attracting fans here in the US. Made from renewable and natural fibers, specifically 70% cellulose and 30% cotton, the dishcloths air-dry much more quickly than old fashioned stinky sponges that Americans grew up using. Because they are thin, germs and bacteria (and odors) don’t have time to grow on them. Plus if they do start smelling not so fresh, simply toss them in the top rack of the dishwasher or in the washing machine. Avoid the dryer, they last longer. Pop them in the microwave and they will dry faster and be sterilized. You can reuse each individual cloth hundreds of times before tossing it out, but don't toss it compost it instead!

The big sell

While you certainly might use Swedish dishcloths in the kitchen, they’re way more versatile and need to be taken out of the kitchen. Use the cloths to wash your car, dry pet paws, or keep one in your canoe. But wait it get better, you can add nail polish remover and use to take off nail polish. Not to mention they work great to clean your mirrors, windows, and stainless steal.

Try them on messy faces or sticky hands, they are soft and durable and won't scratch. My nightly bathroom routine includes a quick wipe up with a Swedish dishcloth around the counter and sink. They are safe on surfaces like wood, marble, tile, stainless steel and even on human skin. They can replace not just paper towels but also handy wipes, sponges, and damp dish towels hung around the kitchen.

So the other cool thing is they are super absorbent. Go ahead and spill your wine (or milk) and don't use a paper towel. Check out the absorbing power in this slightly amusing video. 

The reviews are telling "I love these, I use them everyday and feel good about not using so many paper towels.” “Great for scrubbing, stay soft, and won't scratch surfaces.”

I hate giving or getting useless gifts.

Why Soak iT Up? They are bright, funny, fun and useful. Who doesn't like to get a useful gift?  BUT wait there is more!  You can use them dry to polish windows, mirrors, and more. The texture is stiff like paper and gets rid of streaks.

So lets make a deal, start using Swedish dishcloths and try to make your paper towel consumption go down. You will feel better. You will love knowing that by reusing them day in and day out,  you are cutting down on your household’s annual waste generation. You may not ever be a zero-waste family, but with Swedish dishcloths you can make a little change go a long way.


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