Cloth washcloths: how to care for them and how to use them

If you’re like me, you have a lot of little hands around your home. Maybe two, maybe 10. They are adorable, but they make messes. My kids love to wipe their dirty faces on my couch cushions (?!) and their clothes.

One of the biggest sources of paper waste in our home is paper towels and disposable wipes.

In attempts to minimize our paper waste in those two areas, I use a combination of cloth washcloths and towels. I have a broad mixture of towels, everything from washcloths from 7 years ago, to ripped up old clothes, to dish towels, and shop towels. I love using organic hemp fleece pieces that are left over when I cut out my cloth diapers.  I love them as napkins for the dinner table or as bacon drainers.

I use them to wipe faces, to wipe up spills, to clean mirrors and sinks and toilets. I use them to blow my nose. I use them occasionally in place of toilet paper (some people don’t use any TP, it’s called family cloth). I try to encourage my kids to reach for something other than their shirts or my pillows to wipe their dirty hands and faces. They know where I store the towels and can reach the hanging basket to get their own wipes.

How do you care for cloth wipes? I wash them with our regular laundry. I don’t sort colors of clothing in our home (gasp!!). As we use a green detergent that doesn’t have any softeners or fragrances (or any of the “phth” chemicals or phosphates, etc), I don’t worry about the wipes losing their absorbency. I try to line dry my wash as frequently as possible, as this really helps in keeping the towels looking nice.

I’ll be packing some with my daughters’ lunches this year.

Do you use cloth towels and washcloths? Any funny uses you have for them? Are your spouse and kids trained to use them also?


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