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If you have a large family and use rags instead of....


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paper products (paper towels, napkins), how does that work exactly??

 

I know every one says it saves $ etc. So this is not so much about why, but HOW?

 

I know 4 kids is not that large of a family, but I swear my 4 are the messiest 4 I have ever seen :huh: . So right now I use paper towels for cleaning the kitchen counters, sinks, stove top, microwave, table, chairs, small spills on floor, wipe down leather couch, bathroom (although I may continue to use PT for that), wipe off finger prints on walls... basically all.day.long. Plus to wipe off faces, etc as the meal progresses. We are working on trying to be a little less messy, but some of it seems to just go with having 2 3yos. :toetap05:

 

So do you have a system...(just to throw this out there, I H.A.T.E laundry :glare: )...like a bucket filled with bleach/water to throw dirty towels into? I hate the smell of wet rags, so I would want to use it, rinse it, then send it to the laundry room, but I would want to only "wash" them 1-2x a week. Is that doable? And how many rags should I have?? 100?? :smilielol5:

 

This may sound like a silly question, but I have never been in someones home, where I saw it work. MIL keeps a rag in the kitchen,, but reuses it more times than I would like, plus it is just her in the home, not several messy kids.

 

Please also note, I CANNOT wash a few rags a day with my other laundry...just nope can't... I have to wash towels separate from clothes and bath mats by themselves, etc. etc.That is just our thing (DH and I), others most likely do, but I just can't.

 

So what is your system, different color rags for napkins and cleaning? all white? best material???

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If something is really wet, I hang it over the edge of a basket, but the basket gets taken to the laundry room every morning, and I do laundry pretty much every day (sometimes not both weekend days). I easily do a dozen loads of laundry a week, and I just toss kitchen cloths, napkins, washcloths, etc. in with regular laundry. I go through a lot of cloths in a day. The only things I do separately are delicate wash clothes, clothes that have stains and need extra treatment, diapers, and cloths that have nasty stuff (like bleach or the stuff I use to get rid of hard water stains; I don't use those often, but when I do, I wash those things separately). But normal everyday kitchen cloths or washcloths (and I have messy little munchkins too) just go in the regular laundry. I do think it saves money over paper towels; my microfiber cleaning cloths are several years old, and they're still in fantastic shape. Some of my kitchen cloths are a bit frayed but still serviceable. I'd say that if I totaled it all up, maybe it's one extra load of laundry a week, if I did all the cloths separately, but I'd use a ton of paper towels if I used them. (I only use them for very nasty stuff like cat messes or for draining bacon, so a roll lasts forever.) Paper towels would cost a lot more (but also, we have well water, so we don't pay directly for that).

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Oh, also, it looks like this at my house:

-small washcloths (the "baby" kind) for cleaning little faces and hands after meals

-microfiber shop towels for most cleaning

-big washcloths (the kind that come in packs of like 18 for $5) for washing dishes, wiping counters/table; generally if it's washed dishes, I toss it in the basket and get a different one for the table, so I often go through several of those a day

-cotton napkins (thinnish calico) for napkins

 

I can tell which cloths go where by what they look like, so I fold them and put them away accordingly.

 

I think in your position, I'd probably go with all white and leave them soaking in a bucket with some soap, maybe some bleach. I might also have a rack or line in the laundry area where I could hang them so they didn't get musty.

 

And yeah, about a hundred sounds about right if you don't want to wash frequently.

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All the rags are white. I keep a bucket under the kitchen sink. Wet rags hang over the edge. Bucket is rotated to keep an open spot available. Next day they are dry and go in the bucket. When the bucket is full, time to do a load of whites. I dump the rags in the washer and start them soaking with some hot water and bleach, I round up all the white socks and undies, and other white towels, and do the load of whites together. It's really no trouble at all.

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I keep a huge thing of microfiber cloths under my sink and use those. I go through about ten to fifteen a day and have a bucket under my sink to hold them until I'm ready to wash them. They are convenient and I just grab one whenever I need one. Wipe down table or sink or lay it out to dry fruit on or spot clean floor or wipe down walls. I use cloth napkins on the table and those go in the microfiber cloth bucket also. I don't put the cloths in the bucket wet, they get hung on a hook beside my sink until they are dry. I wash every few days and the only time I've had a problem with them stinking was when I cleaned milk up off the floor and then threw the rag into the bin. Ewwwww.

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I use just regular dishrags for wiping up everything. I have a ton of them, so I use 3-4 a day. We have cloth napkins, enough for each person to use 1-2 a day and wash every 3rd day or so. I wipe Piper and Jackson's hands and face with a washcloth after every meal before they leave the table. I bought a few packs at Walmart that were $4 for 20. They are thinner, which I think is better for food, my nicer ones tend to just spread it around. I hang them up to dry after I'm done using them, either outside or on the side of the Landry basket in the laundry room, and when they're dry, toss them in the dirty clothes. I wash the dishrags and washcloths in a bleach rinse before they go in the regular laundry.

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This is our rag system...

 

We have a lot of rags, probably more than 100, and probably about 50 get washed a day. I have 7 kids so have to do at least 1 large load of laundry a day. As long as the rags don't have bleach or poop on them (I try to avoid poop on rags at all costs, that's the one thing I use paper towels for) I wash them with the regular clothes. When I'm on top of things I do a separate towel/ rag wash with hot water and bleach. But lately I've been washing it all together.

 

I never reuse a rag more than once (I'm a little OCD).

 

I'm not sure if I'm saving money. I think I am. But I'm definitely doing more laundry due to the rags, and they have to go through the dryer to get clean (hair and gunk goes into the lint trap and the heat sanitizes them).

 

I don't usually put rags to soak, I just pile them in with the rest of the laundry.

 

Cut the rags big (we cut from old towels), at least paper towel size. I love my rags. I call them my "precious darlings." They are piled in a box when clean and we grab one when needed. We don't fold or stack them.

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We have lovely cloth napkins for wiping hands and faces at meals. We have washcloths for doing dishes and wiping down counters. We have tea towels for drying dishes and hands. We have washcloths (different ones) for bathing. We have cloths cut from old towels for cleaning "icky things". We also have bath towels and hand towels.

 

Kitchen cloths are replaced daily at minimum - usually more frequently. Napkins are typically one-meal items. When either needs washing, they are first hung on the oven handle to dry, then put in a pretty tote bag hanging in our basement stairwell, on their way to the laundry room. Everyone is clear that once on the oven handle, a cloth is off limits for further use until it has been laundered. "Icky" cloths skip this step and are put immediately in the laundry area to dry and be laundered. Bathing cloths are hung to dry in the bathroom, then put into the laundry bin. Dry, dirty cloths wait until I am ready to launder them; usually when we are getting low. Each area has a basket for storing clean cloths.

 

I don't have a bleach step because I'd prefer to just use a new cloth. Many of our cloths have been in daily use for 20+ years. If they get ratty around the edges, I use my serger to trim them up and put a new edge on them.

 

Each category looks and feels different, so there is no danger of mixing things up; it's clear which goes where.

 

Washing and folding takes some time, but it is relaxing work. Many of my cloths are very pretty, and it's lovely to use pretty things in your work.

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We call them mopines (Italian name), dish towels/tea towels, and I use them for everything. I DO have paper towels, but hardly ever use them. I have them in a basket on my counter.

 

If something poopish needs to be cleaned, that's when the paper towels come out.

 

I keep a basket on the stairs and once they're dirty, that's where they go and I bring it up tot he laundry every few days.

 

I have about 30, but there is just no way I use 50 a day, I don't even use paper towels that much. I DO use dish cloths instead of sponges, and I just wash then, too. Not a special wash, just a hot load.

 

I DO have about 2-300 napkins, and we use them all the time, every meal, and they get washed int he hot loads, too.

 

For rags, I use old towels, old diapers, rags from old PJ pants, stuff like that. Those I use to dust, or to do windows.

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We are a no paper product family. We use various kinds of rags for various reasons. Usually they are cut up white towels or washcloths. I will sometimes use old torn up clothing and things too. I stash them in various places but mostly in the kitchen. I keep a small plastic 'basket' in the kitchen where we put the rags after they're used. After dinner every night, my kids take the rag basket and dump it into the 'rag bucket'. The rag bucket is a 5 gallon bucket in the laundry room. About twice a week I will wash a load of kitchen/cleaning rags. I wash the rags together and separate from everything else with bleach. Fold and repeat. :)

 

Bathrooms get different towels/rags and things. Those get put into an entirely separate pile.

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We use white washcloths for wiping faces and hands. I have some sponge cloths for wiping down the countertops and for cleaning. I use a regular sponge for dishes. I have dish towels for bigger messes. All of the cloths are white so I can bleach them.

 

What I need to do is what this little Italian restaurant I used to work for did. The manager had a big plastic bin that she would fill to the brim with neatly folded white dishtowels every day or two. She would pour a huge kettle full of water and bleach over the towels, then pop the whole thing under the front counter. Whenever the counter needed to be wiped down, I'd just grab one of the towels from the bin, wring it out, then get to work. Soiled towels went straight into a lined trash can until after closing, then she'd take those home to wash.

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Amazon has a very nice deal on microfiber rags right now. 144 for $57. I have around 50 right now and it last me a day and a half. We are only a family of four but we have dogs. I keep the used ones in a 5 gallon bucket in the laundry room. I put a cup of baking soda in it and it keeps the smell down. I wash mine separately from the rest of the wash.

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I use cloth napkins for napkins, plain white washcloths for kitchen/general mess clean-up, and colored washcloths in the bath/shower. I wash the white with the lads of bleached whites and the colored ones/napkins with the towels. I DO use some paper towels, but a roll I'll last me about 3 weeks.

 

I don't know how many I have, but I have a full kitchen drawer of just white terrycloth washcloths and another drawer with napkins and kitchen towels. I use less now than when my kids were little. In your place, I'd just ease into it. When they were small, I'd wet the cloth and wash face and hands, rinse, wash high hair with soap, rinse cloth, wipe soap off high chair, rinse cloth, wipe up floor mess, toss in laundry. I think the cloths are easier to use than paper towels because they don't fall apart. If you must wash them separately, just do a small load and teach the kids to use and fold them.

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Well, we use generic cheap washcloths for pretty much everything. I LOVE them! I love using them as napkins b/c we use them to soak up all the spills at the table too. With 5 kids, I wash 2-3 loads of laundry every day, and the washcloths get washed along with everything else.

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I mostly use cloth materials instead of paper (except for TP and female use). How this looks in actual use:

 

*Napkins for meals - I keep a folded pile of napkins in a cute basket on our dining table. There are maybe 25 or 30 napkins in there. We have a hamper in our hall closet for dirty napkins and towels. After a meal, the napkins usually go in the hamper. (Sometimes I don't wash them yet if they were not used by the diner.) These are actual cloth napkins; mostly cotton or linen. I wash them along with my other clothes, but if it bothered me, I would wash them along with towels and/or sheets. When we have many guests eating over, I provide cloth napkins because it seems to confuse people.

 

*Baby cleanup (facial) - I don't use these very much now, but when I had babies/toddlers, I kept a stack of baby washcloths (usually terry cloth) in a kitchen drawer with the bibs. I would wet, wash the face and hands, then drape it over the edge of the sink to dry. If it was dirty, I would put it in the hamper when dry.

 

*Dish towels - I keep dish towels in a kitchen drawer. If they get very damp, I drape them over the edge of the hamper to dry out and then wash them when dirty. Otherwise I just toss them in my hamper every couple of days and get a new one out.

 

*Cleaning cloths - I NEVER use old rags for cleaning! NEVER! I have several baskets of white, terry cloth washcloths that are my cleaning cloths. They are distributed throughout the house into baskets. These are for all general cleaning - counters, mirrors, surfaces, appliance fronts, etc. I also let these dry draped over the edge of the hamper and then wash them.

 

HTH!

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I have white terrycloth washcloths that I use for general cleanup (counters, floors, etc). When dirty I put them in a bin. They do get collected and washed with the general wash, but if that bothered me I could keep a seperate basket for them in the basement and wash when I had a load. I don't know if they'd get mildewy , though, since they're usually wet. If I leave them out to dry they'll get grabbed by a 2yo flung somewhere else random. I go through about 5 or 6 of these a day with two 2yo boys who have a spilling and pouring problem and a 4yo girl who has a paint obsession. If I've just wiped down a counter with crumbs on it or something I rinse it out and put it on the sink to re-use. If it gets gross, it goes in the wash.

 

I have colored terrycloth washcloths for faces. THese are handled the same as above. I probably go through 2 or 3 a day. I just rinse after wiping the faces, it rarely needs replacing.

 

I have cloth cotton napkins that we use at dinner. These also get tossed in the wash.

 

I use paper towels for "extra gross" cleanup - usually anything that involves poop. Also when someone in the house has a stomach bug I use those sanitizing wipes on the counters and in the bathroom a lot. I also use those to clean up the twins' little potty. A roll of paper towels does last several weeks this way.

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For faces and hands we use the baby terry cloth towels. These get one use, then I hang them in the laundry room to dry until I do a load of towels. Old hand towels and wash cloths get used for spills and bathroom cleaning, also for one use, though I will rinse it and use it over and over until the mess is completely cleaned up. The table and counters get wiped with plain white bar mops, and I use pretty colored dish towels for dish washing. These get multiple uses throughout the day because i dont allow them to get stinky and gross. I also keep kitchen towels hanging under the sink for drying hands or dishes, again these are replaced daily. Oh, and I use microfiber towels for dusting and window cleaning. Everything gets stored in the pull out drawer under the dryer in neat stacks. Every couple of days I pull out a few to take to the kitchen.

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Microfiber towels (Costco, auto section) for cleaning and dusting.

 

Ikea towels for drying hands, dishes, food uses, and everyday napkins:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10100909/

I have 30 and want to get at least 20 more. They are wrinkly if you dry them all the way, and I am just not bored enough to iron hand towels! I dry them for about 15 minutes and fold while slightly damp, then they look nice and neat. These are great for napkins because they're big and we are messy. :)

 

Nice napkins for company or nicer meals from various places. Cost Plus World Market has lots of lovely patterns and good sales.

 

I tried cutting flour sack towels in fourths and hemming the two raw edges (pregnancy insanity), but they were just too small. The Ikea towels are a perfect size for us.

 

I keep a pretty, oblong oval basket in the corner of the kitchen for towels and napkins. If you get food stains (especially anything tomato based) on the napkins, just spritz with stain remover before tossing them in the basket to sit. I keep a bottle of Zout in my basket.

 

Poop or barf gets paper towels. Though we cloth diaper the baby, I'm still not using my towels for dog poo... Just no...

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I just cut up old towels. sure the ends are raggedy because I don't sew them down. I have kitchen towels and wash cloths, and then the rags. I have a box in my pantry, my laundry room, and the bathrooms to be used for cleaning. I use them, and dump in the laundry. I do a load of them when I have enough including towels - every couple days.

they're great for everything, and they absorb better than pt. when I use them after someone has been sick, a clean rag in the bucket of bleach water, wipe, toss in a pile, get new rag in bucket - wipe, toss in pile, etc. until it is cleaned up. the water stays clean and if they are being tossed onto a clean rag, I'm not spreading anything. I wash in sanitary hot with bleach.

 

we buy tp and kleenex. other paper products we only use when camping or picnics.

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I use flour sack towels and kitchen towels for the kitchen. We go through quite a bit as we cook a lot. They are changed out throughout the day. Nothing is used for more than a day. Cloth napkins for eating - one meal usage but occasionally, if we ate something simple and not messy, we will re-use our own napkin. At the end of the day, after the kitchen is cleaned, all towels are piled up and thrown in a plastic laundry hamper - wet, dry, whatever.

 

Bath towels look different (different color) than kitchen towels. We reuse washcloths in the tub frequently as four of us share the tub (my husband showers). Every few days, we grab all the towels out of the bathroom and throw them in the same plastic laundry hamper.

 

I have one daughter (my oldest) with special skin requirements and we use white washcloths for her use only (or if one of the girls needs one for a specific pre-approved purpose). Those are never re-used, but go immediately into the plastic laundry hamper.

 

If chemicals (other than soap) have been on the towel, I hang it over the hamper to dry. I do a load of towels about every other day and wash all the towels together.

 

If I have to clean something really nasty, I either use paper towels or simply throw the cloth towel away. We've dealt with significant nastiness and I'd rather buy more towels (and sometimes sheets) than go to the trouble to clean and wash the mess.

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We do not have a large family but I use enough towels and rags to wash them 2x a week without every running out and without needing to soak in a wet pail or combine with other laundry. We do cook at least 2, often 3 meals a day at home so that adds to the volume. Wet pails are a pain in the @ss and gross IMO so I never have had one. We use cloth napkins, dishtowels and rags. I have the ability to do small loads without using the full amount of water if my cloth/towel loads are smallish.

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I retire old washclothes and old kitchen towels and old hand towels and old cloth diapers . . . to the Rag Bin. This is a huge overflowing mound (about 30 rags) on a shelf in the laundry room closet. I also have a neater stack of (about 10 of) these folded under the kitchen sink. Above that stack of "rags" is a neater HUGE stack of (20 or so) "good" kitchen towels.

 

The easiest way to get a new stash of "rags" is to go to Sam's and buy all new kitchen towels -- usually 15-20 at a time. Then, a couple years later when they are all stained, repeat the process. Likewise, when we buy all new bath towels/etc, all the old ones get retired to "dog towels" and the smaller ones to the rag mountain. When I use a rag for something really hard to clean up (bike grease, etc.) or noxious (paint thinner), then I just throw it out. I have plenty, and can always get more by cleaning out some old towels somewhere, lol. If I am PLANNING on destroying the rags (taking it to the garage to clean a bike chain), then I just choose one that is close to dying (holes, etc.).

 

All week, and especially on cleaning day, I just grab a clean rag when I am cleaning up something. When it is dirty, I toss it in my empty mop bucket, which happens to live in the laundry room closet. We go through a lot of large grungy "dog" towels each week because we have 4 dogs and are generally a messy bunch. So, once a week or so, I do a load of rags/dog towels/icky stuff. Whenever I am doing a load of those things, I grab whatever dirty rags are in the mop bucket. I always do one of these loads at the end of a big "cleaning day" like today when I might go through 20 rags. I don't mop more than once a week, so this works well for me. If I didn't have a convenient and mostly-unused mop bucket, I'd dedicate an old bucket (plastic kitty litter buckets are my favorite all purpose buckets) as my rag-hamper. I have no need to have any liquid in there. It's not ebola virus, lol. If the rags are WET when I put them in the bucket, I hang them on the rim, and they are dry by the next time I toss something in, when I knock the now-dry rag into the mop bucket.

 

I don't use rags for really gross things. Vomit, poop, urine -- those are the things God made paper towels for IMHO. I just use them for general dirt, general grime, dust, etc. When I do major cleaning, I do use paper towels for the wipe down of the toilet (Ick factor) as well as the mirrors (shininess), but for all other surfaces, I use rags or sponges. Rags actually clean MUCH better for most purposes than paper or sponges. The rags have more roughness, I guess, and so get up grime so much better.

 

HTH

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We use all white flour sack like towels and cheap washcloths, white so they can be easily bleached every couple months. I also have some microfiber that I don't bleach. We usually hang wet cloths over the sink, wet towels over the trash can to dry. Then they get tossed to the laundry room. We keep them in a basket until we have a load then wash, usually 2x/week. Everyone washes them as needed, bath towels too, even the youngest. We're just in the habit of washing them as we see the need.

 

I started with two packs of towels and a big pack of washcloths. I added as I needed. Now I have a clean drawer full, plus another drawer full that can be in the process of getting used/washed. We use cloth for everything except TP. When my ds was in diapers we used cloth wipes too. I use disposable for my day care kids' diaper changes, but cloth for faces and hands.

 

ETA: I would never use a wet pail, yuck. I used cloth diapers for youngest ds and I use cloth pads, never using a wet pail.

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I use wash rags for wiping table, cleaning pots/pans, disinfecting counters and sink. I use 2-4 a day. I hang up the used, wet one in the laundry room, on the edge of a laundry basket that I keep just for dirty kitchen towels and rags. When dry, they get tossed into the basket. When I wash bath towels, I then throw the kitchen ones in also. I do a load of towels about every other day and I wash in hot.

 

I use Clorox or Lysol wipes for cleaning fridge, bathroom counters and toilets, garbage cans.

 

We use select-a-size paper towels for small breakfast or dessert items that don't really need a plate, and also if we are out of napkins.

 

I see a lot of recommendations for microfiber; that is one material I can't stand on my hands for some reason! I also don't like that it attracts hair like crazy and drives me nuts to find hair when I'm washing dishes. That's probably my own weird phobia though.

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I use paper towels for certain food applications or for cleaning up particularly nasty messes and broken glass. I use microfiber clothes with just plain water (one wet and one dry) to clean any glass, faucets, shiny stuff, etc. -- just wash with the wet one, polish dry with the dry, rinse the wet one well, and move to the next item. Be sure to never use fabric softener on your microfiber cloths, or you will get streaks when you clean with them. Wash them separately and tumble dry or air dry, and you are good to go.

 

Terry cloth towels and rags are used for cleaning most anything wet, and I have both "tea towels" and terry cloth towels for use in the kitchen for drying produce, pots & pans, hands, etc. I have separate towel rings for the towel for hands and the towel for food. When either of these gets dirty (or at the end of the day if they make it that long) it is replaced, and the dirty one gets used for cleaning the kitchen before it ends up in the hamper.

 

For washing knives and pots & pans I buy cheap dish rags specifically -- this way I don't feel bad when they get cut or worn quickly.

 

For cleaning bathrooms I'll usually use my microfiber cloths, though I keep sanitizing wipes on hand for flu or quick swipes.

 

Old cloth diapers are reserved for cleaning sunglasses and eyeglasses. Never paper on lenses -- paper scratches.

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Did anyone else think they were going to click on this thread and read about those people who use family rags instead of toilet paper?? LOL!! Cause I did....

 

Nope! I still use toilet paper! And "kleenex" for runny noses!

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I can't use the word "rags." I worked at a Burger King when I was 18, and we always had to say "cloths" instead of "rags." I've never gotten over it, lol.

 

Ok, so in my family, we use cloth napkins. Always. I just have a bunch of them. I wash them with the dish towels and bath towels.

 

I use white "bar cloths" for dish cloths, a new one each morning. I wash all white linens (pillow cases, sheets, dish cloths, dish towels, wash cloths) together, presoaking them first in bleach and hot water. I wipe all the kitchen surfaces with those bar cloths.

 

I bought a bag of microfiber cloths, and I use those for mopping up spills and cleaning the bathrooms and whatnot. They are inexpensive. If I felt the need, I could wash them separately (but I wash them with the towels, because I don't feel the need to wash them separately, lol).

 

I don't see any reason that you couldn't wash your clean-up *cloths* once or twice a week.

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We probably have between 30 and 50 around here. Some are just cut up old towels, others are barmops towels. I do a daily round up of gross/used ones, and toss them behind the laundry room door so they don't end up mixed with the regular laundry, and wash them along with towels and socks (or sometimes diapers) on hot.

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Did anyone else think they were going to click on this thread and read about those people who use family rags instead of toilet paper?? LOL!! Cause I did....

 

:ph34r: Cloth diapers and wipes were our gateway and we've not looked back. It was trying to teach my older son to wipe clean when he was a tot when it clicked for me. I find paper tp next to useless now that we changed (6+ years ago). Those stay on the back of the toilet in a little basket and then go into a step lid container in each bathroom till wash day. They got washed with the cloth diapers and now with any wet sheets and pants my younger son has accidents in. We keep tp on hand for guests.

 

I swear I am not an unwashed hippie. Really and truly. :)

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We have white cloths for wiping children, microfiber for cleaning messes. I bought huge packs of both at Costco. I keep a laundry basket near our basement stairs and they get thrown over the side of it after use, and then washed with bleach once a week.

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Washing and folding takes some time, but it is relaxing work. Many of my cloths are very pretty, and it's lovely to use pretty things in your work.

 

I don't like folding laundry. But I admit, reading your post took me into a zen spot for a moment. :001_smile:

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Well, I'm much more simple than most here and cheap, ahem, frugal. I use a dishrag for wiping up most any mess on counters or tables, as well as dishes, that gets changed daily. I have a big crock that all my cloth napkins get thrown into, those are generally used all day by one person and then changed out at the end of the day. Fwiw cloth napkins are much better at cleaning messes than paper towels and can clean a lot more. If the kids are super messy then I would send them to the bathroom to wash up and then they could just use the hand towel to dry their face, which gets changed every few days. Rags are for cleaning nastier things like toilets and such- and are just cut up old tee-shirts, those are washed after each use, bathrooms are done a few times a week here. Small messes on the floor get the dishrag, bigger ones get the mop and mopping gets done about 1x per week. I use baby washclothes for diaper wipes. I don't have a special laundry system. Diaper wipes are washed with cloth diapers. Rags, napkins, etc are thrown in a basket in the laundry room and washed when I do laundry.

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Washing and folding takes some time, but it is relaxing work. Many of my cloths are very pretty, and it's lovely to use pretty things in your work.

 

 

I am all about efficiency, and we do not fold any of our kitchen towels or cloth napkins (washcloths). I only have a couple kitchen towels so they get tossed into the cabinet and rotated through very quickly. The washcloths/napkins are tossed into a basket by the table.

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We use prefold cloth diapers for most everything. Cleaning, soaking up messes, etc. We have washcloths for cleaning faces and that's about it. We only use paper for TP. Cleaning cloths and washcloths are washed with towels. Cloth diapers/wipes and mama cloth are washed together generally. We toss 'em in a basket in our laundry room when finished with them.

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I see a lot of recommendations for microfiber; that is one material I can't stand on my hands for some reason! I also don't like that it attracts hair like crazy and drives me nuts to find hair when I'm washing dishes. That's probably my own weird phobia though.

:iagree:

 

I use flour sack towels and bar mops, white.

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For wiping down counters/tables, I use dishcloths. After a few hours, I toss them in the floor so noone will reuse them. For the bathroom counters, I use the hand towel and then put out a clean one. Every evening, the pile of towels/rags in the kitchen floor is hauled to the laundry room where it gets either tossed into the washer or hung up to dry.

 

For large spills on the floor, I get one of the kids to go grab a dirty bath towel out of the laundry. For faces and hands, they rinse and wash in the bathroom sink and dry on the clean towel there.

 

I do use paper towels for things that must be more sanitary like my milker, but for regular cleaning it is a cloth rag or towel.

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I have 7 dc, and we use all cloth for napkins, dish cloths (no sponges), dish scrubbers, rags for spills, cloth diapers/wipes, no dryer sheets--wool dryer balls, cloth pads, etc. This may give you an idea of how to make them and why-- homemade household products. I usually hang my wet rags on the porch to dry so they won't stink and just toss them in the laundry with other stuff.

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I have loved reading how others use cloth in thier homes!

 

Our system looks like this:

 

Bath towels when worn get turned into "the old towels" and go under the kitchen sink for cleaning water spills (our dog routinely overturns the water bowl), sopping up nighttime accidents, etc.

 

Old towels eventually get bumped down to "the outside towels" and are stored in the garage to be used on the dogs and by DH in his projects.

 

Cloth napkins are used for all meals. I have yet to have any wear beyond use, but I do have a set that is used for picnics and camping only because theya re the most worn.

 

Kitchen towels and kitchen dishrags are used until good and worn. Then they are downgraded to the rag bin.

 

The rag bin is used for all cleaning that does not take place on a surface food is served from. (Except dusting and mopping; I have special Microfiber rags for those tasks.) I keep old clothes that have been turned into rags in a basket in the garage and try to use them for jobs that involve car oil or poop. Use 'em and chuck 'em is my motto at that point.

 

I have three laundry bins for the all of the above. One for bath towels and wash cloths, one for kitchen towels, cloths and napkins, and one for rags and old towels. I wash rags once a week and bath and kitchen towels 2x a week. I am getting better about training the kids to hang out the wet things though so maybe I won't have worry quite so much about mildew by summer's end.

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We only have one child, but we live next to my SIL and we share meal duties, so there can be up to 11 of us over for dinner on any given day. We keep paper towels on hand, but one roll will last at least a month, if not more.

 

For us, I keep a few different types of dishcloths. I have flour sack towels for drying dishes, basic cheap hand towels for drying or wiping hands, and waffle weave towels for under the dish strainer. I have white dishcloths with a green stripe for wiping down counters, washcloths with mesh on one side for washing dishes (we wash all by hand), and small yellow washcloths for in case I run out of the mesh lined ones. I also have a TON of basic cheap white terry cloth washcloths for the dirty stuff, like pet messes or cleaning the bathroom. I have about a dozen of each kind (I have about 2+ dozen of the cheap white ones b/c we always seem to need them). I also have about 3 dozen cloth napkins that we all use at each meal.

 

I have a dry bucket (a tall rectangular rubbermaid container) that I keep on the top stair going into the basement. In our last two houses the laundry room was just off the kitchen, so I kept the bucket next to the washer. I just throw things in there and wash it when it is full. I wash on the sanitize cycle with only detergent and Dollar Tree "oxyclean", no bleach. They never have a smell when they come out of the washer, even though they may smell a bit going in. I never notice a super strong odor from the bucket, though.

 

Our towels are used for a day (or until they are visibly soiled, whichever comes first) and the washcloths are used once, then they are put in the bucket. The bucket is filled about once a week or so. Zero issues with mold, mildew, or odors of any kind. Oh, I also wash my mop head with the dish towels.

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We use cloth napkins, mostly bought from the thrift store. Dish cloths for wiping down the stove, counters, and table. Dish towels for drying and water clean up. We usually go through 2-3 dish towels a day with all the spilled cups of water. (With my toddler, my dining room & kitchen get mopped two square feet as a time as he spills water!) We have a tall basket with a cloth liner and a lid in the corner of our kitchen, all those cloth items go in there and get washed whenever it starts to get full. Dish cloths go in a drawer with the hot pads, dish towels and cloth napkins each have a large basket on top of the fridge. Whenever the load of clean utilities (as DH calls them) comes out of the dryer I set the basket in the dining room and the kids fold everything and put it away.

 

I usually keep a roll of paper towels around for cleaning up cat hair balls or throw up, ick.

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Our "system" (I feel funny calling it that because I didn't put any thought into this...lol):

 

Small wicker basket on the kitchen counter for our cloth napkins. I find these at the thrift store or will occasionally pick up a pack in the seasonal markdowns at WM.

 

Large wicker basket on top of the fridge for our clean up rags. These are mostly old cloth prefold diapers and washcloth size rags from WM. I think WM sells them in a pack of 24 for $4...I could be wrong on that amount though. We use these for everyday cleaning- anything from dirty counter tops to carpet spills.

 

I keep another wicker basket in the bathroom for our "nice" washcloths. These ones look different than the rags and were bought on clearance at Kohls in the Bath section. I also keep a basket with our cloth baby wipes. Those are infant washcloths I bought at Target when my 5 year old was born...they hold up well!

 

I keep our kitchen hand towels next to the rag basket on top of the fridge.

 

Everything gets thrown in the same laundry basket in the bathroom/laundry room. I wash towels and rags all together, on hot. We go through the whole kitchen rag basket each week, but it's only 1 load of laundry.

 

 

 

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Getting tons of ideas!! Thanks everyone! I knew I could get some ideas from here.

I also have never been big on microfiber, so I think I might go the terry route. I use a lambs wool duster for dusting.

I don't have much "floor" space in my laundry room as it leads to the garage, so I might get an over the door towel rack to "dry" out the wet ones. Or a bucket under the sink.

White for cleaning would keep it separate from the ones used for faces/showers. And larger ones for floor cleaning. I sweep/mop daily our living area (about 800 sq ft, my kitchen, eating area and family room open to each other and are tile), but I still have small spills etc

I have tons of extra fabric, what makes the best napkins for meal time? I have lots of quilting cotton, would that work? Maybe double thickness squares???

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