The Paper Towel Problem And Eco-Friendly Alternatives

February 14, 2022 12:00 am Published by

You probably have paper towels on your shopping list. These handy rolls are lifesavers if you have kids prone to spills and other kinds of mess. Thanks to the many uses of paper towels, your home is sparkling clean.

However, have you ever wondered about the amount of paper waste you could be producing? If you’re looking for a way to reduce the environmental impact of using traditional paper towels, here are some tips along with alternatives.

Eco-match: Paper towels vs. cloths

The first alternative to paper towels that comes to mind is washcloths. A reusable solution might be what you’re looking for, but how do they stack up against each other? Here we list some advantages and disadvantages:

Paper Towels


  • They work better to dry your hands: Whenever you wash your hands, any leftover germs stay in the towel when thrown away.
  • They can be composted (under one condition): You can repurpose paper to make your compost; however, it depends on what you clean. As long as you didn’t use harsh chemicals or wiped greasy and oily food, you’re good to go!


  • They’re non-recyclable: Because of the processes and chemicals used to ensure absorption and strength, their final stop is usually the landfill.
  • It’s an ongoing expense: No matter how accessible paper towels are, they’re recurring in your shopping list.



  • They have several uses before washing: Washcloths won’t give in at the first spill, and they’ll endure many tasks before they need to be cleaned.
  • They’re a one-time investment: If you find a good quality cloth, you’ll have it for a long time. Organic cotton or microfiber are excellent materials.


  • You’ll risk cross-contamination if mishandled: If you cleaned a spill and tried to dry your hands with them or clean a surface, you’ll be carrying germs. Assign different cloths for each thing.
  • They gather bacteria during the day: Damp fabrics will attract germs, easily carrying over to your skin with chances of causing infection. Remember to take the rag to the laundry basket and replace it with a clean one at the end of the day.

Which ones are eco-friendlier? Washcloths. If used right, they’ll save you money and reduce the amount of waste at home. 

Do you still need paper? Go with greener alternatives!

Some tasks are still better with one-use towels, which is why you can’t get rid of paper. 

However, there are alternatives to regular paper towels that won’t do as much damage.

Non-chlorine white paper: They’re created from recycled materials from the start, and they have been sun-bleached, avoiding the use of chlorine bleach. But when disposed of, they go through the same fate as regular white paper towels.

Brown Paper: Unbleached paper towels are another great alternative. Kraft paper that’s been already recycled. It’s eco-friendly enough to compost easily.

If you’re just getting started on giving your house a greener spin, there are plenty of things you can do for a healthier home. For more tips and cleaning services, 4 Senses House Cleaning makes your home safe, clean, and healthy. Get a free quote now!

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This post was written by 4 Senses House Cleaning