How to Replace Paper Towels with Cloth Towels


I started replacing paper products in my home about 10 years ago and never went back. Over the years it had made a big difference in reducing waste while saving money. It feels really great to be able to leave fewer carbon footprints on earth.

Switching to cloth towels from paper towels is not as daunting as it sounds. You can give it a try to see how it works for your family. It would be a nice way to celebrate Earth day this year on April 22nd insha Allah.

What you can use instead of paper towels?

Napkins– Instead of using paper napkins or paper towels, we use cloth napkins.We use napkins during meal time and take them with us when we pack meals/snacks for outside. These are also great to serve as place mats, specially when you have a little one who likes to wipe sticky hands every now and then during mealtime.


I have collected napkins over the years from many places. World Market, Pier1 Imports, Sur La Table have some great selections. You can score great deals when the holidays are over. Look for napkins in vibrant colors and patters if you’re concerned about stains.

As starters, you can have a stack of face towels or huck towels handy and then introduce the napkins. It makes life much easier and you will be less frustrated with stains.

Towels- We use kitchen towels and tea towels in our kitchen instead of paper towels. I keep two towels handy, one on the towel bar on my oven and another on the cabinet door that’s under the kitchen sink. I use a towel bar to hang the towel, it helps to dry faster and adds a nice touch to the kitchen as well.

I love collecting great quality kitchen towels. I like kitchen towels from Target, they have sturdy and beautiful kitchen towels from Threshold and they hold up pretty well for daily use.

Rags- We use rags instead of paper towels to take care of spills and daily kitchen wipe ups and other clean ups.


I makd my own rags from bath towels a while ago, cutting them into thirds and then hem the rough edges. They are still in good shape even after using for so many years. These rags can be used to clean up any spill. They absorb well and last for a long time.

Other replacements for paper towel can be dish towels, bar mop towels, huck towels and rags made from old t-shirts that bit the dust.

Microfiber cloth– Microfiber cloth napkins and towels are great for dusting but they are not earth friendly. You cannot compost them so they end up in the landfill.

I received two as a gift a while ago and use them to dust and wipe glass surfaces.

Huck cloth- If you want a lint free cleaning, huck towels are the way to do it. These towels are used at hospitals for spills and does a great job for cleaning at home as well.

What about nasty spills?

There can be cleanups that may involve bacteria which you want to avoid at all costs. The best way to deal with this kind of situation is to prepare ahead of time so you can avoid using paper towel.

You can keep a stash of small rags handy if you really don’t want to use paper towels. These rags can be made from old t-shirts that are headed for landfill anyways.

You can also use news paper to clean up as well.

The simple system to make it work-

If you’re new to this, setting up a simple system makes it easy for all of the family members. You want the napkins, towels and rags to be accesible by all.

I keep-

1 towel on a towel bar on the cabinet door of my kitchen sink.

A stash of napkins next to the sink.

1-2 bar mop towels on the kitchen counter.

2 face towels that hangs on a hook under the kitchen sink, for counter top clean ups and small spills.

1 rag for mopping any spill on the floor.

I also keep a few small towels and rags, 1-2 microfiber towels and 1 huck towel under the kitchen for dusting, wiping etc.


I usually hand wash them with castile or dish soap. I usually have 1 towel to wash every other day or as needed. I hang the towel/s on a hook in my kitchen at the end of the day.

You can also wash them in the laundry with other kitchen and dining linens. Add vinegar and washing soda for extra cleaning.

I hope you have an easy transition in replacing paper towels with cloth towelsin your home. It will help you save money and reduce waste in your home and give you the satsfaction of making a difference in keeping the earth clean.


Huck towels-











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