I began using old dish towels about three months ago to help cut back on our spending because paper towels ain’t cheap! It was part of many changes we have made over the past year as we adjust to my being a stay at home mom and as we try to pay off substantial debt.
I started out small and used rags for cleaning up the mess the boys left behind on the table after their meals. At first, I was a little weirded out. I was used to wiping up a mess and throwing it away and not having to deal with it ever again. It seemed kind of dirty to reuse something I cleaned the table with even after it went through the laundry. My negative feelings didn’t last long when I realized how much better my beat up dish towels worked for cleaning our messes! Where paper towel would fall apart, my handy rag proved its worth.
Now I use rags for most of our cleaning. The only time I don’t like to use them is when I’m cleaning the toilet. I stick to wads of paper towels, Lysol wipes, and a toilet brush for that particular job. I also prefer to use a sponge with a scrubber on the bathtub and the kitchen sink.
Along the way, I’ve collected a variety of rags. To my old dish towels, I have added cut up tee shirts, a cut up pillowcase, and some thin terry cloth pot holders that weren’t doing their job properly. When my husband went through his t-shirts to clear space in his closet, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! My favorite are the dish towels though. They are great for scrubbing and they soak up liquid well too. I’ve considered buying some, but so far I’ve made do with about 10 mismatched rags. I have only run out a handful of times, which brought up the same feelings as using the last paper towel… total panic.
The only downside to using rags is that they get stained. The stains don’t bother me much since I’m just going to dirty them up again, but if you think it would bother you, stick to dark colors for the rags and you’ll never know.