A while back I wrote an in-depth post on this subject called “How to Start a Paperless Kitchen,” which you can find here. I highly recommend reading it first!
* This post contains affiliate links for products I personally love and use daily. If you purchase something through my affiliate link, I may earn a small commission. For my full disclaimer, please click here. *
Starting a paperless kitchen is one of the easiest ways to reduce household waste and live a more Zero Waste life. I would also argue, it’s one of the cheapest!
Truth be told, paper towels are just a costly, wasteful solution to a problem that can be very easily (and better) solved by a reusable cloth rag. So, use up your last bits of Bounty, compost the soiled towels, and start anew!
Where to Find Rags for Free or Cheap
At the back of your linen closet.
You know that old bath towel you’ve been toting around since college? It’s time to chop it up! Look through your linen closet and pull out anything that is stained, severely frayed, or dirtied with years of use.
Odds are you have a towel or two around the house that just doesn’t suit daily use. Rather than sending it to landfill, give it a new life in your kitchen.
At the back of your friend’s linen closet.
Don’t have anything in your linen closet you’re ready to give up to cleaning messes? Maybe you have a friend or neighbor who has some they aren’t using! Ask around. Don’t buy if you don’t have to.
In the bowels of your clothes closet.
Towels make great kitchen rags, but other textiles work just as well! Check in those deep, dark corners of your closet and pull out old t-shirts that have become unwearable. Look for things that are too small, too old, or too stained to be worn in public.
At your local thrift store.
Lots of cloth items get sent to thrift stores! Pop over to one of your local secondhand stores and grab up any old towels that might serve your purposes.
On Amazon, because Amazon has everything.
If you aren’t having any luck with upcycling, consider buying a set or two of bar mops that you can use in place of paper towels.
I personally use and enjoy these towels because they are absorbent and hold up well to daily use and machine washing. Plus, the blue stripe is super cute! Highly recommend.
Starting a paperless kitchen is as simple as collecting a few rags that you can use again and again, and being willing to form a new, more sustainable habit.
Sound doable? I promise you’ll never look back.
Like what you see? Stay a while!
Get zero waste tips in your day-to-day.
Do you think you could make the swap from paper towels to cloth? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Never miss a post.
Subscribe to get my latest Zero Waste tips by email!