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Posted by jillinnj
Fri, Jan 6, 12 at 11:28
|I switched to all natural cleaners several years ago. Very happy with them for most things (only thing it doesn't work on is mold in shower).
Recently, I made the decision to stop using so many paper towels. In the kitchen, I have small (washcloth size) dish towels that I am using for almost everything that I used to use paper towels for. I really used to use a ridiculous amount of paper towels! Feels good - saving the planet and saving money at the same time.
But, I don't know what to do in the bathrooms for cleaning the mirrors. I'm still using paper towels for that. Is there something else that can be used instead of wasting paper towels? Do those microfiber cloths work for that with glass cleaner?
|I do the same Jill. Our laundry room is right off the kitchen and I have a separate hamper for my dishtowels. We use very few paper towels. |
I do still use paper towels in the bathrooms for cleaning mirrors, but you can go a long way with 1 or two paper towels. I clean mirrors weekly and when I do I do bathroom mirrors and all tv screens (using the same towels). I have used microfiber cloths and they work fine too. For some reason I probably prefer the paper towels though.
|For cleaning I buy cheap washcloths-like 10/$5.00 - and use them for everything, including on the Swiffer. They fit perfectly. I wash them together in a small load with regular detergent, and a little bleach, no softener. They last forever, have a good feel to them, are absorbent, cheap, the right size, and wash nicely. I keep and wash the kitchen and bathroom cloths separate. |
I also use vinegar and water in a spray bottle for most surfaces around
the house, but I sanitize the kitchen and bathroom with a mix of bleach and water in a spray bottle after they are washed. For windows, the same vinegar and water and a squeegee, with a washcloth along the sills.
I even use vin/water on my gorgeous, 10 year old wood floors in the kitchen and dining room, with a microfiber cloth. They gleam!
And we have gone to cotton napkins, too, now that it is just the two of us. I keep paper towels for cleaning up raw meat messes, and that is just about it...maybe one or two rolls a year now. And I cook a lot!
|The problem is that I'm cleaning the mirrors in the bathrooms A LOT. I think I must have messy teeth brushers in my family. So, I'm using more paper towels than I'd like for that. If it were just me, it would only need to get done once a week and that wouldn't be bad. |
Don't the cheap washcloths leave lint on the mirror? That would drive me nuts.
Maybe I'll get some microfiber cloths (or search my house, I probably have some) and try it and see if it leaves streaks or lint.
Wow, sherrmann, 2 rolls a year? Maybe I can get there too. Boy, that would make my DH so happy.
I've been thinking of going to cloth napkins. We use them at Thanksgiving because it's so much nicer than paper. But, not sure I can do it everyday, all day. That would sure generate a lot more laundry for me. Have to think about that...
|I used to joke with my dentist that I didn't like to floss my teeth except on a day when I was planning on cleaning my bathroom mirrors. I have since learned some different flossing techniques. I use only a microfiber cloth and water on my mirrors. It works great.|
|Newspapers! I've been using them since I was a kid for both windows and mirrors. It works like a charm but I have to admit your hands get dirty from the ink. It washes off very easily afterwards though. |
I've also done something similar to you to cut down on the use of paper towels. Both Sam's Club and Costco carry the large packages (50 or so count) of white bar towels in their auto departments. I like the ones from Sam's Club best because they are softer and a better weight.
Then to store them, I got three of these in white from Ikea for our pantry. Now I use one bin for the clean towels and the one under acts as a hamper for the dirty ones.
|Yes, the micro fiber towels work great on mirrors. Much better then paper towels. And on counters, sinks and most other places where you don't want spots. I use them with a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and water, mixed half and half. disinfects and cleans. |
|A co-worker recently told me about e-cloths. She uses them and says they work great. They work without cleaner and can be washed and used over and over again; there is one specifically made for mirrors and glass. They do have pretty good reviews on Amazon, so I think I'd like to try them.|
Here is a link that might be useful: e-cloths
|Another vote for microfiber cloths....love them! I like the packages which have different colors for different uses (glass, wood, etc) and have the fiber on both sides rather than just one. BB&Beyond used to carry them and then discontinued them; unsure whether they're back or not. Found a great deal on them at Williams-Sonoma on sale a few months ago so snatched up a couple. I use them for everything and they can be found all over our house (bathrooms, kitchen, laundry).|
|I was out all day, jillinj, and didn't see your question about lint on the mirror. On the infrequent occasions I clean my gigantic bathroom mirror, I use the vinegar and squeegee...but almost every morning after we've dressed and brushed our teeth, I use yesterday's hand towel to wipe off the splashes on the lower half of the mirror nearest the sinks. I would try microfiber for sure. |
Our kids are all grown and gone now, so it is a lot easier than it used to
be. Hub will use his napkin for two days or more and it still looks fresh. Mine is a mess after lunch!
I dislike housework and let it go as long as I can get away with. My house is not a spotless house, but it is neat enough and clean enough. It is very comfortable.
I applaud all efforts to limit the use of chemical cleaners and paper waste.
|We also don't use paper towels. We have a drawer of hand/dish towels and I just use them and wash them. I also have about 5 or 6 microfiber cloths, the cheap kind from Costco or Target. I use them for pretty much everything, including washing the mirrors and dusting and wiping the floor down quickly and......everything! I do, however, use lysol wipes to sanatize my kitchen counter tops and clean the toilet seats and sinks. I just can't clean those areas with a reusable cloth or sponge. Weird, I know! We are down to very few cleaning products in our house. I really didn't like having to store and find tons of different products. So now I have windex, lysol liquid concentrate, Boma for my hardwoods, a mold killer for the showers and the wipes. If there is a big sale, I'll buy toliet cleaner, but mostly I use the lysol concentrate. |
Best cleaning find: $9 at Walmart mop with a removable and washable cloth head and a refillable tank. A little lysol and water and you are good to go!
|I just don't understand why those microfiber clothes are so popular. I cannot stand to even touch them.|
|lukkiirish - I know what you're saying, there are some that I gave to my DD because I thought they felt funny. The ones I bought at the supermarket from 3M feel much better.|
|Microfibre gal here. Use them for everything. I think I have about 40. Using these has cut down my paper towel use to barely nothing. Before microfibre I was going through a roll every 3 days. Now a roll lasts 2+ weeks. I like that the MF have a texture so you don't have to wipe as hard when you're cleaning something. I use rubbing alcohol, water and a touch of dish soap for mirrors and windows. Newspaper does work the best, but since I don't get the paper anymore, I use the microfibre. One for wiping, one for drying and getting any streaks, although the alcohol evaporates so fast there is usually no streaking.|
|I have used flour sack towels (also known as lintless dish towels) on mirrors for some time now. They are also great for drying crystal, etc. I am still on the fence with microfiber towels and have not tried them on the mirrors yet.|
|Wow, thanks everyone! Forgot to check this thread the last couple days. Great to see all the responses! |
Found a couple microfiber cloths in my laundry room cabinet and tried them on the mirrors. They work great! Yay! Will have to get 1 more for the powder room. Works great on the counters also. Easier than the sponge I was using too. I will use a sponge on the toilets. I also don't like the idea of the cloth on the toilet.
geogirl - I also have a spray mop that I love. Got it several years ago (on line somewhere, not a Walmart fan but that's another story). It replaced the spray swiffer which I liked but hated that I couldn't refill the cleaning solution and that it used throw away pads. All I could see was landfills full of plastic cleaning containers and pads from swiffers.
So, I've removed 100% of paper towel usage in bathrooms, and almost all from kitchen. I'm waiting to see if/when my DH notices this. He does almost all the food shopping. A new very large (24 pack?) of paper towels was bought just before I started this. It should last until youngest DS (11) goes to college! Question is will DH notice? :-)
Thanks everyone! Always love to hear cleaning tips, so keep any ideas coming!
|Thanks; this is a great topic as I try to be earth conscious! |
As far as cleaning, I seldom use paper towels and only use paper napkins in the powder room when we have guests as I dislike having everyone use the same towel and don't want to wash 20+ individual guests towels. I do use the seemingly non-yucky discarded napkins to pick up pooch's waste as I hate plastic so minimize its use.
When I buy paper towels, which I use minimally like some here so one roll will last months, I always buy recycled. Same with TP: only recycled paper which now has almost as fine a feel as regular processed TP. I also use a couple of pieces of TP and rubbing alcohol to clean the toilet seat regularly as well as the flush mechanism and light switches.
Anyone have an environmentally friendly DWer liquid which doesn't leave a film on glassware and cutlery? I usually handwash when it's just the two of us, but I get frustrated with filmy glasses in the DWer when I use it.
|I use Seventh Generation dish washer detergent. I don't have any problem with film left behind. Perhaps you're using too much? Years ago when we had a service man here for the dish washer, he showed me that I was using too much detergent. He ran the dishwasher without any detergent and stopped it to show me that it was filled with suds. I've used less since then and haven't had any problems and the dishes are still clean.|
|Thnx, jill, as I've been using 7th Generation too. I thought I was using much less than the recommended, but I'll try using 1/2 of the amount I had been.|
|I've been using Method for years, and love the smell of all the products. ;o)|
|I've been using the Supercloth on my mirrors for years. I think my aunt originally both some from QVC and gave one to my mother and myself. I've seen them at BBB before, but don't know if they still carry them. I just ordered them online the last time I bought some. You get them wet and then squeeze as much water as you can out and wipe your mirros. It's kind of like a squeegee in a rag.|
Here is a link that might be useful: Supercloth
|Just had to come back to this post and pat myself on the back. I have not used 1 single sheet of paper towels since switching to microfiber and sponges in bathroom. Wow! I used to use a LOT of paper towels. Not 1 single sheet! |
And, my DH even noticed.
Saving the earth, saving $$. Yay!
|I switched to cloth for cleaning years ago. I use old hand towels. Spray cleaner, wipe clean. Less water used. The hand towels clean the bathroom mirror just fine and leave no lint behind. Mine are cotton. I use three to four towels per bathroom. |
Has anyone noticed the commercial for paper towels in the bathroom so everyone gets a "fresh" towel every time? Or those toilet scrubbers you throw after every use?? I am confused. Talk about WASTE!! How can we claim to be environment friendly and continue to use/develop more one use throw away products?!
|I use cloth diapers as rags, and find they work well for mirrors, too. They are so cheap and absorbent, so it's easy to have enough to replace paper towels. I've linked a place that has no minimum for free shipping. Look under cloth diapers and then Indian prefolds. I'd recommend the infant size, though the preemie fits perfectly in a Swifer.|
Here is a link that might be useful: Cotton Babies
|I've been using newspaper in cleaning windows. Its result are just the same with using an ordinary paper however it is much cheaper because you'll just use old newspapers. Anyway, microfiber cloth works great on glass also especially when used with a real glass cleaner solution and not just a mixture you made. |
|Old hand towels work best for me in the bathroom. Mirror, tile,thrown, counter top. I use three or four I start with the mirror move to the counter then after I wipe the toilet down I switch towels for the tuba and tile. No lint, not problem. I use the technique I used years ago when I did summer janitor duty at my college. Spray then wipe, no water used/wasted down the drain. I have had no trouble with mold using bleach in the bathroom.|
|I just bought a cloth from a company called Norwex. It is a microfibre cloth made esp. for mirrors and windows. This thing is miraculous. I washed all my outside windows after a dirty winter with the one cloth, without rinsing it. And it left no streaks. |
It is one of those companies that sells thru hostesses and it might only be available here in Canada. If they were cheaper, it is one of those products I would buy in bulk to give away to all my friends and family. Unfortunately, I think they cost something like $15 a piece.
If you're happy with the regular microfibre, just remember to wash it alone. If you wash them with other things then they leave lint when you use them on mirrors or glass.
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