How to Make Reusable Paper Towels? See the 3 Incredible Ways
Have you been annoyed with the overuse of paper towels that go to the trash after a while? Definitely, you would be! So, what about reusable paper towels? If you are prompt to minimize waste, this would be a great addition to your routine.
On a daily basis, whether you have to clean your hands after a meal or wipe your baby’s face, get a spill or drain out while sweating, dry anything, or even clean your kitchen slab, paper towels come into account over and over again.
It means you have to dispose of a bulk of waste that mainly contains paper towels. Right? But NOT NOW! Because this guide is solely dedicated to shifting your routine from waste production to an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Here you can get the manufacturing process of a reusable paper towel. So, let’s move to a sustainable approach and learn how to make reusable paper towels.
A Brief Note on Reusable Paper Towel
A reusable paper towel is basically an ‘Unpaper Towel’ as there is no use of paper while it’s manufactured. However, it’s the best durable and eco-friendly option for your daily use rather than a paper towel. As it has super-awesome absorbent capacity and it’s easy to compost and biodegradable. Such worthwhile attributes make this user-friendly as well as environment-friendly. Overall, this will be the best alternative to commonly-used disposable paper towels that create massive waste.
Why Do You Have to Use Reusable Paper Towels? Get to know the Facts & Figures!
If you consider your convenience, then no doubt a paper towel is definitely one of the convenient options. But if you just figure out the statistics of using paper towels and how much they create trash on a global scale, you would be wondering.
According to a survey of 2000 Americans during the Pandemic, about 145 rolls of paper towels on average were used by adults annually. While an estimated figure is about 13 billion pounds of paper towels that Americans actually use per year.
On the other hand, there are ~254 million tons of trash produced by just discarding paper towels worldwide. It shows that approx 695,000 tons of paper towel waste are produced each day across the globe. And to create such a huge amount of paper towels, there are more or less 51,000 trees that have to be cut down every day.
So, just imagine, how much we’re responsible to create pollution and waste in the environment and disturb the ecosystem every day 😳. That’s why, reusable paper towels are the best eco-friendly option for your life and environment. Well! You must have to know some key benefits to choose this sustainable option over conventional paper towels.
Uses of Reusable Paper Towels
A reusable paper towel is washable and more absorbable, so it can be helpful;
✔ For the kitchen chores, like cleaning shelves, wiping out stains, drying pots, etc.
✔ For eating meals, as napkins to wipe out any mess
✔ For sneezing and running nose
✔ For dealing with dirt or grease
✔ For playing hide & seek
Or for various other house chores, it will work better than a paper towel.
How to Make Reusable Paper Towels
As you have come to know the significance of using a fabric towel rather than a paper towel, here is a point to ponder: is there a convenient option to get it? So, you have TWO options to get various items for your daily use, either you buy it from the market or make it on your own. As you’ve landed on this post, you will definitely get eco-friendliness as well as budget-friendliness altogether.
So, in order to know how to make reusable paper towels, there may be several ways. But here, THREE are going to demonstrate that it will surely be easy to opt for you. Let’s move!
Some steps are common in all three ways. So, it will be better to discuss this first. Such as;
Choose the Suitable Fabric
As we’re going to make unpaper towels, it definitely requires a particular fabric to make. For this, you are not bound to a certain fabric. However, you must have to consider some points before selecting it.
- ✔️ It must be durable and work for longer.
- ✔️ It must be more absorbent but not as thick as it takes more time to suck the liquid.
- ✔️ It must be made of organic fiber.
- ✔️ It must be washable (either machine-wash or hand-wash).
- ✔️ If it meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or OEKO-TEX standard, then it will be a plus point.
Following the above criteria, we’ve chosen honeycombed terry cloth fabric (as it’s made of 100% cotton) and cretonne fabric (as it’s 100% cotton, has a canvas wave, and is OEKO-TEX certified).
In addition, you have some other options as well. Like, if you have your old cotton flannel shirt, an old towel, and a mesh canvas that you do not use now. You can go with these fabrics and give them a new life by learning how to make reusable paper towels.
Fix the Color of the Fabric
Once you have chosen the fabrics, then you need to fix their colors. It’s an essential step before making a reusable paper towel. Because if there is a new fabric, then it is a possibility to fade the color where it will be used.
For this, you have to follow the guidelines as given below;
- Take a bathtub and pour cold water into it
- The quantity of water depends on the length of the fabric
- Add ¼ cup of table salt and 1 cup of vinegar to the water
- Vinegar and salt lock the color of the fabrics
- Let the water soaked into this water for about one to two hrs
- After that rinse the cloth with cold water
- Then again soak the cloth in cold water to fix the color
If the fabric still leaves the satin in water, repeat the process until the water becomes colorless.
Wash, Dry, & Iron the Fabric
When you are sure that the color has been fixed, then give the fabric a machine wash (or hand wash). This is essential because some fabrics shrink after sewing or ironing. So, if it’s washed before use, shrinkage will be minimized.
Then let it dry completely (use an electric dryer for fast drying). And iron the cloth to prepare it perfectly for sewing. If the clothes are clean and tidy, the end result will definitely be awesome.
First Approach (For Who Knows to Sew)
If you are an expert in sewing, then there are mainly TWO approaches to making unpaper towels for you. One is to make it for hanging on a wall. And the other is to make it for rollout. Both are convenient options for kitchen use and some other purposes as well. So, you should have to learn both ways and go with the ideal one for you.
- 2 ½ yards of honeycombed terry cloth
- 2 ½ yards of cotton cretonne fabric
- A sewing machine
- A pair of scissors
- A ruler or measuring tape
- A sewing needle
- Threads (according to fabric color)
- A seam ripper
- A cotton rope or hemp cord of about 3mm
- A mesh canvas sheet
- Snaps and a snap setter
1. Make 10 Sheets of Unpaper Towels for Hanging
To learn how to make reusable paper towels, follow the given instructions;
👉 Firstly, you have to measure the fabrics (terry cloth and cretonne) according to your need.
👉 Place both clothes straight on each other and make sure there is no wrinkle over them.
👉 Now measure the length approx 25cm x 23cm (for each towel), and mark the edges to cut both the fabrics
👉 Keeping margins for seams about half an inch, cut the fabrics into equal measurements via scissors.
👉 It’s good to have cardboard or any small cutting mat as a template that assists in cutting with the perfect size.
👉 Turn inside out and stitch both pieces roughly by hand or fix both with pins.
👉 At one edge (from where it has to hang), place a 3mm piece of string or a rope in the way, a bent side inside the clothes whereas opening edges outside.
👉 Now put the hand-stitched fabrics under the sewing machine and sew the reusable paper towel.
👉 While sewing, make sure there must be an edge that remains open as such to reverse the fabric.
👉 Now reverse the fabrics and set them by hand.
👉 For good finishing, iron the paper towel and then complete the sewing.
👉 Repeat the process for all the sheets.
The reusable paper towels are ready to hang and use for multiple purposes 👍.
2. Make 10 Sheets of Unpaper Towels for Rolling
As there is also a great option to roll a paper towel and place it near your kitchen sink, you have no need to add a string to it. However, you have to use snaps on each edge of the paper towel. For further process, see instructions;
👉 First six steps will as remain as above.
👉 Then sew all the edges with about ½ inch for seam allowance.
👉 Make sure one edge has to remain open for flipping the fabrics from inside to outside.
👉 As you turn them, sew the open end and now iron the towel for the best finish.
👉 Now the important step is to make it accessible to roll out. So, mark the edges where the snaps have to be inserted.
👉 Then fix the snaps by snap setters in a way that two snaps of the same side stick out and the other two stick in.
👉 Now take a mesh canvas sheet and cut it about 2 inches long then the size of paper towels.
👉 Add snaps over it as well to roll the first paper towel to it.
👉 Then roll all 10 sheets of unpaper towel by fixing them with snaps.
Thus, you can place this reusable paper towel roll on your kitchen shelf or anything where you need to use it.
Second Approach (Easy, Time-Saving, & For Who Don’t Know to Sew)
If you don’t know how to sew or how to use the sewing machine, there is an alternative to learning how to make reusable paper towels. You can make them by joining them with hemming tape.
3. Make the Reusable Paper Towel with Hemming Tape
Just see how you can make your own unpaper towel like a pro, even with no hassle to own a sewing machine.
- 2 ½ yards of cotton cretonne fabric
- 2 ½ yards of honeycomb terry cloth
- A measuring tape
- A pair of scissors
- A hemming tape
- An iron
Follow the Instructions:
👉 Just like the sewing method, measure and cut the fabrics.
👉 Cut the 3 pieces of hemming tape and place them between both clothes on three sides.
👉 Make sure both fabrics perfectly align with each other.
👉 Now iron all three edges to fix the hemming tape firmly.
👉 Once you feel that all the corners are stuck to each other, let the towel cool down.
👉 Now trim the edges and flip the fabrics from inside to outside at the open end.
👉 Apply the hemming tape at that open end as well.
👉 Iron it and let it cool down as before.
So, now a reusable paper towel is ready to use without stitching 👍.
When you consider the overuse of paper towels in your routine life, it must have to be altered with a sustainable and eco-friendly option. That’s a reusable paper towel. Because the world creates tons of trash just with paper towel waste every day. So, to make the environment free from waste, learning how to make reusable paper towels is inevitable. Although, it seems somewhat tricky. But it’s actually not. You just have to choose the right pieces of clothes that are more durable and absorbable. And by following the guidelines as mentioned in the article, you can produce washable and reusable paper towels in dozens. Hopefully, this guide will be helpful for you and let you think about saving your planet from the trash.