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4 ways to use fewer paper towels and save money

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For messes that rank highly for grossness, like dog accidents or spoiled food in the fridge, using a paper towel not only cuts down on the ick factor, it’s simply more practical. They can even be used to make fresh herbs last longer and help you water your plants while you’re away.

Use these tips to help conserve your paper towel use and stretch your supply, which will keep more money in your pocket.

Be Mindful Of The Paper Towel Size

Not all messes are equal. Rather than using a whole sheet to clean up a small spill, consider cutting your paper towels into four squares. Keep a stack on the counter or in a drawer for easy access. Then you can use the appropriate amount for each mess on a case-by-case basis.

Go For Durability

Many paper towels on the market are durable enough that they can be used more than once. Simply add a drop of soap, rinse and let it dry out. This trick works well for cleaning up small messes or dusting. Don’t reuse a paper towel if it’s touched raw meat or if it starts to shred.

Look for the best paper towels for the money that are marketed to be used more than once. Most are made from bamboo, which is more eco-friendly than traditional kinds.

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MORE: How to clean your windows and keep them streak-free

Create Alternative Go-To Options

A pile of small rags is a great place to start. Keep them tucked into a large mason jar or basket under the sink. Use one pile to clean countertops and cutting boards and another pile for drying dishware and food prep to avoid any accidental cross-contamination.

Keep a sponge around for quick cleanups. If you maintain them properly — by putting them in the dishwasher and letting them air-dry completely — they can last up to four to six weeks.

Swedish dishcloths are often made with a very absorbent and reusable blend of biodegradable cellulose and organic cotton and can hold 20 times their weight in liquid.  These dishcloths are gritty enough for scouring when dry but become soft when wet. They’re known for leaving mirrors and windows streak-free, too.

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Buy The Best Paper Towels For The Money

If you follow the steps above, you can drastically cut back on your paper towel consumption, which is a good thing. But, let’s be honest, having a roll for emergencies, tucked in the back of your pantry, is incredibly practical. When the times roll around when you need to use a single-use product, it’s good to keep the best paper towels for the money accessible. Disposable paper towels make cleaning the bathroom a breeze, as well as keep the house disinfected during cold and flu season.

When buying paper towels, consider how large the rolls are, how many come in a package and the price. Having the option to choose the size of the paper towel can save you a lot of money in the long haul. If you’re in the market for a new brand, here are our picks for the best paper towels for the money that have been vetted by a team of experts.

While excessively using paper towels isn’t good for the environment (or your pocketbook), using them strategically can make dealing with life’s messy surprises a whole lot easier.

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.

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