Wipe Wash & Reuse: All About Butt-Beautiful Family Cloths

Dump the TP; save an old-growth tree! Using reusable “Family Cloths” instead of disposable toilet paper is the true test of domestic eco-friendliness.

That’s Just How We Roll

“Family Cloths” are, in a nutshell, the adult version of flannel baby wipes… well, that’s not exactly right since post-toddler children can use them too. Not to beat around the bush (no pun intended), family cloths are an environmentally-friendly alternative to toilet paper. Family cloths aren’t flushable and no trees – old growth trees in particular – are harmed in their manufacture. Why “old growth”? It seems that these century-old forests provide the ideal consistency of wood pulp required to make soft, white toilet paper. Feeling guilty yet? Guilty enough to get over your squeamishness at the thought of reusing your bathroom wipes? There’s a method to this “madness” that makes using family cloths VERY worthwhile! The ultimate in eco-friendliness is achieved with a little DIY. Check out Courtney Polivka’s forthright explanation of everything you wanted to know about family cloths but were afraid to ask.

Rags To Riches

Those less crafty may get extra satisfaction out of recycling old clothing that might otherwise be simply tossed away like, well, like toilet paper. We all know how soft cotton and flannel clothes get after repeated washing; in fact it seems they’re at their softest just before they rip, tear, and become unwearable. A little judicious trimming with a sturdy sewing scissors will produce a surprising number of cozy family cloths which, like their forebears, will continue to soften with each subsequent washing. As for the storage pail above, some vinegar, peroxide or essential oils will ensure used family cloths stay bacteria and odor free between washings. Stepping up from modified rags to pre-packaged, uniformly sized and patterned all-purpose cloths may not be as pure environmentally but companies like Family Cloth Wipes of North Carolina does their best to make the best of both worlds. Family Cloth Wipes offer other advantages including being double-sided (2 ply), 100% soft cotton flannel composition (easy on diaper rashes) and serged edges for lasting good looks and durability.

Weave Made The Switch

Unlike store-bought toilet paper, family cloths offer a number of storage and presentation options including the most familiar one: rolled up and ready to go (when you do)! The TP lookalike style offers a number of engineering challenges, however, due to the fact that individual cloths can’t be simply torn off the roll. Naturally, users must take extra care when putting the product into its, er, role. Once one gets their mind around the concept of family cloths, there are still degrees of the “ick factor” that can prove stubborn. One way to build a household comfort zone is to provide methods of segregating family cloths by user and the easiest way to do this is by having distinct colors and patterns each user can quickly identify as their own.

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