Ask Wirecutter: How Do I Curb My Boyfriend’s Paper Towel Addiction?

If paper towels are the very first thing you attain for, put them away. Storing them in a cupboard or underneath the sink can assist you pause earlier than robotically grabbing them.

Our decide

Williams Sonoma All Purpose Pantry Towels

The finest kitchen towel

With terry material on one facet and waffle weave on the opposite, this towel combines absorbency, utility, and attractiveness.

Buying Options

Budget decide

Utopia Towels Kitchen Bar Mops

Cheap and absorbent

These inexpensive terry material towels aren’t cute, however they’ll get the job accomplished, wiping up spills from large to small.

Buying Options

I quit treasured cupboard area to maintain “nicer” kitchen towels on the left, these which are growing old within the center, and a stack of bar mops and flour sacks (each Wirecutter picks) on the fitting. So my towels are at all times on the prepared. Photo: Annemarie Conte

Sometimes stashing the paper towels isn’t sufficient. “I’ve a paper-towel downside,” senior employees author Rachel Wharton admits. “If they’re there, I’ll use them up, like inside a day. Or an hour.”

She determined to go chilly turkey and cease shopping for them as a result of she may hear them calling to her from behind the cupboard door.

If you’ve determined you may’t have paper towels in the home, essentially the most simple various is to purchase extra reusable towels. Much more. “Get each nicer towels and low-cost bar mops since they serve totally different functions,” senior editor Marguerite Preston says.

The upfront value for a package deal of bar mops or microfiber cloths is about the identical as for a multipack of Kirkland Signature Paper Towels. So you’ll amortize the worth of your reusable merchandise in just some months.

Bar mops, such because the Utopia Towels Kitchen Bar Mops, are cheap, lower-quality cotton cloths that you should utilize for messes that stain (like espresso or sriracha sauce).

Some paper-towel teetotalers like Marguerite will use bar mops for bacteria-laden duties, together with patting meat dry (then they toss the soiled cloths straight right into a sizzling wash). Others, like our sustainability editor Katie Okamoto, will reserve just a few unbleached paper towels for these sorts of duties after which toss them within the compost.

Higher-quality kitchen towels, like Williams Sonoma All Purpose Pantry Towels, are nicer to have a look at. They will be reserved for drying dishes and fingers or for wiping up water spills, so that they don’t get too dirty too rapidly.

Our large-appliance author has a dark-horse candidate for paper-towel substitute: a microfiber towel, just like the MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. “It’s the one washable material I’ve ever discovered that will get near the superb absorbency of a paper towel,” she says. “They don’t get arduous, they don’t stain, they take in lots of liquid, they are often wrung out simply, they usually air-dry rapidly.”

Rachel says she is conscious of the priority about microfibers within the waste stream, so to cut back hurt, she gently washes and air-dries these towels.

We’re presently engaged on a information to Swedish dishcloths, which individuals usually use as a sponge and paper-towel substitute. They’re comprised of cellulose fibers, are biodegradable, and can be utilized and washed a whole lot of instances earlier than being composted. (We’ll hold you up to date on what we discover!)

And in case your boyfriend is mopping up his messy maw with a paper towel reasonably than a serviette, don’t fear. We even have a information to material napkins.

I hold a basket in my pantry the place I can take messy-towel free throws with about 75% accuracy. My mom used to toss her towels straight down the basement steps after which decide them up on the best way to the laundry room. Your bin may very well be underneath your sink. Do no matter works on your kitchen, however discover a tiny hamper and remind your boyfriend to make use of it.

Most importantly, get into the groove of getting a very good laundry routine; which means go simple on the laundry detergent and completely forgo cloth softener. “These issues will lower the absorbency of your towels and drive you completely nuts while you attempt to wipe up large spills,” says Marguerite, who washes her towels on sizzling with an additional rinse cycle.

I’ve a whole cupboard shelf close to the sink that’s effectively stocked with my towel provide. I can open the cupboard, seize one, use it, after which grasp it to dry. And as a result of I’ve so many towels, there’s at all times a recent one once I want it, but I don’t really feel buried in laundry. (Side notice: This system also can apply to socks and underwear.)

This article was edited by Jason Chen.

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