These 7 Alternatives to Paper Towels Are the Perfect Sustainable Swap During the Shortage
Plus, they'll save you money in the long run.
Everyday essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer have been in high demand since coronavirus started spreading across the U.S. earlier this spring—and many of these goods are still difficult to find online almost two months later. In response to the sellouts, people have turned to unexpected retailers hoping to find coveted goods in stock. Another popular back-up is swapping in sustainable products, like bidets or menstrual cups, for sold-out goods.
One of the eco-friendly items seeing increased interest in the past couple of months are paper towel alternatives. These in-stock swaps not only offer the same absorbency as paper towels, but they’re reusable. As a result, this one-time purchase not only saves you money in the long run, but won’t leave you scrambling to find replacements in a couple months.
Of course, not every dish cloth or biodegradable product is up to the challenge of keeping your kitchen mess-free. Each pick comes with its own benefits that suit particular cleaning needs, including cloths that require less laundering and those with extra absorbency. To help you find the right pick for your household, we’ve scoured the web to find the best paper towels alternatives. And don’t worry, they’re all in stock.
1. Best Absorbency: Latitude Run Swedish Dishcloth
One pack of these Swedish dishcloths replaces up to 150 rolls of paper towels. Similar to sponges, each cloth can absorb up to 20 times its body weight—but unlike your current smelly sink companions, they’re naturally resistant to odors and mold. Not only can you wash and reuse a cloth up to 50 times, but its cellulose and cotton construction also makes them biodegradable for a super sustainable pick.
Available at wayfair.com, 10 for $27
2. Best Biodegradable: Reusable Paper Towel Roll
This eco-friendly option is the perfect pick for anyone that’s not ready to say goodbye to traditional paper goods. They arrive in 3 rolls of a dozen sheets: Each sheet is almost 3-inches long by 9-inches wide and can be used for up to a week. Once you’ve scrubbed the towel to its limit, throw it in the compost and move on to the next.
Available at food52.com, 3 rolls for $12
3. Best Durability: Design Imports Microfiber Kitchen Towels
Use these microfiber towels to conquer a wide range of household chores, from wiping down counters to dusting shelves. The hypoallergenic pick cleans liquids, dirts, and grime without needing harsh chemicals to leave surfaces clean and polished. Better yet, it’s machine washable and doesn’t have a limited reuse cycle.
Available at bedbathandbeyond.com, 6 for $20
4. Best for Scrubbing: Reversible Web Terry Kitchen Tea Towel
These chic tea towels may look plush, but their underside hides a mildly abrasive texture that’s perfect for scrubbing away stubborn grime and build-up. Available in 4 colorways, they can be used for everything in the kitchen from wiping up spills to drying wet hands. Plus, you can simply toss them in the washing machine for a quick refresh.
Available at wayfair.com, 6 for $24
5. Best Subscription: The Grove Reusable Towel
The worst part of hunting down paper towels is knowing you’ll have to do it again in a few months—but with Grove’s subscription box that won’t be an issue. Grove’s subscription service allows you to select an automated delivery of its biodegradable bamboo design. Not that you’ll need to order them too often: Each roll contains 20 sheets and each sheet can be used for up to a week.
Available at grove.co, 20 for $13
6. Best Budget: Multipurpose Assorted Linen Set
If your favorite part of having paper towels is the abundance of sheets—you can use one for cooking dinner and another as a napkin—then this 24-pack of linen towels is your best option. Their pure cotton design is lightweight, quick-drying, and machine-washable. Plus, they’ve acquired 90% positive reviews from shoppers.
Available at wayfair.com, 24 for $29
7. Best Aesthetic: Wayfair Basics Dish Towel
These beautiful dish towels come in 13 different colors to ensure they fit into your kitchen decor—but there’s more to this chic choice than meets the eye. Its waffle-knit texture is not only quick-drying, but traps liquids and food crumbs. Plus, it’s 100% cotton and machine washable. Once you add in the budget-friendly price tag, it’s no surprise these cloths have over 800 perfect reviews.
Available at wayfair.com, 4 for $14
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