Paper towels are a staple in many homes because reusable cloths and sponges are considered unhygienic. It is true that reusing a plastic sponge can quickly get on the nose, but there are many alternatives to paper towels that are cheaper and better for the environment.
For me the solution is to have at least ten washable cloths, which means you can frequently change the cloths. When they are dirty they can be thrown into the washing machine.
Choose natural fibres for your cloths to reduce the amount of plastic microfibers ending up in the ocean. I use bamboo cloths. Other cloth options include using old rags or 100% recycled cotton cloths, which are available at Muji .*
If you live in a warm climate you can even grow your own sponges while crafty types might want to knit or crochet cloths from hemp fibre.
For really nasty jobs like vomit I use a rag made from old cotton t-shirt which I then chuck in the compost bin after use. To make it easy I have chopped up a handful of old t-shirts into small squares and they live in a tin the laundry. Rags have to be 100% cotton or natural fibre if you want to compost them.
For scrubbers I use stainless steel scrubber for heavy-duty jobs like a burnt saucepan. For less scratchy scrubbers I use a coconut fibre scrubber, which can be composted at the end of its life. I also use a wooden dish scrubber with a replaceable head made from wood and compostable tampico fibres.
What do you use as cloths or scrubbers?
* Note this post is not sponsored.