I always know where my towel is: it's on the roll or in the trash
December 6, 2012 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Help me reduce my dependence on foreign oil domestic paper towels.

Proper housekeeping habits weren't really part of my upbringing. And I've lived outside of my parents home for more than 15 years now (and owned my house for 8! of that) but I still feel like there is stuff that I just haven't figured out how to do. I'm trying to get back into the habit of staying on top of cleaning tasks (especially in the kitchen), which is good, but I'm realizing that my kitchen habits are probably kind of wasteful.

When I clean the counters, I spray with lysol, let it sit for a bit, then wipe up with a paper towel, which then gets thrown away. On the one hand, I love the "thrown away" part because I never have to see the icky again, but on the other hand it makes me feel bad.

I've seen and read about people using "kitchen towels" do to this clean-up, but I have questions:

1. What kind of "towels" do you use? I have dishtowels, that I use for drying hands/dishes, but I feel like those aren't for cleaning counters and floors.

2. What do you do with the soiled towels? Do you keep a special hamper in the kitchen somewhere to store them? How often do you wash them? The thought of bringing icky kitchen towels to my bedroom hamper squicks me out, as does the thought of having them festering around for a week (which is about as often as I can see myself doing laundry, tbh).

3. How many kitchen towels do you own? How many would you recommend for my family of 2 humans? Do I need to go out and buy a 48 pack of microfiber towels or something? Where do you store the clean ones? I feel like part of my problem here is never feeling like I have enough "critical mass" to wash a load of kitchen towels, so they sit around forever and become this gross dried mass which is easier to toss than to try to clean.

4. Related to 2. and 3. Do you wash your kitchen towels with your bathroom towels? That just seems gross to me (and a good way to transfer horrible tomato sauce stains to my nice bathroom towels)

5. Are there any magic secrets to washing these things besides bleach+detergent+hotwash/cold rinse? Should I be presoaking in ammonia or anything?

I've seen this question, but the answers there seemed to focus more one what products to use than on how to manage the towel workflow.
posted by sparklemotion to Home & Garden (30 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I use a sponge (a different sponge than the one I use for washing dishes). I just rinse it out with hot water after each use. When it starts to get ratty, I throw it out.

I also have kitchen towels, but I mostly use them to dry my hands after doing the dishes, or to dry dishes. I have no problem washing them with bathroom towels, unless I've used one for something really dirty (mopping up a spill off the floor, for example).
posted by pompelmo at 8:21 PM on December 6, 2012

Caveat: I am about a billion times less germophobic than the average person on the internet. I am also healthy as a horse.

I have one thick microfibre "rinse-clean' cloths for dishes and surfaces. Every night, I zap the damp cloth in the microwave for 1 minute and hang it out to dry. Sometimes I soak it overnight in a few inches of hot water and a dash of bleach. That's it. Occasionally, I throw it in the wash with the towels and line-dry in the sun.

For cleaning random spills on the floor, I use the same method but have a separate cloth.

I only use paper towel to drain fried food. A roll of paper towel lasts me months and months.
posted by Salamander at 8:29 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

1. Square dishrags or bar towels. You can even use cheap white washcloths in place of dishrags. I do sometimes.

2. I only buy white dishrags or bar towels. I launder them in the washing machine with hot water and bleach. In between washings I soak in a sink full of hot water, a capful of bleach, and a squirt of dish soap and they are good to use again in an hour or two. I wipe my counters down with this solution as well. I rinse my rags thoroughly with hot water after use and drape over sink. If you're not a chlorine bleach fan, soak in dishsoap and a bit of all-purpose cleaner.

3. I own about a dozen dishrags and a dozen dishtowels or tea towels. For a family of two you could get by with a dozen, or less, dishrags. You can even cut up a cotton t-shirt into big squares. If I need to clean my bathroom in a hurry and don't want to use environment destroying Clorox Wipes or paper towels, I fill sink with hot water and some all-purpose cleaner and throw in 10 cut-up t-shirt squares and use them one by one to clean toilet, floor, counter, and whatever needs a quick clean. As soon as one gets dirty, set it aside and go for another. You can use this method with any kind of rag. I don't particularly like Microfiber towels. I like microfiber for dusting and furniture polishing, and occasionally to dry glasses, but I dislike them when cleaning with water. I like cotton dishrags the best.

4. I rinse and ring out my dirty rags and put them on the floor in the laundry room. I wash white bath towels, white washcloths, and white dishrags together in the washing machine in hot water with bleach. There is no need to presoak. If a dishrag is super soiled and disgusting -- like if you wiped out your oven or cleaned some kind of burnt-on disaster, I would probably throw it in the garbage.
posted by Fairchild at 8:34 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Separeate sponge for most general messes (I microwave it regularly to ensure nothing lives in it).

I change my kitchen towels(used for hand drying, carrying of hot things out of the microwave, emergency soaking up of giant spills) maybe 1x a week, and before they get thrown in the wash, they get used as an impromptu mop on the floor (a shuffle dance on a dishtowel is a surprisinly effective floor cleaning method). I then rinse out the dishtowel (maybe dip in bleach if I get motivated/it is truely filthy), hang until dry, and throw it in with the rest of the laundry- usually rinsing then drying them takes out the worst of the dirt so I don't mind throwing them in with my clothes.

Added benefit, my floors are sort of cleaned about once a week, so I don't need to actually scrub them that often.

I own maybe 6 dishtowels. I use papertowels very rarely. I like things neat and tidy, and have had it beaten into my head to clean as I go, so things are always wiped up as soon as they dribble, and there usually isn't a mess that a slightly damn sponge can't handle.
posted by larthegreat at 8:35 PM on December 6, 2012

We sometimes use old t-shirts that have gotten a bit threadbare and cut them up into pieces, as well as old socks and so on.
posted by synecdoche at 8:40 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Forgot to mention that I don't wash my nicer towels with dishrags. I have a half-dozen older white towels that I use to dry floors and use for bathmats or whatever that I wash with rags.

You now know my complete dishrag story.
posted by Fairchild at 8:45 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

1. I use either old dishtowels for this, or rags, or older no-longer-awesome sponges. I really try to use as few paper towels as I can.

2. I just wash them with my laundry, usually with the whites, and bleach them. I toss them in with my usual laundry which gets washed every few months. I am whatever the opposite of germphobic is.

3. I have a stack of maybe 5-6 nice-ish dishtowels in the cabinet and then maybe 10-20 of the more raglike variety. If you have space, get a ton of them. If not, you can make do with just a few that you wash often.

4. I wash everything together and my practices are unlikely to become your practices. But yeah the good thing about having really low end rages is that you really can toss them if they get too gross.

The reason people like to use paper towels and other disposable Swiffer-like stuff is specifically because of this germ concern and the convenience. Either of which are fine priorities to have. However it's worth understanding that they are at odds with other desires like wanting to reduce waste or consumption.
posted by jessamyn at 9:10 PM on December 6, 2012

Household of 2.

I have about 40 bar-towel things, though I probably only need about 15 (and then only in the event of a disaster). They are used to clean spills up off the floor, for some of the less gross pet-related cleaning, for things that are really sooty or muddy, and suchlike. They get rinsed, squeezed, and set to dry, and then tossed in a bag, where they slowly accumulate until washing time, when they're washed separately from everything else. Rarely one will be deemed a lost cause and get tossed. I also have about 5 thin square dish rags for cleaning dishes, stove, and countertops; they get washed out pretty well at each use but are switched out at least once a week and will be washed with the regular stuff. Then there are the 8 or so kitchen towels used to dry things (clean hands and dishes), which get switched out once a week. If there's any question of stains that might transfer to something else, that gets a treatment with oxyclean solution. All of the above are cotton, and easily kept folded neatly in stacks in the linen closet. I have one microfiber cloth for dusting.

All that may sound like a lot of work, but it's really not once you get into a cycle. It feels kind of luxurious not to have to deal with delicate paper towels or stinky sponges (hate!). We do have a roll of paper towels, but it will last 2-4 months... I use them mainly for cleaning the really icky things, plus I don't expect my guests to be able to use the cloth system.
posted by zennie at 9:21 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

PS. They don't "fester" in the laundry basket if they're dry. They just sit patiently until you get around to it.
posted by zennie at 9:30 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

I loved using old cloth diapers while I had them. I now use these Ikea towels. But mostly, for wiping things down, J-Cloths. I feel like I really want to go buy old diapers again - they lasted longer, even with bleaching, than the Ikea towels do.
posted by peagood at 9:40 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I started with about twenty very cheap washcloths from the local big box store. When soiled, they get hung to dry on a rack on the basement stairs landing, and washed en masse when I run out of clean ones. Thinking it's about time to buy more, so I'm eager to read this thread for recommendations.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:43 PM on December 6, 2012

We have a couple dozen white washclothes and the same number of white bar towels that we use for this. Also a basket of rags, mostly torn up t-shirts. We use them all over the kitchen and for cleaning up after small children, then rinse them out. Our kitchen is right next to the stairs to the basement, where the laundry room is. On the landing of the stairs we've hung a towel bar, and placed a hamper. Wet rags get hung on the towel bar; dry rags get tossed in the hamper. When there are a reasonable amount, or it's been a week, I toss them in the washer on hot. If I can hang them to dry (i.e., if there's sun), I do.
posted by linettasky at 10:17 PM on December 6, 2012

I buy cheapity cheap packs of white washcloths at Big Lots or Target. I use those for all of our wiping up tasks. I toss them it the washing machine after every wipe up and just wash them with the next load.

We also use cloth napkins instead of disposables. Those just get washed in the next load also.
posted by 26.2 at 10:21 PM on December 6, 2012

1. What kind of "towels" do you use? I have dishtowels, that I use for drying hands/dishes, but I feel like those aren't for cleaning counters and floors.

I ordered these about a year ago, and it was the best house-cleaning purchase I made last year (second was this: 3M Microfiber Floor Mop). Just the right amount of scrubbiness, but still soft enough to not worry about scratching anything. And they're lint-free!

2. What do you do with the soiled towels? Do you keep a special hamper in the kitchen somewhere to store them? How often do you wash them? The thought of bringing icky kitchen towels to my bedroom hamper squicks me out, as does the thought of having them festering around for a week (which is about as often as I can see myself doing laundry, tbh).

The soiled towels stay draped across the kitchen water spout until dry, and then get transferred to a bin on top of the washer, until there are enough for a load (by themselves) in the wash. I do them about once a month - no issues with smell or anything while they're sitting waiting to be washed.

3. How many kitchen towels do you own? How many would you recommend for my family of 2 humans? Do I need to go out and buy a 48 pack of microfiber towels or something? Where do you store the clean ones? I feel like part of my problem here is never feeling like I have enough "critical mass" to wash a load of kitchen towels, so they sit around forever and become this gross dried mass which is easier to toss than to try to clean.

We have 36, but I really only use around four a week - more if I do a deep clean on the house (two for the bathroom - one wet, one dry, and one for each room of the house). We always keep one on the kitchen counter as a drying cloth, and one across the kitchen sink to use for wet things. The clean ones stay in a plastic grocery bag under the kitchen sink.

4. Related to 2. and 3. Do you wash your kitchen towels with your bathroom towels? That just seems gross to me (and a good way to transfer horrible tomato sauce stains to my nice bathroom towels)

I always wash the cleaning towels by themselves, primarily because they're microfiber, and if I wash them with anything that leaves lint, the lint gets stuck on the microfiber towels, and, well, they're no longer lint-free. Also, I use vinegar and water to wash most of the things in the house, so I typically only use vinegar in the wash cycle to clean them. I'll use All Free & Clear (and an extra rinse cycle) if I feel they need more than just vinegar to be clean.

5. Are there any magic secrets to washing these things besides bleach+detergent+hotwash/cold rinse? Should I be presoaking in ammonia or anything?

No pre-soak or special cleaners needed (bleach is not recommended for microfiber). Also, dry on low heat, as high heat can damage the microfiber. They're cleaning towels, so yeah, they may get stained, but when you have 36 of them, and one gets ruined, I don't feel bad throwing it out. They don't actually get that gross using them. I've only had to throw out ones that were covered in grease or something similarly un-washable.

Like I mentioned earlier, I feel like getting these towels was a fantastic investment. They're great to use for washing dishes, drying dishes, dusting, wiping down countertops... the only thing I don't use them for is scrubbing the tub/shower (I use a plastic bristled brush for that).
posted by evolvinglines at 10:38 PM on December 6, 2012

I'm in the sponge camp. I am a very lax clean-up person and I am married to a more germophobic person. He gets upset if I use the dish sponge to clean the counters, so I don't do that since we've been married (although I'd like to point out that I always did this previously and am healthy as a horse...), anyway I use an extra sponge to clean all the counter surfaces and have never had any trouble with it smelling bad or getting gross. One sponge for the counters lasts me at least 6 months, I'd say. I do not microwave or bleach these, I just use them til they wear out.

I just can't handle kitchen towels/rags. They don't dry quickly enough for me. They always seem to be damp and kind of nasty feeling and they get dirty looking really fast. Sponges you can just throw under the sink, and they dry out in a jiffy. Like you, we have towels only for drying dishes or hands, and those are nice looking towels and I wash them with the regular towels.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:54 PM on December 6, 2012


i am very proud of how i've replaced paper towels for cleanup with rags so I fully support your move. I took an old sheet and cut it up into rectangles- you can get a ton this way, maybe 40? I usually only bother with half the sheet, maybe around 20. I then keep them in a bag, using one per cleanup. I put the soiled bedsheet rags into another bag full of dirty ones and every week or so wash. I usually don't have terribly soiled ones, so I'll toss them in with my other towels, but if I had nicer towels or more soiled rags maybe I'd do them separately.

The sheet rag tends to be a better thickness for this sort of work than kitchen towels, and take up a lot less room which is great for both storage and washing. Having so many them means I can actually use them like a paper towel- one use before adding to the 'to be washed' pile.
posted by saraindc at 11:03 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The best towels for this kind of work are the ones you see at restaurants that are white with colored stripes on the sides. (The cloth kind, not the woven polyester kind.) They might be called bar towels, but I'm not sure- bar towels seem to be a terrycloth kind of material, and these aren't. They are just a woven cotton. They are relatively expensive, but they last forever. You use them for cleaning, rinse them out and then put them in the soiled towel bucket. When the bucket fills up, you launder them with bleach. Repeat.

I also use "expired" clothing for this. T-shirts especially. If you have something gross to clean up, just use the ugliest of your collection to sop up the mess and then throw them away.
posted by gjc at 6:09 AM on December 7, 2012

Just chiming back in to say that I think Ruthless Bunny has a point.

If you're going to launder stacks of reusable towels every week, using hot water/bleach/ammonia/clothes dryer and whatnot, then you probably might as well use paper towels. Being environmentally friendly means minimizing the use of all these things as well.

I don't really get why people are recommending bar towels and the like. They need so much laundering because they're not designed to rinse clean or dry quickly, where sponges and microfibre cloths are.
posted by Salamander at 6:43 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a few pieces to your puzzle:

1. Got to a BigBox and buy a set or two of 10 cotton terry cloth washcloths. They should be cheap.
2. Buy an over the cabinet towel bar. I like the kind with 2 bars: front bar=clean, back bar=dirty. (Hint, these can face inside your under-sink cabinet too, to keep them hidden.)
3. Keep a box of these clean washcloths under the sink. (or drawer, or whatever)

Now your procedure for cleaning up goes like this: Spray counter, wipe up with washcloth. If counter wasn't especially dirty, fold cloth such that the dirty part is inside and hang it on your rack. You'll get 3 or 4 uses out of each cloth this way. Floor cleaning is a single use. If you did some heavier duty cleaning, rinse the cloth in the sink. If it was really funky cleaning, you could pour a bit of boiling water on it. Ring it out, and hang it on your rack until dry.

Now for dealing with the dirty cloths: dry dirty cloths won't grow funkier. I wash them with my socks/undershirts load and they don't get other things dirty. It all comes out in the wash, as the saying goes. Add them to the hamper when dry. If you're using anything stronger than lysol/detergent (like bleach or scrubbing bubbles) they probably warrant a pre-wash rinse and a separate load.

I also keep a few thin cotton tea towels for replacing paper towels in food prep (like draining tofu, pressing eggplant, straining stock, etc.) These only get a single use before washing.
posted by fontophilic at 7:17 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use these wood fiber cloths for wiping down the counter. They really do rinse out well and are not smelly.

Two kitchen towels on the stove handle, for drying clean dishes and pots and pans. If I have to dry something questionable, like the cast iron frying pan, I use a paper towel for that. Also, anything greasy on the stove or counter: paper towel.

I have old cut up t-shirts and various rags under the sink for things like floor drying or cabinet cleaning. Those get rinsed or thrown out as they get grody.

Since I don't do anything really dirty with the kitchen towels, they go in the regular wash, but if they did get tomato stains or whatnot on them, I'd wash them out by hand first.

If I get a lot of rags that need cleaning, I just soak in a bucket with a little bleach and a small squirt of dish soap. Never mix ammonia with bleach!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:25 AM on December 7, 2012

I got a couple of packs of car wash type microfiber towels from Costco (bought one pack, used the hell out of them for a couple of years, then bought another to supplement). I down-cycle them: first, to dry clean hands, then to wipe mostly-clean counters, then to wipe a spill on the floor. Our family of four probably goes through maybe four or five a day? (hard to say, since the kids will grab them and use them without me noticing) I wash them a couple of times a week in extra hot water in a high-efficiency (low water) washer and dryer, in with my cloth napkins (I've probably got about 30-40 of those, and we probably go through 6 a day). I keep a roll of paper towel in the kitchen, but rarely use it. I originally converted for "green" reasons, but the cloth towels just work so much better than paper towels, and they are cheaper-- I'd sort of hate to switch back now. There is just something super satisfying about sucking up a big spill with a microfiber towel, instead of handful upon handful of paper towel.
posted by instamatic at 7:35 AM on December 7, 2012

would like to add to my previous comment, that washing them with the towels/sheets like I usually do means that I don't feel guilty about having to "pay extra" either in money or environmental resources to wash them since that load always has a little extra space for me.

I don't have good quality sheets or towels though, and also this is the only load of laundry that I'll do at a higher temperature so that makes me feel better about mixing it all up together.

Maybe you can at least use this method for your lighter cleanups.
posted by saraindc at 8:10 AM on December 7, 2012

For washing dishes, I use non-stick sponges like these. They really do prevent sticky foods like eggs (and even flour/water dough messes) from sticking so they get much less icky. Those get zapped in the microwaved regularly.

I use paper towels for things like wiping out greasy pans, wiping down grease splatters, or anything that squicks me out enough. I almost always go the cheap route with these unless something is on sale or there is some other compelling reason to do so.

For hands I use something like these from . They were a bit of a splurge but they've lasted forever and still look good.

For almost everything else in my house I use microfiber cloths because they are both lint-free and extremely absorbent. I have way too many to keep track of brand-wise; some are definitely better than others, the ones I found a while ago at the 99-cent store are the best I've ever tried. I've been doing this long enough that there is a definite life-cycle:
They start out as dish-drying towels; move on to being used for dust rags and general cleaning; and finally get relegated to KP duty.
When they are ready to be washed I rinse them out and throw them in the shower to dry out, then they go in a "rag bag" in the hamper, then they get washed all at once, maybe once a month. Other miscellaneous rags and cleaning towels get thrown in there, too. Dry them on low and don't use any fabric softeners or other junk and they will last a long, long time. I wash these separately to keep them lint-free, but it adds up to just one full load.

This works really well for my situation, which includes having a very small apartment with little room for any elaborate systems, no dishwasher, a knack for spilling things a lot and creating messes rivaled only by young children, and a habit of waiting until I'm desperate before doing laundry.

(I love the towels that gjc mentioned, but I just ruin them too quickly. My mom, on the other hand, has some that are probably 20 years old that look brand new. I did not get that gene. I do keep a few on hand for different baking purposes, however.)

On preview, what instamatic just said about the Costco cloths.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:14 AM on December 7, 2012

Another idea for where to get rags: when my kids were little, we let them choose a new beach towel every year. If they chose one that was mostly woven terry cloth (rather the the ones with an ink-printed design on it), I am now (10 years later) finding those towels to be the best ever for drying the countertops after you've washed them. Some of them I cut up into hand-towel size, and some I have left large size. They seem to have the right combination of absorbancy and non-greasiness that my regular dish towels are lacking.
posted by CathyG at 9:50 AM on December 7, 2012

If you're going to launder stacks of reusable towels every week, using hot water/bleach/ammonia/clothes dryer and whatnot, then you probably might as well use paper towels.

Not sure about others, but this is not true for me at all. The cotton cloths were really cheap and durable. I don't actually use them very fast, and have more than I could eve use, so for the types of rags that want washing separately for picky hygiene purposes that's like two small loads a year... fewer if I get impatient and just wash them by hand so they can be put away. The rest of the towels go in with the regular linen wash.
posted by zennie at 4:17 PM on December 7, 2012

I use microfibre dish cloths for doing the dishes but they are also used for all of the following: wiping down counters, kitchen cupboards, fridge, cleaning the microwave, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning windows and even wiping down laptops, TVs and furniture. Obviously I have multiple cloths and use different ones for different things but they are all the same style and kind.

I use tea towels for drying dishes, I fold them over several times and use them instead of ovenmittens and for any other drying off type cleaning task. Again, I have several and get out clean ones as required. The only time these really get stained with proper food stuff though is when I use them as ovenmitten substitute because I invariably manage to dip them into the dish I'm trying to get out of the oven.

Both dish and other cloths get left out to dry even if dirty before they go in the one and only hamper in the house. In fact it should only ever be dry stuff that goes into hampers to prevent said festering. They all life in the hamper with my other dirty laundry until there are enough light things to do a full 'light, hot' load.

All my cloths and towels last years. The key is that you want quite small ones and a bunch of them (I have like 8 microfibre cloths and 15 tea towels or so and I live alone) and am happy to wash them with bathroom towels. If you buy small enough cloths/towels you can wait quite a while between doing a load so I'm thinking the environmental laundry impact is there but not overwhelming.

a good way to transfer horrible tomato sauce stains to my nice bathroom towels And I don't even know how you'd achieve that! You take a damp cloth with cleaning agent and wipe the sauce off the counter, you rinse out cloth and dry it. Worst case a dry item with orange stain lives next to your non orange stained item in the laundry hamper until you do laundry. At which point all the stuff gets washed with washing powder at a suitable temperature at which point all kinds of stains and residues are dissolved in the lots of hot water .....normally...and even if the orange stain remains in the kitchen cloth/towel I've certainly never had it transfer to anything else in the load.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:11 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't see why you don't use recycled paper towels, they're not that wasteful.

But then in my house, which includes men who love gardening, dogs and building things, you'd be very unwise to pick up a cloth tea-towel and use it for anything food-prep related. I can either spend my days in a nagging fury or use kitchen paper.
posted by glasseyes at 5:34 PM on December 7, 2012

Mesh cloth (white one on this page): For washing dishes. Rinse and lay over sink divider to dry between uses. When it gets grungy, hang on hook rack at top of basement stairs (adjacent to kitchen) to dry; add everything on that rack to each hot load* of laundry.

Square terry dishcloths:
(A) For wiping counters - I usually just wipe with a wrung-out wet cloth, rinse the cloth, and lay it over the sink spout to dry until its next use, but occasionally will spray the counters with a food-safe cleaning agent and then wipe. After a day or two of water-only use, any use with a cleaning agent, or a use as described in (B) below, retire to the hook rack.
(B) For wiping spills/crumbs on the floor - immediately to the hook rack thereafter.

Rectangular kitchen towels (apx the size of a bath hand towel): For drying hands while cooking. Retire to hook rack after a day or two of use.

* Hot load = all underwear, white socks, towels (we only have white or light pastels), and kitchen cloths.
posted by lakeroon at 6:50 PM on December 7, 2012

I have a drawerful of dishtowels and cloth napkins. I get the dishtowels at Target, usually, because they have them in bright colors and my kitchen is dark. I usually gather all the used ones up every day or two and they get washed with all the other laundry, on the usual warm / cool cycle.

When the towels get raggedy and no-longer-cheerful they get turned into bike rags or used by the kids for arts and crafts.

But for cleaning the counters at the end of the day-- not just mopping up a spill -- I use paper towels. Where I live, if you're using a not-horribly-toxic cleaner (Whatever is OK, Windex is not) it's OK to put used paper towels in the yard waste bin to get picked up by the city and composted.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:42 AM on December 8, 2012

[If you don't want to derail this thread, please don't derail this thread. Direct answers towards the OP, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:23 PM on December 8, 2012

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