Best Reusable Paper Towels for Use at Home

Paper towels have a host of uses at home, from cleaning up nasty spills on the table, drying dishes or clearing up after your pets: Cleaning up messes in the house is something we have to contend with daily. That being said, as practical as single-use paper towels are, they are without a doubt pretty harsh to the environment, plus they get expensive and accumulate over time.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paper and cardboard waste make up the largest percentage of landfills. That goes back to a large portion of the 3.5 to 7 billion trees cut down globally every year for consumer goods. The need to reduce our household's carbon footprint cannot be emphasized enough.

What are the alternatives to the traditional paper towel roll? Some people lean towards rags, but these have to be washed after every use and are also known to host bacteria. Instead, we recommend reusable paper towels to help reduce landfill accumulation, counter deforestation and ultimately save you money in the long term. We've rounded up the best reusable paper towels so that you have a good place to start "green living" in your kitchen and minimize your personal impact on the environment.

What are Reusable Paper Towels?

Reusable paper towels are pretty similar to their conventional counterparts, the only difference being they're made from fabric and sustainable materials such as bamboo and cotton. They are super strong, and most options are compostable and biodegradable. The best part is, you can use such a paper towel over and over again, where all you need is to rinse and hang them out to dry between uses.

Types of Reusable Paper Towels

Reusable paper towel alternatives come in several options:

a). Bamboo & Cotton "Paper" Towels

Bamboo is an incredible, more sustainable-than-paper alternative, only taking three months to grow back after harvesting, whereas trees take at least 20 years. Bamboo paper towels are made of strong, absorbent bamboo fibers. These tree-free paper towels are usually reusable for up to a week.

Cotton "paper" towels are just like the conventional cotton kitchen towels, but they are made from recycled or existing scrap fabrics. They are designed to be more biodegradable, less durable, and therefore more disposable. Cotton towels also last significantly longer than traditional or reusable paper towels.

b). Microfiber Towels

These are arguably the go-to alternatives for many messes, thanks to their exceptional absorbency. They remove dirt, grease and a host of germs by grasping onto them with their microscopic hooks and only releasing them when rinsed and wrung with water. Microfiber towels are machine washable and dryer safe, but they are not disposable.

c). Cellulose Dishcloths

These are made from straight-up cellulose or a blend of cellulose and cotton. Cellulose dish towels are the best of both worlds: Highly absorbent like sponges, as super strong as cotton "paper" towels and convenient and biodegradable like reusable paper towels. Plus, these soft kitchen cloths are washing machine-, dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Are reusable paper towels good?

What are the Best Reusable Paper Towels?

1. Swedish Wholesale Dish Cloths

Sale
Swedish Wholesale Swedish Dish Cloths - 10 Pack Reusable, Absorbent...
  • Super Absorbent: Perfect for wiping down any surface, our Swedish dishcloths for kitchen and bathroom cleaning pick up spills and splashes...
  • Reusable: Step aside, paper towels. This Swedish dishcloth can clean up messes time and time again - just throw in the wash after use and...
  • Multipurpose: Safe for marble, stainless steel, tile, and wood surfaces, these kitchen dishcloths also work for scrubbing or drying dishes,...
  • Value Pack: Get 10 washable dish rags, available in your choice of blue, grey, lime, pink, purple, watermelon red, white, yellow, or...
  • Effective Clean: Made from cellulose and cotton, each dish cloth becomes soft to the touch when wet, and gritty enough for scouring when...

Swedish Wholesale Dish Cloths are possibly the best reusable paper towels you could get your hands on. They are made from natural cotton and cellulose, and each cloth has an absorbency of 20 times its original weight. Furthermore, these dishcloths are highly versatile; they can be used on dishes, glassware, countertops and tiles.

Swedish Dishcloths are also biodegradable. They come in bulk packs and a variety of colors to choose from. On average, a pack of 10 lasts around a year, which is just as much time as it takes to run through 150 regular paper towel rolls.

2. AM NoLimit Trade Reusable Bamboo Paper Towels

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Bamboo Paper Towels Reusable Paper Towels Washable Roll Towel Zero...
  • Reusable & Sustainable: Each of the 20 bamboo paper towel sheets is washable in cold water by hand and reusable from 80 to 100 times. One...
  • Versatile: Our reusable bambù kitchen towels are great for many situations, including small spills, floor spills, dusting, house cleaning,...
  • High Quality Texture: Our reusable towels replace traditional paper towels. Each of the 20 perforated 11"x12" lint free bamboo is made of...
  • Absorbent & Strong: This plastic free new generation bamboo paper towels can absorb more than a traditional paper towel. The towels stay...
  • Upgraded Fabric April 2020: We collected all your suggestions to offer you an improved product. The sheets of this eco friendly roll are...

If you're not looking to buy a bulk pack, AM NoLimit Bamboo Paper Towels are an excellent option. Each roll comes with 20 towels made from lint-free, organic bamboo. They are also biodegradable, so that you can dispose of them in a compost bin after repeated use. Additionally, these towels are easy to fold and stack, so you won't have a hard time storing them in an old tissue dispenser. If you've been using around 10-15 sheets per day, expect to cut that down to just AM NoLimit reusable paper towel every three days.

3. Mioeco Reusable Unpaper Towels

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MioEco 10 Pack Reusable Paper Towels Washable - Nature Friendly Paper...
  • 💚🌍Great Alternative To Paper Towels Helping You Reduce Waste - You'll love these bleach free washable, reusable paper towels. A zero...
  • 💚🌍Multi-Purpose & Super Absorbent Saving You Time And Money - With every wash become more absorbent. Machine washable, quick drying,...
  • 💚🌍Highest Quality Organic Super-Soft Unbleached Cotton - Your no odor natural paper towels are a legitimate sustainable bamboo towel &...
  • 💚🌍Value Pack Of Large Cloths, Less Trips To The Shops - Pack of 10 and 20 Paper towel available as well! Dish cloths, approximately 10...
  • 💚🌍Super Versatile Round The Home - MioEco reusable cleaning cloths are the perfect tool for any chores normally dealt with by using...

Mioeco Reusable Unpaper Towels are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified; made with carbon-neutral manufacturing. They are made of absorbent cotton, which is unbleached, long-lasting and machine washable. These unpaper towels are pretty handy at removing stubborn stains and grease from appliances. They can also double as reusable napkins during meals, and they are also very easy to sanitize.

4. Marley's Monsters Unpaper Towels

Marley's Monsters Reusable UNpaper Towel Roll, Handmade in Eugene,...
  • Each UNpaper Towel is 12"x10".
  • Towels are single ply 100% cotton flannel.
  • Absorbency is increased after the first few washes.
  • Handmade in Eugene, Oregon
  • Edges are serged for durability and to prevent fraying.

Marley's Monsters is a BRING sustainable brand, meaning it's certified as a "true zero-waste" company as well as committed to "commercial composting". These unpaper towels come in a variety of colors, and you can easily find a match for your kitchen decor. They also stay in exceptional condition after repeated use, thanks to the trimmed and enclosed edges that prevent fraying. Moreover, Marley's says their absorbency improves after the first couple of washes.

5. Enviro Safe Home Bamboo Paper Towels

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Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels - Bamboo Unpaper Towels - Washable...
  • TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF CLEANING OPTIONS: Our 11 X 11.5 inches towels have two scrubbing options. We have the rough scrubbing option for...
  • HIGH GRAM PER METER COUNT FOR INCREASED DURABILITY: We make our reusable paper towels with a higher gram per meter to make them thicker,...
  • MADE FROM ORGANIC BAMBOO TO PRESERVE TREES: Our paper towels are made from organic bamboo that matures in 3-6 months instead of trees,...
  • ODORLESS BAMBOO PROPERTIES LEAVE YOUR HOME, KITCHEN, AND BATHROOM FRESH AND CLEAN: Using bamboo lets us give you an eco-friendly alternative...
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED OR YOUR MONEY BACK: We stand behind our products with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don't love our...

At first glance, Enviro Safe's could be passed for regular paper towels. However, these are biodegradable bamboo paper towels that are really easy to wash off. Each roll has regular and scrubbing sheets; both are thick and perforated. The scrubbing sheets are handy for tough stains on pots and pans. And if you're a frequent hand-washer, you'll be amazed by the longevity of a single paper towel.

6. Scotch-Brite Kitchen Wipes

REUSABLE WIPES MICROFIBR
  • Absorbs more than ordinary cotton dishcloths
  • Rinses easily, dries quickly
  • Reusable, machine washable
  • Clean, wipe, wash, dust and polishSpecifications
  • Durable and absorbent

Scotch-Brite Kitchen Wipes are an excellent option for people trying out paper product-free cleaning before getting on high-end cloth alternatives. Each wipe is pretty easy to clean by hand or washing machine. It also dries quickly, which makes it practically odor-resistant. The lightweight build is also a plus, and most users are drawn to how effective these wipes are in sopping up large spills in the kitchen, bathroom and even crafting spaces.

7. Earthly Co. Reusable Paper Towels

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Earthly Co. Reusable Paper Towels - Cloth Paper Towels Reusable...
  • REDUCE WASTE WITH SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS - 1 reusable paper towel roll = 80 rolls of regular paper towels.
  • MULTIPURPOSE- bathroom hand towels, reusable cleaning cloths, lunchbox napkins, reusable kitchen towels
  • HIGH QUALITY - 100% cotton flannel fabric is softer/more absorbent than other washable paper towels
  • SAVE MONEY & ECO FRIENDLY- washable paper towel saves money on disposable papertowel & dinner napkins
  • FUN GIFT - these eco friendly paper towels come in a super cute recyclable box. No wrap needed!

Earthly's reusable towels are made of 100% cotton and come in a lemon print and terrazzo pattern. The unbleached flannel fabric retains a good deal of fluids and is equally durable for multiple uses. These wipes double as napkins, but they are also thick enough to handle dirty surfaces such as glass, wood and bathtubs. In addition, they also come in chic recyclable packaging, so they could also be a wonderful housewarming gift.

8. Wowables Reusable & Biodegradable Paper Towels

LOLA Products Wowables Swedish Dish Cloths Roll - Ultra Absorbent...
  • ➤MUCH LARGER AND MORE ABSORBENT – Wowables are 86% larger and absorb 22x their weight in liquid (compared to standard Swedish dish...
  • ➤ECO-FRIENDLY AND REUSABLE - Biodegradable/Compostable (3rd Party Verified), Made of Cellulose/Cotton, Doesn't contain harmful chemicals,...
  • ➤SAVE BIG $$ - Save over 50% with Wowables compared to the most popular Swedish Dish Cloths. The avg. family of 4 save up to $500 (approx....
  • ➤ VERSATILE – Great for spills, windows, dishes, cups, mugs, silverware, marble, wood, stainless steel & sinks ➤Pet Friendly - works...
  • ➤AMERICAN OWNED & OPERATED - Lola Products is an American family-owned & operated company that's been in the cleaning products industry,...

Wowables are mostly known for their longevity. According to the manufacturer, a 30-count roll should last you at least two years. These reusable and biodegradable paper towels are made of unbleached, non-GMO cotton, meaning they're washing machine-, dryer- and dishwasher safe. They easily fit into standard paper towel holders, so storage is quite straightforward. In addition, the colors are made out of natural ink, so these non-toxic paper towels are ideal for cleaning indoor and outdoor spaces, windows and flooring.

9. If You Care Reusable Paper Towels

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If You Care Reusable Paper Towels– 12 CT Sheets – 100% Natural,...
  • EXTRA ABSORBENT: Our Paper Towels are made with a patented process that blends cellulose, non-GMO unbleached cotton, and mirabilite – a...
  • REUSABLE FOR 1 WEEK: Comes as a pack of 12 reusable and compostable sheets. One towel can be re-used for up to one week. This means that...
  • HIGHLY VERSATILE: Use with water, soap, and household cleaners to scrub and wipe surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom without leaving...
  • BEST USE: Do not use with chlorine bleach or chlorine products. Rinse thoroughly between and after each use, and lay flat to dry. Unlike...
  • QUALITY WITH INTEGRITY: If You Care kitchen and household items are carefully crafted to have the least environmental impact possible, while...

If you are drawn to composting, If You Care Reusable Paper Towels are the best fit for you. The 12-count pack comes with cloths for all types of surfaces, and the company claims the towels are resistant to tears and abrasions. The towels are made from a blend of cotton and cellulose, so no fibers remain on the surfaces after wiping. Each paper towel can absorb up to 16 times its own weight in liquid and last for up to a week.

10. Eco Nuts Reusable Bamboo Towels

Eco Nuts Reusable Bamboo Towels, Machine Washable, 25 Sheets
  • Eco-friendly alternative to paper towels; Reduce waste with washable, reusable bamboo towels
  • Multi-Purpose & Super Absorbent; Replace household kitchen & cleaning disposables with Reusable Towels made from 100% organic rayon bamboo...
  • Long lasting up to multiple washes; 25 Sheets per roll
  • Easy Maintenance; After use simply hand wash in cold or warm water and allow to air dry.
  • Wildlife Conservation; Eco Nuts loves all animals, land and sea, and donates a portion of the proceeds for their Reusable Towels to go...

Eco Nuts Reusable Bamboo Towels are Leaping Bunny-Certified and come in recyclable packaging. Each roll has 25 wipes made of 100% organic, rayon bamboo fibers. Therefore, the individual sheets are sturdy enough to scrub pans, mop floors and polish glass fixtures. According to the manufacturer, these bamboo paper towels are even durable enough to double as pads for stick mops. Moreover, a share of every purchase is donated to panda conservation efforts, further boosting your positive impact on the environment.

Factors to Consider in the Best Reusable Paper Towels

1. Sustainability

Since you're embracing eco-consciousness, there are a couple of details you need to look out for from the packaging or manufacturer's website: Are the reusable paper towels biodegradable, compostable and non-toxic? Do they have green product certification labels, such as Green Seal, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Rainforest Alliance Certified? These certifications give you the full picture of how environmental-friendly the product is.

2. Absorbency

Absorbency mostly has to do with the materials the reusable paper towels are made of. Hemp typically retains moisture better than bamboo, while microfiber soaks up water better than cotton. You may also opt for bamboo fibers combined with cotton, a blended material that brings out both textiles' strengths.

3. Size

Paper towels come as either "pick-a-size," or "right-size", just like regular paper towels. They usually have more perforations, allowing you to pluck a smaller piece for cleaning up small spills or a larger one for bigger messes. "Pick-a-size" rolls cost about as much as a regular paper towel roll, on average, so you'll save up some money if you use less paper per pull.

Are Reusable Paper Towels Worth It?

Yes! Reusable paper towels are most often made from bamboo, cotton or cellulose (wood pulp). These materials are grown or extracted from the environment, same as paper to make paper towels. However, reusable products use fewer raw materials, meaning they're usually more sustainable from a production perspective. Some reusable paper towels can also be compostable, another significant environmental benefit.

Furthermore, recycled paper towels are more environment-friendly than regular paper towels because they use recycled paper or other materials rather than brand new paper. More often than not, they are also unbleached, which then makes these paper towels compostable as well.

But, Aren't Reusable Paper Towels Annoying or Inconvenient?

It certainly takes time getting used to using reusable paper towels, especially if you're new to them. But it gets easier with time—plus Mother Nature will owe you a huge thank you. For a nearly seamless transition, it would be best to wash and dry your paper towel in the sink or dishwasher shortly after use, so you don't have to reach into the hamper for a dirty one. Having several unpaper towels on hand at all times guarantees you're always well-equipped when there's a mess to clean.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Reusable Paper Towels

1. How long can you expect reusable paper towels to last?

Longevity varies from one brand to the other. Some reusable towels can go for a week but care others can go for up to a month or two with more care. More durable designs have been touted to last as long as a year or longer.

2. What's the best way to store reusable paper towels?

Several brands, like Marley's Monsters Unpaper Towels, come with their own rolls to cling to. But you can also buy reusable paper towel holders separately, which can be conveniently refilled time and again. You can also repurpose an empty tissue box or holder if you're thinking low-cost.

3. How should you clean your reusable paper towels?

It's always best to read the manufacturer's instructions for specific guidance. But, at the very least, most reusable paper cloths can be washed by hand with water and a mild dish detergent before wringing and drying them flat on a sink edge or dish rack.

Some options are also washing machine- and microwave-safe, so check the packaging to determine if your preferred paper towel falls under this category. That being said, most users prefer air drying to reduce the chances of shrinkage over time. 

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