Cleaning with a paper towel, a microfiber cloth, or a cotton rag may seem similar, but each one impacts the environment differently. Keeping your home clean and healthy is a priority, but a healthy environment benefits everyone.
Is it better to clean with a paper towel or a reusable cloth? Learn which is better for the environment!
Paper towels vs. reusable cloths: which is greener?
To wipe a surface during your regular cleaning routine or clean an accidental spill, you may reach out for a paper towel or a cloth alike. But, what’s gentler on the environment?
When it comes to the environmental impact of a product, there are no easy answers. However, below are some considerations to help choose the best one!
Option #1: Paper towels
Compared to microfiber cloths (literally made of plastic,) paper towels may seem like the green choice. However, if you consider that uncompostable paper towels end up in a landfill, while a reusable cloth can serve you for many cleanings, things start to look different.
In short, paper towels are not the best option when you consider the environmental impact, and here are a few reasons why.
- Paper towels need trees: Manufacturers need to cut down trees to make the paper towels—unless it comes from alternative sources like bamboo or recycled paper.
- White towels are bleached with chemicals: Trees are brown, but your kitchen towels are bright white because manufacturers bleach them. In fact, paper towels may contain chlorine and other chemicals.
- Disposable usually means not eco-friendly: Unlike good-quality cloths, paper towels are disposed of after one use. It means using paper towels creates more waste in the landfills.
However, not all paper towels are the same! You could find brands or paper manufacturers that address the issues listed above. For example, some paper towels are unbleached or bleached with alternative methods that avoid elemental chlorine.
Option #2: Reusable cloth towels
The mere fact that reusable cloth towels aren’t disposed of after one use makes them a greener choice. However, as with paper towels, some cloth towels are more eco-friendly than others.
For example, microfiber cloths can be more convenient, but they are made of non-biodegradable materials like polyester and nylon. On the other hand, cloths made from natural fibers like cotton or linen have almost no impact on the environment!
Here are a few considerations to pick the best cloth towels.
- Avoid synthetic fibers: As said before, microfiber cloths are made from plastic, which means they are non-biodegradable and derived from a non-renewable source. If you have a microfiber cloth, the best thing to do is recycle it once it doesn’t serve you!
- Reuse and recycle whenever possible: Even natural fibers have an impact on the environment. For example, cotton requires a lot of water. Instead of buying a new cleaning cloth, you can cut out several cleaning rags from an old t-shirt.
CHRISTal Clean is committed to a healthy environment
You can trust on CHRISTal Clean whether you need professionals to take care of your regular chores or one-time cleaning. We use non-toxic cleaning products and essential oils to leave your home healthy and spotless!