Roughly two weeks ago I took $14 of our grocery budget and invested into washcloths.
A strange investment, I know. You don’t want me in control of your 401k!
Seriously, these washcloths are amazing. They are not your typical run of the mill washcloths.
- First, they’re white.
- And, they’re square.
- They’re made of cotton.
- They were cheap.
- They’re brand-name (the store’s).
- They’re from Target (pronounced Tar-zsay).
See, totally high-end and very extraordinary washcloths.
These washcloths are so magnificent that they are now our official “napkins.” We used to use paper towels, or on an extra special occasion, a real paper napkin. But now we use washcloths.
When company comes over for dinner or if we’re hosting a special occasion, no longer do we feel inferior because our company has to wipe crumbs and sauce off their face with paper. No sir-ree! Our company can feel ultimate pleasure and comfort while wiping their face AND be reminded of a bathroom at the same time!
How’s that for hospitality?!
Did you hear that washcloth napkins are all the rage? Yep, they sure are.
(Don’t bother Googling to verify this – they’ve been slow to update their search results.)
Don’t you want to do what’s popular too? Why should you invest in super-cool, ultra high-end exceptionally remarkable white cotton washcloths?
Cloth napkins cost less.
For the average family of four using one paper towel each for three meals a day, one roll would last 13 days. At 52 sheets in each $1 roll, the cost of cloth napkins becomes significantly less expensive (free) after 182 days (or just over six months).
Cloth napkins look better.
Company isn’t impressed when we rip off a paper towel, tear it in half and tuck the ripped piece of paper gently under their forks and knives. Now everyone gets their own full-size napkin. We could get extra fancy and fold it into a fan and stick it in their water glass!
Cloth napkins last longer.
Cloth napkins are not a one-time-use and toss item. They cover way beyond one spill and can even last beyond one meal (if it’s not spaghetti). Even used to the maximum capacity, cloth napkins end up in the hamper, not trash, which means…
Cloth napkins produce less trash.
Cloth napkins can be used and washed and reused until they shrivel apart, and even then they can become “heavy duty” rags. Less trash = better for the environment.
Kids can’t rip apart cloth napkins under the table.
There’s something soothing about ripping pieces of paper apart into tiny little pieces. That soothing factor diminishes when you’re the one cleaning them up.
How does the “average” family integrate this posh commodity into their ordinary lives?
1. Search for a good deal at low-end joints. Think Walmart, Target, Goodwill, garage sales, etc. Expect that these will get very dirty and come up with a fair price. The high-end washcloths mentioned above were on sale at Target, $3.23 for an 8-pack. I thought 40 cents each was fair.
2. Aim for plain. Flowers and patterns are cute today, but won’t always be in season. Solid colors will stand the test of time and increase your odds of not having to replace them later. Why white? It matches everything, always.
3. Buy several. 32 seemed like a good number. Enough to last us through a few days without having to wash, but not enough to make laundry more of the chore it already is.
3. Wash before use. This should go without saying, but since someone in my family is guilty of wearing new clothes without washing them first (ahem), it’s worth mentioning. Wash the washcloths in cold water and dry.
4. Fold and put not too far away. Keeping the washcloths in a closet upstairs is a great way to not use them. Re-purpose a basket or tupperware container or toy box or something to hold the napkins. Fold them neatly and place them inside the container. Keep the container in a central location to the dining table and/or kitchen and make sure everyone in the house knows where this location is. Don’t keep it a secret.
5. Wash regularly. Keeping them clean will make them look newer longer. Wash dirty washcloths at least once a week. Save money and time by washing with other dirty towels and rags too. Another reason to go white? If they become so stained that they’re no longer worthy for company, let them soak in bleach in the kitchen sink. Two outcomes: white washcloths and a clean sink.
6. Put paper towels out of sight. Because out of sight is out of mind.