Sometimes a quick and simple tip that can make the mundane a little easier or make your life a little better makes a BIG difference. This is a new series here on the blog where I’ll be sharing simple tips, finds, and suggestions to make life a little easier. I’ll be sharing these tips regularly on the blog and on Instagram– make sure you’re following along! See all the Everyday Tips here.

I’ve been utilizing this tip for years, it’s probably one of the first methods I shared here on the blog way back in 2009. It all started with a slight addiction to paper towels and a need to cut the budget. I was looking for any way to reduce our grocery/supplies budget and decided to see if I could find a better method for cleaning in the kitchen. I worked at quite a few restaurants over the years and kept coming back to the white bar mop towels they used to clean tables and counters. I bought a couple packages, washed them up and put them in a drawer in the kitchen. They worked but the only problem was it was too ‘out of sight’ for me to use them to wipe down the counters. I re-purposed a covered glass jar, rolled the towels up and left the jar out in place of my paper towel holder. Surprisingly, this technique worked! Not only does it work but bar mop towels clean up counters SO much better than paper towels. I love them so much that bar mop towels were the first item I had made for my shop.

Why would you want to reduce your paper towel usage?

  • Paper towels are expensive and it’s nice to not have them on a shopping list.
  • If they are white, they are likely bleached and might even contain formaldehyde.
  • Yes, paper towels do eventually biodegrade but there is quite a bit of waste if you use them daily.
  • Conventional paper towels are made from trees, using less paper towels uses less trees making bar mop towels an eco-friendly alternative.

Do you have to use bar mop towels?

Absolutely not! Use what works for you. You could use microfiber cleaning cloths, flour sack towels (coming soon to Clean Mama Home), rags, cut up t-shirts, anything that you can wash and re-use.

How do I deal with the wet bar mop towels? (I know you’re thinking it!)

Typically, I use one bar mop towel a day. I wring it out and place it over the faucet during the day. The next morning I put that bar mop towel under the sink on a hook – it’s almost dry by now – and then I take out a fresh bar mop towel for the day. Once the towel is dry I bring it (and any others) upstairs and put it in a kitchen and bar mop laundry basket. Once that is full (it’s a small basket), I launder those towels together. I wash my microfiber cleaning cloths SEPARATE from any cotton towels to keep them from picking up the lint from the towels.

What’s my method for wiping down counters?

Spray thoroughly and wipe clean with a damp bar mop towel. If I want to deep clean the counters I’ll mix up a soapy mixture in a small bowl and wipe down the counters thoroughly, drying as I go.

Do I ever use paper towels?

I have three kids and a dog – I keep paper towels on hand for the gross stuff that I wouldn’t want to wash in the washing machine. I also use them for soaking up grease from bacon when we occasionally make it.


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