Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why Family Cloth is Right for Me!

Reader Contributed Article by Rebecca Alvarez

I haven’t used toilet paper for six months.

Well, at least not at home.  In the comfort of my own house, I prefer to use family cloth, otherwise known as cloth toilet paper.  It sounds gross, but it’s really not.  Keep reading.

Making the switch to family cloth has two major obstacles: the name and the eww factor.  The term family cloth is just awful.  Remember that dingy roll of cloth towels you used to find in public restrooms?  Yeah, that’s the image hearing “family cloth” evokes.  People automatically think that family members share the same dirty wipes, which fortunately is not true.  The reality is much cleaner and more sanitary!  Once a single wipe is used, it’s thrown into a wet bag or container to await laundry day.

That brings me to my second point.  I generally don’t have to deal with my bodily waste.  I just wipe (wetting the cloth first if necessary) and throw the family cloth into the bag.  It’s surprising how little, um, residue is left on the wipe after defecating.  Think skid marks.  On very rare occasions I may rinse a wipe if it seems especially dirty, to avoid staining. The majority of the time, however, cleaning myself with family cloth is no different than using toilet paper.

I don’t even have to worry about touching used wipes when I wash the family cloth.  I simply turn the wet bag inside out into the washer.  Since my daughter uses cloth diapers, I wash my family cloth with them, and as cloth diaper mamas know, a good hot wash and drying cycle (or sunshine) is enough to kill any germs, so I have no worries there.

Basically, it comes down to this: instead of using rough or fragile paper and throwing it into the toilet, I use soft, yet strong cloth that I throw into a wet bag.  Instead of dealing with toilet paper lint (ladies, you know what I’m talking about), I feel fresh and clean.  Instead of clogging landfills or sewage systems with paper, I simply wash my wipes and reuse them.  Instead of worrying about other environmental and personal effects of making and using toilet paper (such as massive water usage, tree usage, and dioxin), I can feel good knowing that reusing cloth is a green and healthy choice.  Instead of constantly purchasing toilet paper, I buy it very rarely (for my husband and for guests) and the rest of the time, I laugh all the way to the bank.

Intrigued by Rebecca's article?  You can read more about her reasons for using family cloth, how to make the wipes, and details on set up and usage, by visiting her profile page at Associated Content and checking out her articles.

11 comments:

ECPI CLT Librarian said...

Awesome. I never thought about using them for myself. I still use disposable wipes for my boys and keep some by the toilet for me when I need them. I know I couldn't get my husband to use them, he doesn't even really like cloth diapers, he tolerates me using them. I might try it. Thanks.

Heather said...

I have been seriously considering switching to family cloth. I don't think my husband will be on board, but we used cloth diapers and wipes with my son so it's not out of the question. My son is potty trained now (except nap and bed time) but I still use a cloth wipe to wipe is butt after he poops. How big do you make the family cloth wipes? bigger than a cloth wipe for diapers or the same size? do you just use flannel?

The Badenhops said...

Thank you for this blog :) I am on my first week with "family cloth" and my husband surprisingly loves it as much as I do. And our 4 year old is adjusting well too. It's just discouraging when you tell other people about it and they are totally grossed out. I don't see it being any different than toilet paper other than what the advantages of it are against the toilet paper. So thank you! I am so glad there are more people out there like me, excited about cloth :)

Becky said...

Heather--I do use flannel, and I like 6x7 inch wipes, but others like larger sizes. Please see my articles (linked at the bottom of the blog) for more details on making wipes and setting everything up.

The Badenhops--I WISH I could get my husband on board!

Thanks for reading, everyone. :)

Becky said...

I hope I don't double-post this comment.

Heather--Yes, I use flannel, and I make my wipes 6x7 inches, although some prefer larger ones. Please see my articles (linked at bottom of blog) for more details on making wipes and setting everything up.

The Badenhops--I WISH I could get my husband on board!

Thanks for reading, everybody. :)

Vered said...

I love family cloth. I just wanted to mention that if people are grossed out by using cloth for #2, you (women) can use it just for #1 - it still saves a lot of paper. That's what I do (although I did use to use it for both) and I'm surprised by how many wipes I have in the wetbag every 2-3 days (when I wash with my cloth dipes).
Flannel is so nice and soft, MUCH better than paper!

Boise Wiebers said...

I've just recently heard of it and was thinking of using it for #1 for our family. That pretty much means me and my daughters. My hubby and boys wouldn't use it. lol With a family of 9, that might be nice.
- Trisha

Becky said...

Even if it's just you and your daughters for #1 only, you will still save a fortune!

Angela V said...

I use Natural Family Planning and part of that is wiping before and after going to the bathroom to check for mucous. Would this still work with cloth? Just curious if anyone has done this?

Boise Wiebers said...

Angela, I didn't even think of that. I too would like to know that. My guess is we would be able to see our mucus on the reusable cloth, but I would think flannel or minky velour fabric would be easiest to check for it. - Trisha

Becky R said...

I have been using all cloth in my house since before 2008. I just came out (about the cloth) on a facebook page of 1,500 local woman and was so attacked. But even if I wasn't so frugal I am so much happier with cloth toilet paper. While out all day today I hated having to use paper toilet paper.
The biggest thing they kept saying was how unsanitary it was. No one in my house is really ever sick and even if we are it is very short lived.

 
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