Chances are, if you are reading this article you are either seriously considering cloth diapering or already have taken the plunge. Now it is time to take a look around the house and see what other disposable products can be replaced for cloth. If you switch to cloth all the way you will see a small difference in the laundry room and a bigger difference in your shopping bill. Say goodbye to sponges, paper towels, tissues, napkins, menstrual pads, tampons and more!
The marketing world has convinced us that we need to buy disposable products to make our lives easier, simpler and to spend money on their products. But we need to rethink that, "un-brainwash" ourselves and reduce, reuse and recycle. So let's take a look around the house and see what disposable products can be replaced for cloth. If you switch to cloth all the way you will see a small difference in the laundry room and a bigger difference in your shopping bill. Say goodbye to sponges, paper towels, tissues, napkins, menstrual pads, tampons and more!
Cloth Diaper your Baby Cloth diapering is not what it used to be. Today there are several options in cloth diapers. I made the decision to switch when I learned that today's cloth diapers were shaped like disposables with velcro or snaps instead of tape. This is a big change from the pins that our parents used!
Training Pants and Swim Diapers This is a natural extension to cloth diapering. Instead of using pull-ups or disposable swim diapers try the cloth reusable alternatives. Cloth swim diapers are the same price as 6 pack of disposable ones!
Washcloths If you are not already using these to clean your baby's bottom between diapers, switch now! You are already doing the diaper laundry, just throw these in with them. In addition to wiping my baby's bottom I find these convenient for washing my children's hands and face. I find it easier than lifting the little ones up to the sink. While you are at it, invest on another set of washcloths to replace the sponge in the kitchen. A wet sponge is a haven for bacteria. You can changes these frequently but it would be expensive and not very earth friendly. I keep several washcloths on hand and change them daily.
Small washcloths I recently discovered small wash cloths being sold with mama cloth. They are small and fit into the palm of your hand. These are terrific replacements for cotton balls! I used them when removing make-up at night or for applying ointments.
Handkerchiefs Purchase several packages of handkerchiefs in the men's section of a department store. While we still keep tissue boxes around the house for guests, we have handkerchiefs ready and waiting in a nearby drawer for easy access. For when you are out and about, just put them in your pocketbook or pocket. I find these much easier to carry than the "pocket size" disposable tissues.
Cloth Pads If you have converted your baby to cloth diapers then it would be natural for you the continue the cloth tradition for yourself with cloth menstrual pads. They are more comfortable than their paper counterparts and are equally absorbent. If you miss tampons, consider using *The Keeper with your cloth pads.
Flat Cloth Diapers While most folks no longer use square flat cloth diapers for regular diaper use, they can be used for so much more:
- Cut them in to rectangles, hem the edges and to use them as cloth diaper liners.
- Keep them handy in your bag or at the changing table for wiping your baby's face or bottom.
- Finally get a pack and devote them as cleaning rags for your house. These diapers are much stronger than their paper counterparts plus they last longer than "reusable" handi-wipes.
Towels I have a dozen hand towels available in the kitchen for spills or cleaning up. These are much more absorbent than Bounty® itself. Also, I have a used body towel reserved for floor use only (I have a thing against mixing hand and floor towels). This is great for those messy floor spills.
Cloth Napkins As with diapers these will be a small investment at first but they are great money savers. They take only a little space in your washer, just throw them in with your regular load. Easy! We've been using the same napkins for about 10 years. We are just replacing them now and are using the old napkins as new rags. Re-use and re-use!
Tablecloths Cloth tablecloths are much better than vinyl. I recommend to have at least two so you can alternate between washes. I personally have one for each season. This gives the kitchen or dining room a nice fresh look every 3 months.
Tote Bags Chances are you have one or two of these lying around in your home. If you do, be sure to bring them along on all grocery shopping trips to use for your groceries. These are much stronger than paper or plastic bags - plus they have handles!
So take a look around your household and find the cloth. They are a great frugal and green replacement for disposables!
© 2010, Jennifer of Diaper Pin. May not be copied or reprinted without permission.
Revised from a previously released version.