The Truth About Paper Towels


Your trusty roll of paper towels is often considered the ultimate household helper, there to help with any messes or spills, before being thrown away. Many people use paper towels without a second thought, but the truth about paper towels is messy. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the U.S. created 3.8 million tons of tissue paper and paper towel waste in 2017. Wait! You may say. Are paper towels biodegradable? Can you recycle paper towels or compost paper towels? Unfortunately most paper towel waste ends up in landfills, where they generate methane, a greenhouse gas 28-34 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Paper can only be recycled a few times, and most paper towels end up wet or dirty, rendering them unable to be recycled. Even if you forgo paper towels with designs in favor of recycled paper towels, recycled paper pulp is actually a non-recyclable product itself. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. That’s a huge environmental impact and a lot of waste!

Even on a personal level, paper towels are expensive. The average family uses two rolls of paper towels per week, which can cost nearly $200 per year. The bottom line? There is no such thing as sustainable paper towels--for the planet, or your wallet. The good news is there is a sustainable paper towel replacement--the Swedish Dish Cloth.


What is a Swedish Dish Cloth? A Sustainable Paper Towel Replacement

Invented by a Swedish engineer and used widely in Scandinavian countries, the Swedish Dish Cloth is your new paper towel replacement (and cleaning best friend!). These cloths are a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to paper towels. Our environmentally friendly swedish dishcloths use cellulose from FSC certified forests and repurposed cotton from the textile industry that would have otherwise been wasted. The biodegradable natural fibers have a bit of a sponge-like texture, which helps them both absorb more than a traditional cotton cloth and dry quickly to prevent mold and mildew. They can be washed in the washing machine or dishwasher, making them easy to use and reuse for months (or even years)!  At the end of their life cycle, you can put them right in your compost, making them a truly waste-free product.

Swedish Dishcloths can replace paper towels anywhere in the home. The cloths start out stiff and soften when wet, making them perfect for both small spills and heavy duty messes. Their superior absorbency means it’s easier to clean than ever. A set of three Swedish dishcloths is just $12--less than most packs of paper towels! A pro tip: buy a set for the kitchen and a set for the bathroom. The small size of the Swedish Dish cloths makes them easy to store in any room, and you can even match the designs to the different rooms in your home! How cute would these Limited Edition Oceana Dish Cloths be in a bathroom?

Removing paper towels from your home may seem intimidating, but the facts are clear: disposable paper products are trouble for the planet and your wallet. Try out a set of Swedish Dish Cloths and we promise--you won’t even miss those bulky rolls.

Have you tried our Swedish Dish Cloths? Do you have any pro tips to make the most of them? Let us know!