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View Full Version : Confession: I Use Too Many Paper Towels



scrivener
April 17th, 2006, 01:36 AM
It's something I was notorious for as a kid, but when I moved away from home, I decided paper towels were an expense I could do without. That lasted more than fifteen years, really. Now, lately, I've been keeping paper towels in my kitchen, and I can't believe how many I use up.

I reuse a lot of them for sure, drying them out when all they soaked up was clean water and then using them again, but man. I'm very embarrassed about this.

kine1
April 17th, 2006, 02:14 AM
Theres nothing wrong with being clean,and there cheap. I think they clean things up eaiser than cloth towels. peace!

Miulang
April 17th, 2006, 07:35 AM
Actually, Scriv, you're better off using the paper towels if you can afford them (and a rag is better than a sponge) to clean your kitchen. Here's why (http://www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/newspaper/feb5a04.html).

Miulang

pzarquon
April 17th, 2006, 08:07 AM
We have three kids, and everyone in the house is a klutz, so I imagine we're also on the upper end of the paper towel consumption curve. We buy the huge bales at Costco.

I guess I feel a little guilty, too... but we ain't just wiping dust or anything. Each paper towel meets its end fighting a valiant battle against a genuine mess.

But I'm actually intrigued by the idea of "recycling" paper towels (or washing paper plates, or...). My grandmother even recycled Ziploc and sandwich bags. It just seemed icky to me, even though well intentioned (and understandable given her generation -- we all could stand to be less wasteful, I know).

Glen Miyashiro
April 17th, 2006, 08:29 AM
I have a habit, that I got from my dad, of tearing only the corner of the paper towel off of the roll when I need some. It's irrationally frugal and makes me look like, I dunno, like an old nisei man who grew up in the Depression. :rolleyes:

Pomai
April 17th, 2006, 09:26 AM
When it's on sale, we usually buy the BOUNTY "Select a Size" (http://www.quickerpickerupper.com/products/sas.shtml) paper towels, which are perforated every 4" or so, instead of the standard 12" sheet. So you can tear sections to size, based on the mess you need to wipe up.

Works great. Most times I only need that 4" strip to wipe a little coffee or jelly splatter on the counter. At least I never feel guilty of wasting a whole sheet for a small mess.

pzarquon
April 17th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Pomai, I love those 'select a size' rolls! We get those if we're between Costco raids. And Glen, I hear you on the 'tearing off bits' too. Corners, hand-sized scraps... I do the same, in some small attempt to conserve, leaving us with paper towel rolls that look like they were attacked by small animals.

timkona
April 17th, 2006, 10:13 AM
Paper towels - just another item in the compost to me.

lavagal
April 17th, 2006, 10:31 AM
My life would be a mess without paper towels. Ever since I took a culinary course at KCC and learned about infrared investigations of germs throughout the kitchen and bathrooms, papertowels are a requirement. I, too, buy them by the baleful at the big boxes! So everytime I go in the kitchen to wash my hands, I dry them with a paper towel. But I leave that paper towel to dry, spread out and waiting for the next time. I appreciate how patient my husband is about this. What I think is indicative of my problem, Scrivener, is that if a spill or something needs to be wiped up before I'm ready to let that particular paper towel go, I am bummed. Those towels that are a little damp are just great for wiping off the ceramic stove top, the refrigerator door, the white cabinets. I feel like if a paper towel doesn't experience multitasking, then it wasn't exploited fully enough. They are perfect for wiping out berry-flavored kiddie toothpaste out of the kids' sink, wiping down a couple of mirrors or glass table tops, etc.

AbsolutChaos
April 17th, 2006, 10:38 AM
I'm a over-normal paper towel user too. I buy my paper towels from Costco also--and there's only ONE of me. :eek: Admittedly I have an entire closet devoted soley to storing paper towels and toilet paper products from Costco. It's kinda funny to open a closet in the living room and be confronted with row after row of white products, I think, but when ya live in a 1BR condo and still insist at shopping at Costo...well, those bulk items gotta go somwhere! You should see the trunk of my car--that's where I store my bottled water and Mountain Dew. Did you know that Mt. Dew is one of the few carbonated beverages that won't explode in the Hawaiian sun after being warmed in a trunk? I am sure that keeping the bottled water in my car makes things leach out of the plastic, but I don't care. I figure I'm due for cancer anyway after a lifetime of eating microwave food full of preservatives.

I have an unnatural fear or running out of three things, toilet paper and contact lens solution and paper towels, so I always have TONS of the stuff on hand at all times. When I get down to only one spare contact lens solution bottle or one paper towel roll or FOUR toilet paper rolls, it's a Costco trip emergency, stat!)

Whenever I clean, I use a paper towel instead of sponges/cloth, with maybe one or two exceptions. It's just more sanitary. I also tend to use them as plates, since it means one less plate to wash. This habit of using paper towels as plates came about in college when I lived in a house with three other girls--none of them would ever do the dishes after they cooked, so we'd run out of dishes. The sad thing was we had a dishwasher too (I grew up not using one at home, so I was reluctant to learn to use the one we had in college, for some reason). All of us roommates had the attitude that if we didn't make the mess, we didn't have to clean it up. I didn't cook, just lived on microwaveable food and sandwiches (just as I do now) so with no dishes around, I'd make everything on paper towels and utilize my stashed collection of plastic utensils, rather than wash a plate and utensil that I felt weren't my responsibility to wash anyway. (I still have to force myself now to use a plate, lol). How sad is that? :o

Like another user, I also tend to tear off small pieces of the paper towel roll--my boyfriend, who gets his paper towels from the Commisary, gets the ones where you can tear off half-sheets--but you can't buy those at bulk at Costco, unfortunately. I rarely reuse my papertowels, though... :p

Da Rolling Eye
April 17th, 2006, 11:33 AM
We have 2 dogs, one old and one 7 months old, and one 6 yr. old human female. What more can I say? :D

tutusue
April 17th, 2006, 08:18 PM
A Costco question...
I've never purchased PT and TP from Costco 'cuz I don't have enough storage space. However I remember a friend telling me years ago that these products weren't that great of a buy at Costco based on price per unit or sheet. Are these products a big money saver at Costco now?

I go along with the others on the 'select a size' type of PT. I believe there is more than one brand marketing that concept now.

Miulang
April 17th, 2006, 08:23 PM
I generally buy the "brand name" stuff (e.g., Charmin and Bravo) from Costco and not the Kirkland brand because I like the feel of the brand name paper products. Sometimes you can get a better deal at places like WM (except I don't go to WM unless I get a gift card as a present) and sometimes a local supermarket might have a sale, but you can never figure out when those sales happen, so for consistency's sake, I just go to Costco and buy those 5-year quantities. Fortunately, they don't have expiration dates and will only deteriorate if I have a flood in my stoage unit before I can actually use them.

Miulang

adrian
April 17th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Like a nursing teacher once said "we're nurses, not enviromentalists" (those were his exact words). That came after we learned how to use as much paper towels as we could to dry our hands (after washing them for 10 seconds).

Menehune Man
April 17th, 2006, 09:39 PM
I guess I feel a little guilty, too... but we ain't just wiping dust or anything. Each paper towel meets its end fighting a valiant battle against a genuine mess.

Here, here. Clapping hands in agreement.

Why do we use them? Because they are there!

Konaguy
April 17th, 2006, 10:05 PM
I buy Sparkle :)

Edit: Yes its a legit brand of paper towel that they sell at Kmart :) :D

Surfingfarmboy
April 18th, 2006, 01:11 AM
The last time I was in Honolulu, Safeway had pre-priced 50 cents rolls of a generic paper towels for sale. They were the smaller 80 sheet count rolls of no-frills plain white paper towels. That's about as low of a price I've ever seen for rolls of paper towels for sale anywhere in the US.

kimo55
April 18th, 2006, 01:15 AM
surfahbowah, go ta bed!
bwah!


whachu, one wahine o wot? tawkin bout tissue pepah?!

Surfingfarmboy
April 18th, 2006, 01:25 AM
surfahbowah, go ta bed!
bwah!


whachu, one wahine o wot? tawkin bout tissue pepah?!

There is nothing I can say to counter that..I've been up for three hours (remember 6 hours difference this time of year between here and there)..and the best comment I can make is one regarding the price of paper towels at Safeway? Yeah you right..time to get out and fire up the John Deere..or go back to bed!

kimo55
April 18th, 2006, 01:36 AM
oh. yea. time diff... ok. nemmind!!

and you two! Craig and kalihi! You guyz go moemoe too!

pzarquon
April 18th, 2006, 07:35 AM
I buy Sparkle... Yes its a legit brand of paper towel that they sell at KmartYep, it's a real brand (http://www.sparkletowels.com/). Frankly, it makes me think of that "Mr. Sparkes" episode of the Simpsons (http://www.thesimpsons.com/episode_guide/0822.htm).

As for the paper towels themselves, I see Sparkle is joining the "scented" trend. I'm still not sure paper towels should really smell like anything. Moistened wipes, sure, but... I don't even like it when a roll of paper towels picks up the faint smell of the glue holding it to the cardboard roll!

ETA: Looks like the scent is only on the roll (http://www.strangenewproducts.com/2006/03/scented-paper-towels.html), not the towels... and I'll bet the idea came from complaints about the base glue smell. You learn something new (though not neccessarily useful) every day!

Albert
April 18th, 2006, 11:12 AM
So far as I can remember, I have never bought a roll of paper towels.

Use the ones in public restrooms, though.

craigwatanabe
April 19th, 2006, 09:32 AM
either:

A) You're still a dependant in a family
B) Your wife or significant other buys the paper towels
C) You're a single guy who has no interest in cleaning up
D) You have this issue with saving the trees so you use and wash rags
E) You're a really messy person that never cleans up
F) You've never discovered the beauty of paper towels
G) You've been buying them all along but never thought of them as PT's
H) OR!! You're living in some 3rd world country that doesn't have a clue as to what paper towels are.

I) Oh yeah you said you never bought them so maybe you are a paper towel shoplifter with this obsession to cleanliness on the cheap :D

Okay so you've never bought paper towels? I'm curious...why? I'm really intrigued...especially since this seemingly shallow thread has evolved into something of true interest to a lot of us. :)

I'm impressed that this thread has gone this far...it just goes to show us how simple things in life can take on a life of it's own once realized...like the issue of putting the cap back on a tube of toothpaste or toilet lids up or down? Or even toilet paper loaded forward or behind? Never mind my 2-year old is begging for his diaper change again and I'm too obessed with this thread :eek:

tutusue
April 19th, 2006, 10:18 AM
either:
[...]
E) You're a really messy person that never cleans up
[...]
Well, based on first hand knowledge from about a decade ago, I can vouch that this isn't the case!

craigwatanabe
April 19th, 2006, 10:27 AM
Well, based on first hand knowledge from about a decade ago, I can vouch that this isn't the case!


Soooo the truth comes out...Albert is so clean he doesn't make a mess! I'll buy that. :)

lavagal
April 19th, 2006, 12:01 PM
Tutusue your new icon is frickin scary.

I can't say anything about Albert here. I cannot imagine life without PT!

@:)

Pomai
April 19th, 2006, 12:23 PM
This IS getting deep, and I'm beginning to get a complex about wasting the stuff on spills that don't deserve it. :D

Yeah, and what about that whole loading thing? Flap in front or in back on the wall-mounted holder? Or do you go the "bachelor" method and just leave the open roll on the counter? Having a lady in the house, of course we do the former.. flap in front of course.

Maybe they'll come out with a laundry detergent that will allow you to throw used paper towels in the wash without it biodegrading. :rolleyes:

tutusue
April 19th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Tutusue your new icon is frickin scary.

I can't say anything about Albert here. I cannot imagine life without PT!

@:)
See what happens when I forget to shave?! I somehow lost my other avatar but when I find it I'll replace that scary mug shot! I have one of Michael Jackson but it's scarier than the 'frickin scary' one! :D

So, Albert, what did you use in place of paper towels? Inquiring minds wanna know!

lurkah
April 19th, 2006, 01:49 PM
So, Albert, what did you use in place of paper towels? Inquiring minds wanna know!

I just use my shirt*. :D

*does not apply to TP

craigwatanabe
April 19th, 2006, 02:04 PM
Maybe they'll come out with a laundry detergent that will allow you to throw used paper towels in the wash without it biodegrading. :rolleyes:

I think they call it cloth rags?

tutusue
April 19th, 2006, 07:33 PM
See what happens when I forget to shave?! I somehow lost my other avatar but when I find it I'll replace that scary mug shot! I have one of Michael Jackson but it's scarier than the 'frickin scary' one! :D[...]
Just found my regular avatar, Lavagal. I made a concerted search effort just for you! :D

lurkah
April 19th, 2006, 07:55 PM
Just found my regular avatar

How'd you manage to lose it in the first place? :confused:

lavagal
April 19th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Just found my regular avatar, Lavagal. I made a concerted search effort just for you! :D


All that money you pay Stafford and you look like that???? Girlfriend, he'd have a HISSY FIT if he knew how you presented yourself to the world!!!

tutusue
April 19th, 2006, 08:19 PM
How'd you manage to lose it in the first place? :confused:
...searching under the wrong name on the wrong external drive while at a house sitting gig where I don't have everything with me! :o

All that money you pay Stafford and you look like that???? Girlfriend, he'd have a HISSY FIT if he knew how you presented yourself to the world!!!
See...if you hadn't mentioned Stafford's name then nobody'd know that he's responsible for my makeover! :p

Palolo Joe
April 20th, 2006, 12:04 AM
Just found my regular avatar, Lavagal. I made a concerted search effort just for you! :D

Shucks... I kinda like the avatar you have now... :eek:

kimo55
April 20th, 2006, 12:07 AM
then nobody'd know that he's responsible for my makeover! :p
THAT'S why ya didn't look familiar at da hui after all these decades of publicity shots posted on alt.vulture.hawaii and da pepaaaahz!

tutusue
April 20th, 2006, 09:50 AM
THAT'S why ya didn't look familiar at da hui after all these decades of publicity shots posted on alt.vulture.hawaii and da pepaaaahz!
Egads! Publicity shots???? Naht! :confused:

Back to paper towels. I was at Costco yesterday and didn't buy any! :D

tutusue
April 20th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Shucks... I kinda like the avatar you have now... :eek:
Thanks. Me too. That's my "after" photo. Pretty cool, huh?

But, back on topic...
Scriv, I think individual circumstances, beliefs and living conditions dictate paper towel usage. Do what works best for you. I probably just offended all the environmentalists but, what can I say! :o

kimo55
April 20th, 2006, 10:16 AM
just get an avatar of a roll of towels, then you can talk about avatars and stay on topic.

kimo55
April 20th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Egads! Publicity shots???? Naht! :confused:

http://www.reelserviceshawaii.com/seminars/

yea.

You lost weight, got a great tan, changed yer hair color.

Showed da pic to Maddie and she sez; who is sue larkin?
Ya know, 22sue from da hui at da kine... sez I.
she was amazed to see this just now and sez "I think 22sue is just absolutely adorable."

lurkah
April 20th, 2006, 10:30 AM
This is tutusue in 40 years. ;)

lavagal
April 20th, 2006, 10:58 AM
http://www.reelserviceshawaii.com/seminars/

yea.

You lost weight, got a great tan, changed yer hair color.

Showed da pic to Maddie and she sez; who is sue larkin?
Ya know, 22sue from da hui at da kine... sez I.
she was amazed to see this just now and sez "I think 22sue is just absolutely adorable."


Indeed. She's the cat's meow.

tutusue
April 20th, 2006, 11:57 AM
just get an avatar of a roll of towels, then you can talk about avatars and stay on topic.
Done! For today only! Then I'll go back to my "after" avatar!

Lurkah, hopefully my beloved Stafford will still be around in 40 years; still working his magic so I'll have an even better photo to send off to Willard Scott! Oh, wait! Make that less than 40 years! :eek:

Hmmm...I still need to get the photo on my web site (which is a snapshot at a concert!) changed using PZ's expertise. I'll be sure to pad the envelope with paper towels so the CD doesn't break! I think I was supposed to mail him a CD about a year ago 'cuz he couldn't open the jpegs I emailed him! :o I thought you were referring to links to photos on ACH...and figured that was a little strange! alt.vulture.hawaii...bwahaha!!!

Oddly enough, the 'tan' is really not a tan for me. My dad's summer nickname for me was Sapphire (as in the old Amos & Andy shows!). When my daughter visited in Feb. she remarked about how pale I was! I'm looking forward to some good beach weather in small doses. And I'll apply sunscreen with, you guessed it, select-a-size paper towels! Really! I wrap a paper towel around a spatula, put a big dollop of sunscreen on it and smear it all over my back! :D

Ah, Maddie...thanx. Ya make me feel 50 again! That was a great year, btw!!!

Speaking of paper towels...which I think we're s'posed to here...for those of you who care to answer what's your oddest use for 'em. Oh, and keep it clean (pun intended)! ;)

Menehune Man
April 20th, 2006, 09:18 PM
I was just thinking that to U.S., there's no such thing as too much or too many or... :)

Pedro
April 22nd, 2006, 11:09 AM
I was just thinking that to U.S., there's no such thing as too much or too many or... :)

That's why theirs a thing called "supply and demand". We demand and they supply, theirs no end to it unless of course we have no use for it.

cezanne
April 22nd, 2006, 12:21 PM
The wife for some reason only buys Bounty. If I only need a small piece I rip the square and put the remainder back on top of the roll too. But hmmm I never recycled papertowels (wash and dry)... dats funny :D .

panthercat
April 22nd, 2006, 02:45 PM
I have a habit, that I got from my dad, of tearing only the corner of the paper towel off of the roll when I need some. It's irrationally frugal and makes me look like, I dunno, like an old nisei man who grew up in the Depression. :rolleyes:
--------------------------------- >^.^< ---------------------------------
Glen, You aren't alone in this respect, as many of us whose parents survived the depression suffer these "irrationally frugal" episodes. We are a composite of those who raised us and our own experiences and it has been my observation the more someone tries not to be like a parent, the more like them they become. One woman I knew tried so hard not to be anything like her mother that she later lamented she was much worse then her Mother ever was. My ex Mother in law had 9 kids, 10 if you counted her husband and had a set schedule of what to do on what day. My ex wanted to do everything just like her mom, albeit she didn't have any reasons. Heredity does weird things to a person.

MadAzza
April 23rd, 2006, 11:14 AM
What the -- ? A sincere question about the state motto gets two responses, and a thread about using paper towels has 46?

What a bunch of goofballs! I love this place!