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There are a few things in life that rub me the wrong way. One of them is the over use of paper towels. I know it sounds silly – how much does a paper towel roll truly cost? 98 cents at Sam’s Club, 99 cents at Aldi, $1 at the Dollar Store, if you stick with their cheapest options.
I really shouldn’t care. It’s less than a dollar, right? Unfortunately, the frugal-me has a hard time not cringing when a well-meaning friend reaches out to the paper towel roll after she spilled water on the ground…. There is just some kind of light going off flashing: WASTE! Waste and I are not good friends…
Guess what absorbs fantastically well when liquid is spilled? Sponges!
Sponges are my best friend. I have one for wiping up tables and food-preparation areas, one for anything floor-related, and one for cleaning the bathroom. A scrubbing sponge runs about 60 cents at Sam’s Club and Aldi, 50 cents at the Dollar Store, and 46 cents at Walmart
I love the ones with a heavy duty scrubbing side. They will scratch anything off and absorb so much more than my friends unrolling the paper towel roll around her hand to wipe my floor. In my home, they are heavily used and last a couple of months each. Once they get a bit old or no longer scratchy enough for the kitchen sink, they get recycled for the bathrooms, where they live their second lives.
How to use your sponge
When I have a large spill, I generally grab a kitchen bowl or bucket of some sort, take my sponge and start absorbing the liquid. As the sponge engorges with water, I squeeze it into the bowl and keep using to clean up the area. I save trips to the sink that way and avoid dripping along the way.
For smaller spills, make sure you start with a fairly dry sponge and wipe away – great way to get rid of spots on the floor, crumbs on the table, wipe up a sink, etc.
Since we heavily use our sponges, I stick them in the dishwasher once a week. They come out sanitized and ready to be used again. Please don’t put your bathroom sponges in the dishwasher – rinse those off in warm water with dish soap. Since they’ve lived a while, go ahead and trash them as they start crumbling.
when to use paper towels
There are times I prefer using paper towels. I will reach out to the roll when I have a mouth to wipe or a tiny area I need to get to. Definitely no use of a sponge on the body. They wouldn’t ever be clean enough for that purpose!
I also find paper towels to work better on grease than sponges. Cleaning a greasy sponge is not a ton of fun and paper towels will make your cleaning a lot easier. Think dirty microwave, waffle maker, etc.
Paper towels all the way when cleaning mirrors, with the use of streak-free glass spray! For windows, hot water with dish detergent, use the scrubby side of the sponge to wipe the window, and clean off with a squeegee in a continuous motion!
Lastly, I use a small folded piece of paper towel to spread butter in my baking pans against stickiness. Works like a charm!
Share with us your tips and tricks to clean up spills!
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