Thursday, March 15, 2012

Family cloth. Or how I lose all 3 of my readers.

















So......
Have you heard of using family cloths? Instead of TP.
Yes, its washable TP.
I know, it sounds.....gross.
But if you have ever changed a cloth diaper (I have, a ton of them!) then this is no different.
We have been using family cloths for about 3 years now exclusively.
I used them for about 5 years before the rest of the family converted.
I also use mostly all cloth feminine pads.
I save the disposable ones for when I am out of the house.
At home I use the washable kind.
And lets face it, when its time to use those I am home A LOT.
The most obvious question we get is...why?
First of all, millions of trees get chopped down each year just for TP.
Just for stuff to wipe your hinney with.
That is just nonsense poopy pants. 
Second, its convenient. We never run out.
I keep a bag of t-shirts etc in the bathroom to cut up new ones and in a pinch until the dryer is done, I can cut a few up.
Three, and the most important reason, it just feels darn good.
We feel and are much cleaner.
Since we are already all over TMI Land, I will just put this out there.
No more "marks" from the men of the family.
Don't worry Honey, I was talking about the little guy. ;)
We occasionally wet them for a messy .... mess.
Use a clean dry one to dry the bum if needed.
Now the second most ask question.
Does your bathroom smell?
No.
I assure you.
I am the person who gags at the first hint of cat poop.
Each bathroom as two cans. Each clearly marked.
Clean.
Dirty.
The master bathroom cans are just small trash cans.
The kids bathroom is cans with lids.
Only because they use the wipes to clean up any animal accidents.
And for whatever reason that seems to get ripe smelling over the course of a day or two.
One day a week I dump them all in the washer, run it twice on the hottest setting, extra rinse and bleach.
In the 3 years the family has done this (and 5 years I have done this) we have had zero instances of any infections we were having before or any sanitary issues.
I am convinced we are cleaner. Healthier. Better wiped if you will.
Does it save money?
Well, lets be honest a $1 a week for cheap TP here at our house.
And I honestly use that in the washing & drying.
So probably not.
BUT...
Its one less thing we are adding to our septic or landfill.
Less packaging.
Less waste.
More comfort.
And one less thing I depend on the grocery store for.
Now, excuse me. My toilet paper needs to be washed. ;)

25 comments:

Dawn said...

Loved this, and your headline made me laugh. I've been wanting to transition myself as well. Thanks for this!

Chele said...

Your welcome Dawn! Its a touchy subject, I am sure many are grossed out by it. So I try to lace it with humor to lessen the shock! LOL :)

Roxie700 said...

Let's face it, we all POO. It is a fact of life. If we would turn off the TV so we did not know we needed soft, thick, paper to clean our bottoms we might all be using the same scrap paper that our great grand parents used when they went to the 'out house' to do their business.
I have used old wash cloths for TP for years. I also use wash cloths to clean the bottoms of my day care children in my home. I love to use a warm wash cloth on their bottom instead of the cold disposable wipes.
My dear husband is not into this. Do not think I can change that now.

Chele said...

Roxie700,
Exactly my thoughts! I find that cloth is like a luxury item for us. So soft! I can not imagine going back to use the wads of paper. When we are out my kids always cringe (so do I) when we realize we have to use paper! Not comfortable at all. Most of those who come to my house that know what we use (we keep a roll of paper for company)use it once and are hooked.

Martina said...

Being stationed overseas and taking a lot of tours of castles and the bathrooms in said castles, our guide sometimes pointed out, what people back then used to wipe, pretty much anything from lettuce leaves to cloth was mentioned... never ever TP.

Chele said...

Martina,
A lot of countries do without TP. It just seems to me that Americans are the ones who seem to think its a necessity to have a disposable item to wipe themselves with.

Lisa B. said...

Although I havnt converted my men in my home I much rather use cloth. My favorite cloths are made from baby receiving blankets I bought for .25 each from a thrift store.

Chele said...

Lisa B.,
Those is what I use to make Mama Cloth, so soft! Our thrift store is usually overflowing with them for $.25 each as well. :)

Freedom Acres Farm said...

We too use cloth wipes. And I do have to say that hubby is the biggest supporter in the house. He's not afraid to let others who question us know that soft flannel is way nicer than scratchy paper LOL!!

Chele said...

Freedom Acres Farm,
That's funny only because it is TRUE! Even the softest TP still feels like sand paper compared to our wipes. I am often tickled that people are grossed out by our soft wipes but are paying the highest dollar for TP that is SOFT. LOL

Somebody Sews said...

I actually think you DO save money by using TC! How many times did you have to go to the store to grab some toilet paper and end up grabbing a few other items that you otherwise would've done without? Do you keep TP around for guests?

Chele said...

Somebody Sews,
Your so right, never thought of it that way. Then you factor in gas etc. Great point! We do keep TP on hand for guests. We have it hidden in our pantry otherwise our youngest will dole himself out half a roll to wipe his nose! lol We buy one little 4 or 6 roll package maybe twice a year. :)

Renman said...

AS on who has never used cloth diapers, I'm curious how you clean the dirty rags.

Chele said...

Renman,
Welcome to my blog! :)
You might have missed this line in the post, so I will copy & paste it here so you don't have to go back and re-read it. :)
"One day a week I dump them all in the washer, run it twice on the hottest setting, extra rinse and bleach."
I will say that in the last few weeks I have made my own bleach that is more environmentally safe and I am feeling I get better results.
Since I also use cloth "Mama Pads" as well, I am extra dutiful in making sure it is sanitized. :)
Hope this helps!

Vanessa said...

How do you make your own bleach? I have been making my own laundry soap for about two years now, but would love to try making my own bleach, and maybe vinegar. I use the vinegar in the rinse cycle and my towels have never been softer!

Chele said...

I have made apple cider vinegar before but have not made distilled white vinegar , yet. I have the equipment but not enough clear instructions. Here is the link for the apple cider vinegar if your interested :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk5KE3jqxYA
As for the bleach here is the recipe I use :http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/10/homemade-bleach-alternative/ but I am finding more variations of it lately. So I might switch it up. I plan on testing it more thoroughly then I have a blog post to cover what I think is the best recipe. :)

Panda said...

My house "guests" of nearly 6 months just left (mom and 4 kids.) Within 3 weeks of them being here, they had used up my 6 month stash of toilet paper! Gosh, if I had only used this method then, I might not have had "guests" so long!

Chele said...

It might deter them! LOL

csdesigner said...

I use mama cloths, cloth diapers, and cloth wipes for our baby. Never have I heard of cloth tp. I must try this! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Cheers,
Jen

Chele said...

Jen,
First of all congrats on your cloth Mama pads & dipes and wipes for your baby! I always love seeing Mama's using more cloth. :)
Thank you for stopping by!

Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

Thanks for posting this, Chele! I too chuckled at the title ;) I'm actually working on a post right now that will be the beginning of a series on how we're switching to cloth everything - one item at a time. Honestly, TP is about number 3 or 4 on my list, but it's on there, nonetheless! We've switched to cloth diapers (LOVE them!) and using cloth in the kitchen...slowly making our way around different rooms of the house :)

Chele said...

Sarah,
Baby steps! That is the way to do it. :)

Country girl in the city said...

I took the plunge a few months ago and love cloth TP! I am the only one using it in our house, and still only for #1, but seriously, I am amazed at how little tp we go through. Last week it was 1 roll!

I used flannel material to make my cloths by serging two pieces together. It's so soft and absorbent. I hate using paper now. I made enough so I only have to wash them once a week. Such a great way to save on paper products!

zaineb said...

Why not just wash yourself instead of wiping down. In most parts of the world washing is the traditional way of cleaning oneself, they cringe at the thought of wiping.

Chele said...

ZaineB,
Good question! I have done this method in the past after I birthed my children, since (TMI here) the lower area was "tender". I may try it again, just forgot about it. Thanks for an excellent comment!