How absorbent are NonPaper Towels? A roll and bundled pack of light purple with moths design NonPaper Towels.

How Absorbent are NonPaper Towels?

How Absorbent are NonPaper Towels?


A *very* common question among those looking to ditch, or at least use less, paper towels.

You want a replacement that's going to actually work - and not waste your time!

Here's my non-scientific demonstration and explanation.

(Disclaimer - I am referring to the NonPaper Towels I make here at Cruelty-Free Stitchery. I cannot vouch for other brands, as I do not know the exact materials they use.)

What are NonPaper Towels made of?

My NonPaper Towels are a single layer of 100% cotton flannel. Similar to the material of a flannel shirt! It's light and just slightly fluffy.

While cotton is a naturally absorbent material, flannel will not be as absorbent as something like a cotton dish towel or bath towel - simply because they are much thinner and don't have the extra surface area of the loops. 

They're meant to replace paper towels - which are also much, much less absorbent than a cotton dish towel.

What are NonPaper Towels used for?

Basically anything you would use a paper towel for!

Cleaning up spills, drying hands, wiping counters, general cleaning, etc. I've even used mine to dry paint brushes, folded and used them as coasters, put them around soup bowls... and ice cream pints...

How do you use and care for NonPaper Towels?

Ok before we get into the demonstration - the key to your NonPaper Towels performing their best and living a good, long life - is proper care! Just like any fabric items like clothes or linens.

When you get your pack of NonPaper Towels - the first thing to do is wash them.

If you try to use one right away, you may not get the best result. Why?

All fabrics are manufactured with stiffening and "sizing" agents to aid in rolling up the fabric, which then helps me to cut and sew them. And they stay looking c-r-i-s-p. 

But - this means they haven't quite lived up to their soft and absorbent potential yet! 

The NonPaper Towels will get softer and more absorbent as you wash them. They just need some time to get loosened up.

I have full care instructions here - but the gist is to wash in cold water WITHOUT fabric softener (or you'll be back to square one) and air dry if possible. 

Air drying helps them last longer as tumble drying wears out the fibers, but not a huge deal. Plus it saves energy.

Caring for NonPaper Towels between washes.

Hear me out on this one. But you don't need to wash them every time you use them! 

Of course that depends on what they were used for...

In any case, make sure to rinse as soon as possible after use to avoid any staining or smells. They can usually be dried on the edge of the sink and used again. Use your own judgment!

A drop of dish soap on a spot that could stain will help, just don't let it dry first. Get the NonPaper Towel wet, add a drop of dish soap, and scrub it around. Your hands using the fabric to sort of scrub itself usually does the trick - but you can also use an old toothbrush.

Now for the demonstration!

I over-watered my plant, and honestly would normally reach for a dish towel for this much water - but I had these two fairly new NonPaper Towels and decided to put them to the test!



@crueltyfreestitchery I didn't want to waste water on purpose so I waited until I did it on accident 😂 #EcoFriendlyBusiness #CrueltyFreeStitchery #NonPaperTowels ♬ original sound - Abby🤓CrueltyFreeStitchery💜🧵



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