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What To Use Instead Of Paper Towels? 11 Eco Friendly Alternatives

If you’re wondering what to use instead of paper towels, here is a list of sustainable alternatives that you can consider stocking in your kitchen for the next time you’re on cleanup duty.

My personal favorite Eco-friendly paper towels are these Tree-Free 2-Ply paper towels by Grove. They’re strong, absorbent and Made with 100% sustainable bamboo fibers.

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Most popular alternatives to paper towels


Made with 100% sustainable bamboo fibers


 Made from sustainable 100% compostable cotton and cellulose fibers


Superabsorbent, durable and machine washable


Organic, bleach free and washable reusable towels


Large sized, strong and reusable bamboo towels

On The Same Subject:

11 Tree-friendly solutions to use instead of paper towels

The inevitable increase in production levels of paper towels results in higher net emissions as factories work overtime to churn out these products to fit the demand. When you’re considering a sustainable lifestyle, it’s hard to justify the use of paper towels, no matter how much convenience they bring to your life.

1. Tree-Free 2-Ply Paper Towels – 100% Bamboo

Made with 100% sustainable bamboo fibers

  • Tree-free paper made from 100% bamboo fibers
  • Plastic-free with zero waste

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These paper towels by Grove alternatives are 100% tree-free and are made from sustainable bamboo fibers. Bamboo is known to grow back after only 3 months, faster than trees that normally take 20 years, and independent lab tests have revealed that they hold up better than recycled paper towels in terms of strength and durability.

It also comes in an eco-option sheet size so you can choose whether you want to use a full or a half sheet to be more sustainable in your day-to-day cleaning. It comes in a packaging that is made of recycled and recyclable paper for a full eco-friendly paper towels experience.

Customer Reviews

Customers are saying that this bamboo paper towels substitutes is a little harsh and not as absorbent as other brands, but some are saying they like it very much – reviews are mixed on this one

2. Now Designs Swedish Dishcloth

Made from sustainable 100% compostable cotton and cellulose fibers

  • Fully compostable material used
  • Machine washable and quick drying

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One of the biggest questions when you start living a sustainable life is what to use instead of paper towels. These machine-washable, lightweight and quick drying eco-friendly paper towels by Now designs replace regular paper towels which can be wasteful and harmful to the environment when they end up in overpopulated landfills.

Being environment-friendly paper towels, they are made in Sweden from 70% FSC certified wood cellulose and 30% cotton and feature a really cool design that will allow you to keep your kitchen eco-friendly and clean, in style.

For more of these amazing kitchen towels check our list of eco friendly Swedish dishcloths.

Customer Reviews

Some customers had issues with the size of this product, but overall the reviews are looking pretty good for the Now Designs Swedish Dishcloth.

3. AIDEA Handi Wipes, Multi-Purpose Towel

Superabsorbent, durable and machine washable

  • Superabsorbent and highly durable
  • Money-saving solution to paper towels
  • Risk-free refund guarantee

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If you feel like you are using up too many paper towels in your daily life and are wondering what to use instead of paper towels, this could be the answer to your question. This value for money paper towels substitutes by AIDA comes in a pack of 80 – and is equivalent to 30 rolls of paper towels. You can wash and reuse them for up to 25 times, meaning that these reusable paper towels are super eco-friendly.

Made out of 70% Viscose and 30% polyester, this is a great paper towels alternatives that saves you money and saves the planet in the long run. It also comes with a 100% exchange guarantee, meaning you can return this product if you’re unhappy with it

Customer Reviews

With an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon, this product has proved its effectiveness, with many customers talking about the attractive price point and the thick and sturdy qualities of this towel.

4. Reusable Unpaper Towels Washable

Organic, bleach free and washable reusable towels

  • Super absorbent and gets better the more it is used and washed
  • Bleach free and washable
  • High quality organic unbleached cotton

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These cotton towels by Mioeco are bleach-free, washable and reusable. As eco friendly paper towel substitutes, you can expect it to last for a few years instead of the one-time use associated with regular paper towels. And because they are machine washable and quick drying, you’ll be saving time and money, with this cloth replacing many household cleaning products and other kitchen disposables. The absorbent quality of the organic cotton used in these towels will in fact, get better the more it is used and washed, meaning that you’ll have a hard working, eco-friendly towel for years to come

Customer Reviews

Customers have left mostly positive comments about this product, mentioning the super absorbent and durable qualities even after numerous wash and dry cycles.

5. Ecosophy Bamboo Paper Towels

Large sized, strong and reusable bamboo towels

  • Highly durable and absorbent bamboo fibers won’t fall apart easily
  • Easy to use, simply tear off the roll
  • Machine washable

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The Ecosophy Bamboo Paper Towels are sustainable paper towels that are made out of 100% bamboo. It is a known fact that bamboo grows up to 1 meter a day and it takes 3 to 4 months to fully harvest its fibers, compared to trees that take up to 30 years to grow fully. It is washable and reusable up to 200 times, making it a superb paper towels alternatives.

In addition, each roll purchased comes with 20 environment-friendly paper towels made out of bamboo, and are packaged in kraft paper which is sustainable. A single roll of the Ecosophy bamboo paper towel can replace approximately 100 rolls of conventional kitchen rolls, saving you money while protecting the environment at the same time.

Customer Reviews

321 customers have given this product a 4.6 star review out of 5. Customers mention the fact that they are soft and durable, and saves them money in the long run for just a little extra effort in their daily lives.

6. Super Scandi Swedish Dishcloths

Biodegradable, attractively designed wood pulp towel

  • 100% biodegradable, 30% cotton, 70% cellulose wood pulp
  • Money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied for any reason

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The Super Scandi Swedish Dishcloths are made out of 100% compostable wood pulp from Germany, making it one of the best eco-friendly paper towels around. These sustainable paper towels come in a pack of 10, and have the functionality of a cellulose sponge with the durability of up to 15 conventional paper towels for effective cleaning. These reusable paper towels can be washed up to 200 times, and are fast-drying, meaning you won’t have any smelly odors from this towel. It can absorb up to 20 times more liquid than its weight for maximum cleaning power with just a single wipe

Customer Reviews

Customers have mentioned that they love these fantastic paper towels alternatives for their cleaning quality and quick-drying capabilities that leave no smell after washing.

7. Buff Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

All-purpose machine washable microfiber cleaning towel

  • Foldable up to 4 times, giving 8 cleaning surfaces per towel
  • Highly durable stitching and absorbent
  • No more spending money on cheap paper towels for one-time use

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The Buff Microfiber Cleaning Cloth is an effective multi-surface towel that can be used for dusting, scrubbing, cleaning, drying and polishing, and cleans surfaces effectively without the need for added chemicals. They are thicker, softer and more absorbent than other ordinary cleaning cloths, and because they are effective for over 500 wash cycles, this makes it a perfect choice if you’re still wondering what to use instead of paper towels in your day-to-day life

Customer Reviews

Over 2000 ratings of 4.7 / 5 stars on Amazon prove that this particular cleaning cloth is of a good quality. Customers enjoy the fact that they don’t have to use any chemicals in conjunction with this cloth for effective surface cleaning.

8. Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels

Made out of 100% recycled paper. Dye, ink, and fragrance-free.

  • Tough on spills and reduces household impact on the environment
  • Made with 100% recycled material and is fully compostable

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The Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels are hard-working, tough and absorb spills effectively and quickly, even when they are wet. It is unbleached, and features no added dyes, inks or any fragrances. They are also made out of 100% recycled paper – with a minimum of 80% post-consumer recycled content. After use, these eco-friendly paper towels can also be composted, meaning that you’ll have absolutely zero waste from this product.

Customer Reviews

Customers like the fact that these paper towels are unbleached and recycled. However, there have been a few comments with regards to quality control – some defective batches have been said to contain no perforations, causing inconvenience to users.

9. Bamboo Towels

Heavy duty, strong and absorbent bamboo sheets

  • Machine washable up to 120 times to save you money
  • One bamboo sheet roll replaces 60 paper towel rolls, saving space in your kitchen

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Kitchen + Home towels are made from a sustainable organic bamboo source, these sheets are strong, durable and more absorbent than regular paper towels. On top of that, each sheet is also reusable and washable for up to 120 times before needing to be discarded. It is soft and flexible enough to be used on skin, but tough enough to be used on heavy duty jobs like countertops and spills on the floor.

Because bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, these reusable paper towels are legitimately one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable choices you can make over conventional, one-time use paper towels.

Customer Reviews

Customers enjoy the versatility and effective cleaning qualities of this bamboo based towel, and use it for all kinds of applications in the home.

10. Swedish Cloths Cellulose Sponge Cloths

Made out of sustainable cellulose and natural renewable cotton

  • European made
  • Reusable up to 50 times
  • Super absorbent quality

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Combining the benefits of a hand tea-towel with the absorbent qualities of a cellulose sponge, the Swedish Dishcloths are a great choice when it comes to paper towels substitutes. They absorb 20x their weight and are machine washable up to 50 times. The swedish dishcloths are also naturally odor resistant. Plus, each 10 pack of Swedish Dishcloths replaces up to 150 rolls of conventional paper towels.

Customer Reviews

Customers have responded positively to this product, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon. The top comment on this product talks about how absorbent, yet easy to rinse the Swedish Dishcloths are and the odorless qualities that keep the kitchen smelling clean.

11. Nano Towels

Super absorbent microfibers that dry just as quickly as it cleans

  • Revolutionary technology only requires water to clean
  • Cleans on virtually any surface effectively
  • No chemical droplets means better air quality wherever you clean

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Nano towels is a proprietary brand name product from Nanolon Fiber – a breakthrough in cleaning cloth technology. It cleans and lifts dust, liquid, dirt and any kind of grime just like a magnet. It is effective on virtually all surfaces and you don’t need to use any chemicals with it to clean – all you need is water.

When it is dirty, just wash it and it is ready for use again, saving you a significant amount of money over time as compared to spending hundreds of dollars of regular paper towels each year. These paper towels then end up in overflowing landfills which are harmful to the environment.

Customer Reviews

At 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon, these microfiber towels have turned many skeptics into believers immediately, impressed with its high-powered cleaning quality and versatility on any kind of surface.

Guide for choosing tree-friendly paper towels

How did I choose the products presented here?

paper towels

First I was looking at the negative effects that paper towels have on the environment.

Then I was looking for products that don’t have those disadvantages and have a minimum environmental impact themselves.

The negative impact paper towels have on the environment:

  • Paper towels are disposable.
    You use them one time only and you throw them away.
  • The paper is bleached to get that white color.
    Bleaching materials are non-environment friendly materials that cause harm to the environment
  • Like any other paper, they are made of trees.
    The world is currently facing a problem of deforestation and we should be using our wood supply smartly.
  • Regular towels are usually used with cleaning chemicals.
    Most cleaning chemicals are not earth friendly.

This is why I was looking for products to use instead of paper with the following features:

Products that you can at least use for a few months before throwing away

Made from materials that will end up degrading naturally.

Requires Minimum of unnatural cleaning materials
For example, with the nano towels, you can clean with no chemicals at all.

To sum things up, I hope you now know what to use instead of paper towels and that you find a solution you can stick with.

Final Thoughts

Sure, there’s no doubt that conventional paper towels are perfectly convenient – tearing off a piece from the roll, wiping down your spills, and throwing it away in the bin saves you time and effort, and has become a part of muscle memory for most of us.

But if more people start using washable and reusable towels instead of paper ones, this significantly reduces the demand on the factories to produce more paper towels, thus reducing the stress on the environment due to emissions, raw material collection and landfill clearing. All of the reusable towels on the list above are also biodegradable, meaning that at the end of its life cycle, you can recycle or compost it easily.

Sure, it’s just a little more effort to wash, rinse and dry after each use, but remember – if everybody does their part to be more eco-friendly, the results will be compounded multiple fold. And by switching to using reusable towels instead of conventional paper ones, you can start doing yours today.

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