Frugality,  Simplicity

Family Cloths

We got about four inches of snow here last night. When I went to open the door this morning for the dog I discovered a snow drift blocking the door!

I grabbed the broom and swept the area clean in a few minutes, however.

After reading posts for several months I have decided to try Family cloths, where you use cloth instead of bathroom tissue. I was not sure if I would like it so I just placed a small covered bucket of sanitizer (actually bleach water) beside the commode and used washcloths instead of toilet paper whenever I have urinated.

It actually isn’t that bad.

I haven’t attempted to use the cloth for #2 yet but I frequently think of dear Father and his “special cloth” he used and reused just for this purpose his whole life. He would wet the cloth in the sink before use then wash it out by hand and leave it to dry for the next time. I’m thinking that if I create a gentle liquid to dampen the cloths I could just toss them into the sanitizer bucket for the wash without harm.

To wash the cloths I plan to dump the sanitizer bucket in the washer, completely spin out the liquid then pre-wash them before adding my other towels to the mix. That would give them a good initial spin to get rid of the majority of yuck and a good wash to eliminate most if not all of the rest of it before combining it with the rest of my whites. Heavy bleach and a vinegar rinse should kill any and all germs that may be on them. I tried cloth diapers in the past – surely this won’t be much different?

The reason I started seriously considering family cloths was a blow to my frugal soul. While out of town not too long ago the thermostat died and the pipes froze and broke. Sixteen rolls of bathroom tissue were saturated and had to be tossed. Over a third of a box of bathroom tissue gone to the trash because of a little water!

If I used cloth I could have simply washed them and all would have been well.

I hated throwing away that much bathroom tissue. I hate throwing away that much of anything, period–especially without getting any benefit from the use!

I have read a lot of blogs where people are using cut-up tee shirts, flannel and all other types of fabric for the family cloth. I’m just going to use white washcloths instead of doing all of that. My reasons being that wash cloths can be used for so many different things and are easily added to my kitchen towel stash when they become too worn for the bathroom. This will save me time and effort because I will not be using a special towel I can store all of the clean cloths in a single pile. This will also help to camouflage the family cloth in the event of company.

I was scolded for making my own laundry soap by one friend, saying that if I was so poor and needed laundry detergent they would be happy to buy me some! I am routinely pressured to purchase things like televisions and cable subscriptions–even a couch–that we don’t want or need. At this point I really don’t want to listen to the poverty comments, and would just like to live my simple life in peace.

I will quietly use my family cloths and let my friends and neighbors continue to spend their money on stuff they use once and throw away.