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Family Cloth...what nobody ever told you

post #1 of 440
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to tell everyone my family's experience with using cloth in place of toilet paper. The first time I read about it here on MDC, I didn't give it much thought. I kinda felt like it was extreme, & we were doing our part & not using paper products in the rest of the house.

Recently I was thinking about it so I went back & read all of the archived threads about using family cloth. I though about it for a few days, & just couldn't get my mind off of the idea. The concensis from the posts was everyone who tried it loved it & never looked back.

So I decided to first try using wash cloths. We had all of the ones form when we CD'd DD. So I figured before investing $ or time or energy in anything I would first try the wash cloths. Me & both my girls started using the cloths to wipe. I liked the concept very much, however the washcloths were to big, combersome, & not soft enough. They would be great for wetting & wiping after a BM. But since we were only using it for pee I decided it was time to cut up some tee-shirts. I started digging in the bag of outgrown, stained, ripped clothes. I came up with a few shirts that I cut up. The girls & I both like the tee-shirt material so much better than the cloths. You don't have to finish the cut edges either! What a great way to recycle old tee's! It has been almost a month now. I LOVE it. I have a hanging bag (was a diaper wet bag) in the bathroom upstairs for used wipes. We keep the wipes in a box on the back of the toilet. Downstairs we keep them in a drawer right next to the toilet. We put the used ones in a bean pot (since this is the bathroom that guests use we didn't want to have a hanging bag in that bathroom). I wash them in with the bath towels on hot. When I told my DH he made a face. I told him he would not have to do a thing other than wipe DD # 2 with cloth instead of paper. He thinks it is weird, but whatever.

I can't beleive how much I'm loving cloth in place of toilet paper. My favorite thing about cloth is it doesn't leave little paper lint-y balls in all my most intimate areas. I hated that about tp. I never bought the expensive TP because I found it was the worst for that. But even the cheap stuff would often leave something behind. So I feel so mush cleaner now! That's the one thing that no one remarked about, that would have been the thing to change me sooner.

My biggest concern was what others would think. But since we still have tp in the house, & everthing is out of sight you wouldn't know unless I told you. I encourage you to try family cloth! I think it would be cool if there was some kind of sticky, it took me some time to find all of the old posts. But I'm so glad I did, I love CLOTH!!!
post #2 of 440
Feel the same way. And another benefit, I am sorry, but I can't imagine wiping my little girls bottoms after they poop with tp. OH my goodness. I am about to carry little clothes with me when we go out just in case. But I am also glad that we started when we did. My four yr old uses them without thinking. It is kinda funny when we have people over and you hear, mom we are out of wipes! coming from the bathroom. Sometimes she uses a few more than one even after just a pee. But I know that kids do that with tp also, I would much rather wash a few more wipes than have to buy much more tp, ya know?
post #3 of 440
I made the switch a long time ago and then somehow fell out of it. I re-made the switch about a week ago due to money issues. Already I feel so much better. I feel so much cleaner than before. I do the same thing as having a box on the back of the toilet. I put a wipe solution in them so they are moist - same solution as when I used the wipes for dd's diapers bottom. I have a small bucket hidden beside the toilet that we toss them into. Best thing right now? Dd can do it all by herself, at least the pees. Before I had to get tp for her since she struggled to tear it off herself.
post #4 of 440
Originally Posted by babybugmama
I I put a wipe solution in them so they are moist - same solution as when I used the wipes for dd's diapers bottom.

is that a wipe solution you make yourself? would you mind sharing? : :
post #5 of 440
When I originally got it this is what it called for (I can't remember where I got it though): Filtered water, Dr. Bronners liquid soap, Dash of olive oil, dash of tea tree oil. This is what I actually use now: Dr. Bronners Lavendar soap (just a splash or two), dash of almond oil, tea tree oil and then whatever other EO I have on hand that makes it smell pretty - lavendar usually. I also keep a stash of dry beside the wet ones - something to blow my nose with or sometimes dd prefers a dry wipe.
post #6 of 440
Thanks for this thread! I've been thinking about switching to cloth tp for a long time now (over a year). I have a small stainless garbage can with an insert that can be removed and I just bought another one yesterday to use in another bathroom. I have a whole pile of washcloths that I bought for $5.00 a pile, but now I'm wishing I would have just thought of the t-shirts! Great idea! I'll have to go on Freecycle and get a bunch of old t-shirts!

I've been wondering if you all wet the wipes before using them. I assumed so, since dry ones wouldn't be much better than tp for #2. What size do you make your wipes and if you store them with wipe solution, if you only use a dash of this, a dash of that etc., how does the solution get to the top wipe? Sorry if these are dumb questions.

I have all boys, so they would only use them for #2. They aren't keen on the idea, but I'm sure they'll get used to it. LOL! They weren't thrilled when I told them I was wanting to build a composting toilet either. From the 13 yr. old, "Oh my gosh! You're the most embarrasing mom ever!" ROFL!

The only thing that is grossing me out is the fact that we have a front loading washer and I'd have to pick the cloths out with my hands to put in the washer. EW! Does anyone else have to do this and how to you handle it? I do it with the diapers and it's gross, but not so bad because it's baby poop. Dh poop would gross me out!

post #7 of 440
How I get them all damp is that I put them in and then flip them over (whole stack) so that both sides are immersed. Does that make sense.

My bucket is small enough that I could still put it in a front loader and turn over to dump out. Unfortunately (fortunately ? ) dh doesn't use the wipes so it's just me and dd.
post #8 of 440
I just wanted to repost that I like to use a bit of natural oil after a bm for myself and DD - we call it her "butt medicine". I found that most cloth and tp was irritating when we had "sticky" bm's and had a lot of wiping to do, so this was a good solution. It is sooo comfortable! We use dry cloths for pee.
post #9 of 440
When I first read about this awhile ago I thought it was an odd type interesting thing. Since then, I've implemented it 95 percent and am glad. I only use them for times when I go pee. I still like the flushable idea of paper when I do not just pee. I have some cloths and a squirt bottle of filtered water..then I just put them directly into the washing machine when I'm done.

So even if you read this thread and want to give this a try and don't feel like using it when you don't just pee, you can still implement this and feel fresh and good that you aren't wasting. It's always bothered me on how much toilet paper I go through...even before I came here to this board.
post #10 of 440
I love using cloth TP

I still haven't figured out a good system for the bathrooms but it is on my list of to dos
post #11 of 440
Ya know, I probably wouldn't have thought of using cloth for toilet paper! I'm sitting here laughing, imagining my Dh's response if I implemented something like this without warning. : He's still adjusting to the cloth diapers. I don't think we are ready for this, but I think it's great!
post #12 of 440
shannajoy- my dh would have the same response. He still thinks my move to mama cloth a bit odd. Can't imagine cloth tp w/ him. I think after dd is potty trained cloth tp will be easy since I use cloth wipes after she uses the potty now. I part time ec.
post #13 of 440
We have a front loader too and I just hold the pot as far inside the drum as I can and shake it until all the cloth comes out.

My dh is not keen and doesn't use the cloth wipes but we are now ussing so much less paper that its still worth it.
post #14 of 440
Someone else suggested a great idea. They use a cloth laundry bag inside their tp bucket and when they wash them, they put the open end of the bag into their front loader and push it from the bottom until all of the tp comes out. Then, they toss the cloth laundry bag in with it and start it up! I thought that was a GREAT idea and am going to start this journey as soon as I get a cloth bag...probably today!

post #15 of 440
That's a great idea with the cloth bag! We have cloth bags for most of our laundry (whites, mediums, and darks) and we just toss them in with the whites every couple loads. Very handy.

DH raised his eyebrows at my recent purchase of mama cloth too. I should have enough for this next cycle to make it through. I got a Diva Cup too, so all my bases should be covered. He thinks this is just a phase I'm going through (and probably hoping it will end soon). Well, all things in due time. When I was younger I would have thought mama cloth or a Diva Cup were gross and nothing I would want. Now I have a different perspective.

Love my DH!!!
post #16 of 440
Thread Starter 
Yeah after reading lots of old threads about cloth TP, it sounds like very few DH's use the family cloth. But hey how often do they use TP anyway? Aprox 1 X a day? So think of it as a huge reduction of your familys paper usage. Like I said even the girls & myself still use paper for #2. But we are way down from what we were using! Every little bit helps. I think this is more than a phase for most of us. My Dh has even been remembering to use the cloth when he wipes DD#2! I'm pretty impressed, I thought he'd use TP when he helped her.
post #17 of 440
Glad to see this thread. I'd thought about cloth TP in the past and let it slip my mind. I even mentioned it to DH a few months back and he was open to the idea, as long as we have a system that doesn't get too stinky. Now, I just need to find a wetbag and some old t-shirts.

I love using cloth wipes for ds--so much better than disposable wipes!
post #18 of 440
I thought that I wouldn't do it either but now I use cloth TP for pee all the time. I don't use it for poop (yet...) and DH doesn't use them but they are handy for all sorts of things - sometimes I grab one to blow my nose, or to use after a shower when I have AF or even after DH and I have been..intimate...he'll say - hey, can I have one of those wipes!

He may come around to using them too, because there was once when he thought I was really wierd for not using shampoo (we call it no-pooing on MDC) and now he's been a faithful fan for months!
post #19 of 440
Okay, here's a question I have... even though you use hot water in your washing machine, don't you think that you are leaving tons of virulent bacteria behind and mixing it in with your other wash so that all of your towels, dishtowels, clothing have extra bits of bacteria in them now?

I did CD my children but with a diaper service, I figured their huge commercial extremely hot machines would do a much more hygienic job of cleaning the diapers than my own machine.

In theory, I think it's great but as of now, I just don't think I could ever do it... :
post #20 of 440
In theory, I think it's great but as of now, I just don't think I could ever do it
For my household, I only use it for when I urinate. I STILL cut down 95 percent plus I feel fresher with my water squirt bottle. I use regular TP for my bowel movements. What was stopping me from changing over was the fact I did not want to use cloth for that time..but then I thought, why can't I use it just during the urination times which is 95 percent of the time for me?

If there is a will there is a way!
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