reusables with no sewing ability! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-17-2010, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
jeminijad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 896
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have already made the switch to mama cloth & cloth diapers. Now, I am contemplating how to replace our tissues & paper towels with reusable items.

I have the requisite old flannel sheet, old tshirts, etc. What I am wondering is how much mileage can I get out of towels/rags cut with pinking shears and then not hemmed? How quickly will the fabric fray?

Alternately, are any tiny handheld sewing machines worthwhile?

Mother to R- 2/09, & C- 5/11

jeminijad is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-17-2010, 07:34 PM
 
luv-my-boys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: stuck between baskets of laundry
Posts: 1,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we initially did this as well but honestly they didnt last very long between fraying and not really soaking up a lot (we have little ones with lots of spills) I ended up buying a few dozen washcloths from a box store. Actual wah cloths not those "baby" cloths. They are sold in big dozen packs for like $5.99. The last time I bought some were about 3 yrs ago and they are still going strong. We use them for everything...dinner napkins, cleaning, messes and what not. Prior to that we were going thru so much paper towels ( i have to admit im somewhat of a paper towel freak) so it has definatley cut that down, we still purchase paper towels but 1 roll literally lasts months.
luv-my-boys is offline  
Old 05-17-2010, 07:42 PM
 
damona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: middle of nowhere, wisconsin
Posts: 490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i also collected old hand towels and bought a couple packages of plain white washcloths. we use them for just about everything. i keep a roll of paper towels just for cat messes or something super gross like that. it lasts months. i use the cloths for everything from wiping hands to drying dishes to wiping down walls and floors.

i also use the old cloth diapers (the old fashioned ones that are just a big square of white cotton) for my mama-cloth. they work great, no leaking or anything

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
30yo SAHM of 4 DS's: 10/98, 6/01, 2/03 and 11/04, wife to DH, 33
damona is offline  
Old 05-17-2010, 08:27 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fleece and jersey knits are comfy soft and don't fray enough to care with regular cutting/tearing. I have rags in my collection that I brought from my parents' house when I left for college almost 12 years ago--and they weren't new then. Yes, the edges aren't perfectly even, instead of being - they are ~

Terry cloth, especially cheaper, more loosely woven terry cloth, frays horribly. You'd be better off buying new washcloths. That said, old cotton athletic socks work for most things washcloths work for. I consider them my "disposable cloth". If I don't want it in the laundry, I grab one of those and throw it away after use.

Oh, and if you did have a pretty fabric you loved and wanted wipe sized, any friend with a sewing machine and 5 minutes could whip round the edges in a zig zag.
sapphire_chan is offline  
Old 05-17-2010, 10:00 PM
 
Dakota's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use hemp jersey, but any jersey would work. I cut it in to 6 inch squares for family cloth and about 12 inch squares for napkins, cleaning towels, hankies, whatever. They all get washed together. Occasionally one will fray but not often. I didn't use pinking shears either. They work great.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
Dakota's Mom is offline  
Old 06-19-2010, 09:59 PM
 
Surfacing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: stuck between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 6,633
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Sorry to jump in here, not meaning to hijack the thread. Just wondering if any of you have encountered the problem of washcloths getting stinky after getting wet... sometimes the kids and dh don't ring out the cloths and then they just sit in the tub or whatever until I notice them. Then they smell stinky, even after laundering. Got any suggestions for us?

Thanks. And again, sorry to jump in.

wash.gif  Me  + bikenew.gif Dh =  broc1.gif  Dd1(9 yrs) + hearts.gif  Dd2(6 yrs) and blowkiss.gif Ds(3.5 yrs)
Surfacing is offline  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:23 PM
 
Dakota's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A lot of times the stinkyness is because of a build up of laundry soap. You can wash your towels without any detergent in really hot water for a couple of washes. Rinse until no more soap is coming out of the fabric. Most people use way more soap than they need to use. We make our own laundry mix and then only use a tablespoon per load.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
Dakota's Mom is offline  
Old 06-24-2010, 11:26 PM
 
Barefoot~Baker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 712
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What about using hem tape to iron the edges together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
Sorry to jump in here, not meaning to hijack the thread. Just wondering if any of you have encountered the problem of washcloths getting stinky after getting wet... sometimes the kids and dh don't ring out the cloths and then they just sit in the tub or whatever until I notice them. Then they smell stinky, even after laundering. Got any suggestions for us?

Thanks. And again, sorry to jump in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota's Mom View Post
A lot of times the stinkyness is because of a build up of laundry soap. You can wash your towels without any detergent in really hot water for a couple of washes. Rinse until no more soap is coming out of the fabric. Most people use way more soap than they need to use. We make our own laundry mix and then only use a tablespoon per load.

Kathi
Do you want to get another thread going about this? We might get some more good advice I'm just starting to use cloths and I've been wondering about the best way to launder them.

Single Mom with a BF  stillheart.gif  Mommy to 2 girlsphotosmile2.gif blahblah.gif & 2 boys jog.gifsuperhero.gif nocirc.gif

 wash.gif banghead.gif Using the Law of Attraction candle.gif om.gif Loving my Family  cat.gif 

Barefoot~Baker is offline  
Old 06-24-2010, 11:44 PM
 
Surfacing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: stuck between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 6,633
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Please feel free to initiate....

wash.gif  Me  + bikenew.gif Dh =  broc1.gif  Dd1(9 yrs) + hearts.gif  Dd2(6 yrs) and blowkiss.gif Ds(3.5 yrs)
Surfacing is offline  
Old 06-29-2010, 02:41 PM
Banned
 
Kathleen F.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM USA
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been using cloth napkins forever. What's nice is picking up mismatched linen napkins from garage or estate sales. Visitors are also impressed with the touch of elegance paired with something as mundane as a cheese sandwich at lunch. We use one per person per day unless the food has been really messy. A couple dozen is plenty for most families. I wash mine in cold water with light detergent and vinegar and air dry. Every once in a great while, I'll wash them in ammonia (boo hiss) to cut any grease build up but our diet is extremely low fat as it is (no frying, no meat etc).

Old fraying towels are good for most wipe jobs instead of paper towels. I do use paper towels but only rarely and then I recycle them. I have a little container I keep them in under the sink. They go through one light duty cycle and I toss them in the container to reuse for nastier stuff like cat puke later. Makes me feel almost guilt free.

If you want to finish off the edges of old cloths for re purposing, a serger is a great choice. It cut and trims the edge in one pass. Obviously you probably don't have one if this hasn't occurred to you but maybe a neighbor does? It is very easy and fast to learn how to operate these machines but be careful, you may find it addicting and have to get your own equipment and start making more ambitious projects...
Kathleen F. is offline  
Old 06-29-2010, 04:50 PM
 
krhylton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use vinegar in the rinse cycle for towels & cloths. That seems to get rid of any stinkiness!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
Sorry to jump in here, not meaning to hijack the thread. Just wondering if any of you have encountered the problem of washcloths getting stinky after getting wet... sometimes the kids and dh don't ring out the cloths and then they just sit in the tub or whatever until I notice them. Then they smell stinky, even after laundering. Got any suggestions for us?

Thanks. And again, sorry to jump in.

Crunchy mama in all the waystreehugger.gif - DS E born 12/28/2010 bftoddler.gif- expecting #2 late January 2015 -hbac.gif 
krhylton is offline  
Old 06-29-2010, 10:02 PM
 
corysmilk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: with my right foot out
Posts: 846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I use cloth after using the bathroom. I just cut up old t shirts. It is working fine for me. I hardly ever use paper towels. I am too cheap I guess. toilet paper last a long time around here. and if we run out I just get the kids to use the cloths too! I wash them with the regular towels on warm. I would like to use mama cloth after baby is born. we'll have too see how that goes.

mama to Alex 20 Briana 16 Cory 10 and Jade 3Tubes tied and regret it
corysmilk is offline  
Old 12-01-2010, 05:23 AM
 
e13lorena's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The small sewing machines and totally NOT worth it - you can find a good reburbished sewing machine on ebay for about the same price.

 

For rags and towels instead of paper towels - I get packs of bar mop towels from Wal-Mart in the kitchen section for like $4 - 6pk of larger ones, 9pk of smaller ones (I think) - they work great.

 

Tissues - I haven't ventured there yet - hemp jersey would work good, I think I might try flannel - but I would serge the edges. Don't know how long pinking them would work to prevent frays.

 

Good luck,

 

Erin


lady.gifNatural, Dancing, Sewing WAHMommie to 3 beautiful girls reading.gif  Peace.gif wave.gif and an awesome step-son nut.gif
e13lorena is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off