For over a year, we lived in our RV and used paper towels for many things. Cleaning up cat messes, wiping countertops, napkins, drying spills, whatever. If it was wet and needed to be gone, we used a paper towel for it.
Not to point out the obvious, but that got really expensive. We probably spent close to twenty dollars a month on paper towels. In addition, we had to have space to store them all. In an RV, especially one with as limited space as ours, that space comes at a premium.
About two months ago, I decided to look into a better way to do things. Since we were used disposable products for napkins and we have our own washing machine, getting something that we could reuse seemed to be the best solution. We could throw them in a clothes hamper, wash them all together, and have enough to always have some clean ones on hand.
My first foray was with the type of shop rags that are commonly found in factories or mechanic shops. While they work well for heavy duty spills and grease, when using them for things like drying dishes or wiping hands, they are not ideal.
The next step (and our current solution) is Bar Mop Towels. There are a variety to choose from, but typically are either all white or have a colored stripe, usually orange, yellow, green, or blue. I’m not sure how different the manufacturers are, but they seem to be relatively universal in quality. We can use a bar mop towel for a napkin, throw it in the clothes hamper, and wash them all with our regular towels. Since we use our portable washing machine, we typically do a small load of laundry each day or every other day and always have a supply of towels ready.
The great thing about bar mop towels is that even when air dried on a clothesline, they stay soft and fluffy. We can use them to dry towels or wipe up messes and wash them and they come out like brand new.
We do still keep a few rolls of paper towels on hand though, as that is especially nice for cleaning up pet messes. It is possible we could transition that to the bar mop towels as well, but for now, if it is something we do not want to touch at all, a paper towel still works and can be thrown away.