Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cloth Toilet Paper AKA Family Cloths: Thoughts and a Tutorial

So in the quest to get rid of EVERYTHING disposable in my house I recently came across this Walk Slowly Live Wildly blog post about cloth toilet paper. I right away thought it was super cool and wanted to try it right away, I'm weird like that. But I had to convince Dj that this was a good idea before I actually tried it. Surprisingly he said he also thought it was a good idea and was willing to give it a try (I was shocked). 

I looked online to see what these things were selling for and I was a little shocked. Not to hate on anyone's hustle but these people CANNOT be serious. $11 for a dozen? I think not, especially not when I have SO MUCH fabric already at home. 

I have a quite the fabric stash, mostly because I love to buy stuff on sale. So I used this reduce, reuse, recycle flannel that I got from JoAnn's on super sale for $1.50/yd. I've had it for a while, I was initially supposed to make cloth pads out of it but hadn't gotten to that part of the stack yet.........o well. 


After washing and drying the fabric it obviously needs to be ironed. Could you skip this step? Yes. Would I suggest it? No. Do you honestly need to wash the fabric first? YES!

After ironing out the wrinkles fold the fabric together like a hot dog bun (selvages together in the center, rough edges on the ends). Iron on the fold. Again, could you skip this step? Yes. Would I recommend it? No. 
Next measure your fabric (it shrunk in the wash) and decide big you want each wipe to be. I don't like to waste fabric so I divided my fabric evenly into 6 in wide strips. It really helps if you have a rotary cutter for this. (If you don't have one but want one, look on eBay. I bought a Gingher rotary cutter and spring loaded shears for $15.)
I then turned each strip and cut them in half, which  ended up being 10.5 inches. If you're making 2 ply wipes you don't need to cut the areas that are on the fold but if you are making 1 ply cut the strips on the fold in half. I'm making 2 ply.
The yard of fabric yielded me a dozen wipes.
Next sew the two pieces of fabric together. I have a serger so that's what I used but if you don't have one you can use a regular sewing machine. Below is a great video on how to do this:
Now that you've sewn the wipes together you have two choices you can either wet them and put them in some sort of container to use for wet wipes OR leave them dry and just set them out. I did both so I have wet wipes and dry wipes. 

For the wet wipes, I filled my bathroom sink with water, added some essential oils, put the wipes in and then put them in the a diaper wipe warmer (that I got off craig's list for $5).
For the dry wipes, I found a cute yet simple box, folded the wipes (a little haphazardly) and threw them in.
I found this plastic office supply box to put the used ones in until wash day. And that's it.

I literally just did all this today so I haven't actually tested everything out yet but I'm excited. I'll be sure to update on the progress. 

Here is some additional info about cloth toilet paper from other bloggers:
Cloth Wipes Q&A Part I and Part II

I am going to email Deanna @ Crunchy Chicken to see if she's doing the Cloth Wipe Challenge this year as well. 

Until next time...........


  1. Hey there,

    I hadn't planned on doing the challenge this year, but I'll think about it :)

  2. Hi. Thanks for your post. It's from 2010; how has the family been doing with this approach? I'm quite tempted.