Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Going Reusable

Last night, my boyfriend and I demolished almost an entire roll of paper towels. I'll admit we don't clean as often as we should, but part of the problem is our water. I think it must have rust or something in it because we get orange buildup in our shower, sink, and toilet. And anywhere that the water pools (like the base of the shower doors and behind the sink faucet) the orange buildup turns into orange slime. It is not pretty. In fact it's pretty damn gross. I hate looking at it, but I hate the thought of cleaning it even more. So I procrastinate.

Well yesterday I finally bought some Comet disinfecting spray cleaner, versus our "Kitchen and Bath" spray from the dollar store (I'm not entirely convinced it's any more effective than water), and I went to town on the shower. I think I used nearly half the bottle on this one cleaning.

Between cleaning the shower and wiping up the excess water on our freshly mopped wood floors, using up an exorbitant number of paper towels, we realized we have a problem... We have no rags.

But this is a solvable problem. All that is required is a bit of cheap cotton yarn and a few hours time. Then I figured, hey, if we're gonna be eco-friendly and make reusable cleaning cloths, why not go all the way and make them from organically grown cotton? So that is exactly what we're doing. I ordered two 100g balls of this undyed organic cotton yarn from knitpicks for just $10.

I'm already planning what sizes to make and how to differentiate between things that can be used on dishes, and things that can be used on floors and toilets. I think I'll make a few fairly small round crocheted cloths to be used as dishcloths. Then I'll make a few small square knitted cloths in a nice textured stitch like moss for general cleaning and scrubbing, and then one or two larger rectangular (also knitted) cloths for such things as wiping up mop water, cleaning spills, etc. It would be nice if I could differentiate with different colors too, but they only had the darkest shade available, and I was too impatient to wait for the other ones to become available :)

And so I am trying to make my life a little greener, a little bit at a time.


  1. That is a great idea. I have been doing the same! I also reclaim yarn from sweaters. I have tried a few different sets from different people on etsy as well to give me more ideas. Good luck with going green!

    ps... if you decide you want to go green with your lunch.. you know where you can get reusable sandwich bags *grins*

  2. Thanks for the comment, everimprovingme! What's the link for the sandwich bags? Knowing me, I'll decide I want some and then not remember where to find them. :)

  3. hi good for you!... I have a green product too...
    see my blog for biodegradable bags of many kinds
    Lisa 80)

  4. love that idea!! Isn't it crazy how much pesticide is on regular cotton =)

  5. It sounds like you have hard water. There is a product called CLR that is made to remove calcium, lime and rust. You would probably find it at one of your hardware stores or even Duane Reade. Now I know that you are trying to be green but it does work. You might want to invest in a showerhead filter. That might help your rust stains and then you would not need the CLR as much. Just thinking outloud. Love your blog, your crochet work and your quilt!

  6. I think you're right about the hard water Marie. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to look into them.

  7. Living with hard water most of my life, I have found that Ivory Dish Soap and a good scrub brush is the best for fighting hard water/soap scum bathroom cleaning. Take your shower and before you get out pour some dish soap on your scrub brush. Brush and rinse away. No harsh chemical smells either. When cleaning the whole bathroom, make sure that you rinse the rags completely before washing, or the soap with take over your washer. Hope this works for you!

  8. I also have hard water and have found that if you use a shower spray afterward,it helps keep the shower/tub clean. I make my own. Take an empty spray bottle,put in 2in. white vinegar,2 capfuls bleach,fill up with water.You can add a dash of dish soap at this point. Shake well and spray down the tub/shower,shower curtain,etc after use. I've had no more rust stains from the hard water since I started doing this. I even keep a bottle by each bathroom sink and spray at least a couple of times a day.Spray the faucets and shower head too.

  9. How about putting a different colored edging on the cloths designated for different tasks? I don't knit, but crochet, so not sure how the knitting would work, but I guess you could crochet an edging on the knit cloth?

    Lynda in AK

  10. I just wanted to let you know I have come upon your blog and I really like what you have to say. I'm working on your perfect loofa and have bought some of caron natually spa to try as you are completely right that the cotton gets way to wet and stays wet. I've been thinking of making some dishcloths too, as Ive been making scrubbies with tulle and netting that I love cleaning with! Its a very easy pattern and they work great for soapscum too. I use the 6inch tulle with a 9mm crochet hook and chain 3, dc 8 times in the ring and then chain 3 and 2dc in each st till the end, makes a great gift and is green!


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