Introduction: How to Make Your Own Pill Towels, With Soap!

Picture of How to Make Your Own Pill Towels, With Soap!

You might have seen these handy Pill Towels at ThinkGeek.
When i saw these, i though they might be useful, but the 10 dollar price tag turned me off.

Here's how to make your own from thing lying around the house.

You can even throw in something extra!

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

For this project, you will need:

A film canister
A paper towel
A piece of glass Tupperware
Your hands

Step 2: Cut Your Towels

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Your paper towel probably be large and bulky, so i recommend that you cut it into halves or fourths.

Step 3: Fold and Mold

Picture of Fold and Mold

Fold your towels into squares about the size of you film canister.
Using your index finger, push them to the bottom with your finger in the center.
Those little flaps you see will be pressed down later.


If you want to add soap now to get a more concentrated soapy towel, put a dollop of soap between the folds.

Step 4: Add Water and Soap

Next, fill the canister with water.
If you want, add a bit of soap too, but keep in mind it will take longer to dry.
If you add the soap now, it will be less concentrated than in the step before.
Wait until all the air bubbles come out of the paper at the bottom.

Step 5: Squeeze and Tap

Picture of Squeeze and Tap

Pour out the water, and use your thumb to squeeze the water out of the paper at the bottom of the canister. Make sure it is as compacted as possible.

Turn the canister upside down, and tap it against your counter. kepp this up until you dislodge your paper. Flip over the paper, side it back in, and repeat step 4. This ensure the surface is uniform and the paper is flat.

Step 6: Remove Water

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Place your paper "patty" between another towel and the glass Tupperware, and push down. You will see the water come out.

Step 7: Dry and You're Done

Picture of Dry and You're Done

Place your pill towel on a dry towel, and leave them overnight. They will be dry in the morning.
As you can see in the picture, i tried several different sizes.
All should fit into the film canister when you are done.
Drill a hole in the bottom of the canister, and small one. This is so when you have them all in the canister, you can poke them out with a pencil.

Enjoy your pill towels at a fraction of the cost!


PatchIsCooking (author)2009-03-29

I might be wrong, but aren't the ones on Thinkgeek made of cloth? I've gotten full sized towels like this before. Would love instructions on how to do this with a cloth towel. Would be great for emergency kits.

142400 (author)PatchIsCooking2009-05-12

if you had a gash or dirty scratch you could use peroxide instead of water to open the towel

strmrnnr (author)PatchIsCooking2009-03-31

You might try to sent up a - plastic bag - plunger in the canister (small hole in bottom to help drainage and push the dry cloth out) - vacuum arrangment to compress the cloth and extract the water. That would be the most compact you could get the cloth.

strmrnnr (author)strmrnnr2009-03-31

Sorry for the multiple replys on this. The ideas are rolling tonight. If you use the vacuum pump you will likely not have to use more then a few drops of water. Maybe a 50/50 with a liquid soap would do. Not sure how well the liquid soap would hold the cloth together. Another idea may be to mist the cloth with a spray bottle of a dry soap/water mixture before stuffing in a tube.

strmrnnr (author)strmrnnr2009-03-31

Here is a link to a neat, small, pump conversion I saw on here.

Lance Mt. (author)PatchIsCooking2009-03-29

they are cloth... liek the washing up ones

nave (author)PatchIsCooking2009-03-29

yeah, and to make the towel bigger you have to apply water, but if you apply wayyer to this, wont it just kinda fall apart and be useless?

jaxthecob (author)nave2009-03-29

I've tried this with a name brand and generic towel. The multi-layer "quilted" name brand ones seem to hold together no matter what.

jaxthecob (author)PatchIsCooking2009-03-29

Yes, the thinkgeek towels are made with cloth. I'll see about making a cloth one, get back to you in a bit.

stephenniall (author)2009-05-02

think im gonna build these later

porcupinemamma (author)2009-04-19

Excellent! Thanks.

nate121 (author)2009-04-12

here try these they are smaller but a lot less expensive

berky93 (author)2009-03-31

you could probably make one similar to this with a wash cloth an a vacumn bag...

its a lion (author)berky932009-04-06

That's originally what I thought was going to be used.

Darren. (author)2009-04-01

whats the point of this?

King Crab (author)Darren.2009-04-02

Oh for God sake, if you read anything: They are small easy to store compact useful you can carry a lot take up very little space etc.

sectheatre (author)2009-03-31

Could be good for camping, especially tight resource motorcycle camping.

LemonLily (author)2009-03-30

What is it for?

jaxthecob (author)LemonLily2009-03-30

Soak it in water, it turns into a normal paper towel. Its to make the towel more portable.

osgeld (author)LemonLily2009-03-30

you cary these dry disc's around with you, and when you need soap and a little wipe you just add water, it fluffs out with soap embedded, and your good to go

jaxthecob (author)2009-03-30

I just wanted to answer a few question, rather than clogged the wall. 1. I'm working on a cloth version 2. Size is your preference 3. Experiment on your own. Feel free to modify my design!

merijnvw (author)2009-03-30

Is this really useful And don't those things rot when they're wet. And by the way when i was a little kid i made balls of paper towel, and let them dry, but then when i wetted them after they dried they became weak unhandy things. Wouldn't it be better to do it with a cloth tissue which you can wash? The only reason why it could be handy would be on a bycicle vacation.

justoskar1 (author)2009-03-30

(from thinkgeek) You might not have ever stopped to think about it, but ninjas and astronauts have quite a lot in common. They both wear specialized clothing. They both can fly (though astronauts need a little mechanical help). And (most importantly), they both have to be very economical with what they carry with them, especially in regards to personal hygiene. That's why we suggest you carry some Japanese Pill Towels - to make sure you are always at your best. Each tube of Japanese Pill Towels contains 10 pills. Each pill is really a towel seed harvested in Japan. Just hold a pill under water and it blossoms into a multipurpose towel - perfect for cleaning your hands after each ninja or space mission. And if you want to be super clean, might we recommend also carrying some Dissolving Travel Toiletries (see related items below). Then you can make sure you are always as clean as your mind is. Ok, bad example.

Plasmana (author)2009-03-30

Very interesting, but, what are they used for?

Lance Mt. (author)2009-03-29

Sorry for alot of messages, but for feedback sake "at a fraction of the cost!" is inaccurete! It HELLA CHEAP!

Lance Mt. (author)2009-03-29

As awsome as this is, i'ming requesting somethign at least thinks of a way to make the "Dissolving Travel Toiletries"

Even if you don't,
-Cheers, Chris

Lance Mt. (author)2009-03-29

You I just had a look at the photo with the guy holding the pill towel at thinkgeek and it looks like one of those thin materials they use in washing up cloth... I inquired and it turns out you can make these on the cheap.. They had some off cuts and i think i'll be able to make 8 or so for the $0:70 (au) offcut

Lance Mt. (author)2009-03-29

Sweet! I want to try the same with a towel and a bucket... Probbaliy fail! -(away trying),Chris

hellstudios (author)2009-03-29

I buy these at dollar

j626no (author)2009-03-29

which size is your personal preference for a size to function ratio?

jaxthecob (author)j626no2009-03-29

I've found that just using a fourth of the towel works for small things. If you want something bigger, try the one half, although you won't be able to carry as many. I wouldn't recommended making the whole towel at all, is is way to bulky. I did it just for fun.

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