Introduction: Less Paper Products. Same Clean!

About: Building design/consulting in Vancouver, WA. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to look in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to …

Hello -

If you are like us you're working through the quarantine/shortages. Here are a few tips to make the most out of the products you have and avoid feeling the pinch.

  • Toilet Paper - use your plys (better)
  • Toilet Paper - time your showers (best)
  • Tissue - homemade handkerchiefs
  • Napkins - handy cloths
  • Spills & Counters - scraper method
  • Spills & Counters - recycled paper or junk mail ---could really be used for everything!

Hope this helps you and your family!

Any other uses for paper products?
We don't use much... if you have others please let me know.

Step 1: Toilet Paper - 2 Plys

A Classic. But the fact is it's difficult to practice or get anyone else to get on board.

Each sheet is actually two pressed together. They can be separated if you really need to... unless you're buying the good stuff you're better off just to use fewer squares.

Step 2: Toilet Paper - Timed Showers

Yes, this is how you save toilet paper...

It's all about timing. That gets easier if you are quarantined and don't have to time work/school.

  • Coffee (optional)
  • Toilet - no wipe
  • Shower - yes, it's like a walk in bidet!

Why do Europeans have bidets?
A 100 years ago people didn't take showers as frequently. The critical area to clean is handled by a bidet. It allowed people to remain clean enough and reduce the amount of showering. (clean underwear was also a factor. America had a lot of cotton which mean a lot of clean underwear)

Today. We all shower a lot! Once a day? That keeps us very clean and the toilet paper we use gets the job done to hold us over between showers. Simply cut out the toilet paper and hop in the shower!

Step 3: Tissue - Handkerchiefs

Not just for Old Tymers.

Sure - dragging a dirty old rag around town to blow your nose in... that's not very appealing.
But if you're stuck at home and have access to a laundry.... it's great!

The cotton cloth of an old shirt feels better than kleenex and holds up beautifully.

Step 4: Tissue - Making Handkerchiefs

The process is very simple... you can even use the shirt without cutting it up!

Here's my process:

  • Take 1 old t-shirt
  • Fold mid-length
  • Cut out squares
  • Enjoy :)

Step 5: Napkins

We keep cloth napkins hanging behind a post that bumps out next to our dining nook. The location is right around from the sink which places them in easy reach for the table or drying dishes.

We used a small marine cleat to hang the cloths. These ikea cloths come with a loop but it's easy to get there with a couple stitches.

Step 6: Dish Cloths - Hanging Storage

Hammock storage is common on boats. Not so much in kitchens.

We like using a gear hammock in the kitchen. Through the summer it gives us a place for vegetables from the garden. It's also a handy place to dry dish cloths or store a few extra.

---it probably looks funny in the photo but like most things it quickly blends in.

Step 7: Misc Uses

Junk Mail for Spills - spills are a common reason people reach for paper towel... A sponge works beautifully if you have the time. You may think to use newspaper but the ink can stain. Any old printer paper or junk mail (provided it isn't glossy) will easily soak up a spill.

Junk Mail for Place Mats - its more of a college thing to use a pizza box as a plate... more convenient is simply to place a spoon while cooking on a piece of scrap paper. That way there is no need to wipe down the counter after cooking.

Scraper for Counters - we use the dough scraper to clean up counters when baking. Throughout the week we reach for a plastic scraper that sits by the counter. It's actually a sample from a big box home retailer that shows color and style for replacement shutters.

Covering Bread - sometimes people think they need to use wet paper towel. I remember doing that a few times when I started out... much easier is simply reusing a produce bag.

Step 8: Safe & Enjoy!

Hope this gives you a few ideas!

If you have any other uses for paper products please let me know and I'll update the post.

Stay safe!


Here are a few other instructables I've put together...


  • Uses for Citric Acid - why we keep it in a salt shaker
  • Why it's best to shave in the shower - ...coming soon


Spring Cleaning Challenge

Participated in the
Spring Cleaning Challenge