Friday, January 28, 2011

Crunchify Three: Family Cloth

I have this terribly horrible issue of not wanting to feel like I have to do something. Having to do things that I may not feel up to doing at any particular time triggers me to rebel against whatever that thing may be. Part of me wants to say that it's my Gemini nature. But another fairly large part of me wants to say that it is because I attended public schooling.

Needless to say, that is why this third crunchify post has taken this poster so long to, um post.

{and now I've just opened a whole new can of worms for myself to digest. See: public schooling statement above.}
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Family Cloth {almost}

When I told Papa Bear that I was writing these crunchify posts his first response was something along the lines of "Don't write about the wipes {insert crazy/nervous laugh here}" And so today, while trying to think of what crunchy thing I'd like to share, I kept thinking of said wipes, because well, it made it seem easy that I didn't even have to come up with the idea myself. So to that I say: Thanks honey for inspiring me. Please don't be too embarrassed. Love you. 

I googled family cloth looking for a simple definition to plug in here but didn't come up with much. I was also hoping to find some really cool stats on just how many trees are saved by using cloth wipes, and couldn't find any useful information for that either. So it looks like you'll be getting my full take on family cloth. Now the question is: Do you trust me? {insert crazy laughter here}

Really the idea isn't crazy. It's actually a very simple concept. Instead of wiping your lower region with toilet paper after using the restroom, you wipe with cloths. Easy huh? And then when you're cloths are running low you wash them, and reuse them. Again, and again, and again, and again. Reuse, reuse, reuse, reuse, and waalaa just like that there are no trees harmed for the wiping of your butt. Nice huh? I thought so too. Especially considering that about 27,000 trees are cut down daily for the use of sanitary products. Twenty-seven thousand in ONE day, wowza. Not only that, but many of these big tree plantations are using manufactured pesticides and fertilizers to grow these trees. And a ton of water on top of that. All that for fluffy white toilet paper. {that will shortly be, well um, stained brown and pitched} It is said that if each American family were to use one roll of recycled toilet paper annually it would save nearly 400,000 trees. But I imagine it is still quite the process to make recycled toilet papers, and that there is still a ton of water, etc, used in the process of doing so. Much more than the amount of water used for a family to launder their own wipes, I'm sure.

Now, let me describe my set up for you.

I have a cute little basket that sits on the shelf above my toilet for folded, clean wipes. The wipes that I use currently are just simple washcloths that I picked up at the Dollar General until we can afford to invest in some nice organic wipes. However, we are only wiping our bums with these wipes so really I could have just created them from old t-shirts and socks to save the extra $10 spent on the washcloths. I keep a trashcan under my bathroom sink {which is in reach from my toilet} for the dirty wipes. And when the can is full or the wipes are low, I wash. Usually with the diapers to save on an extra load.

The first time I heard of cloth wipes I was kind of taken back like whoa are people really doing this?? And then I thought that maybe it wouldn't be so bad if just I did it, and only for when I went number one, or the artist formally known as pee. So I made the switch. And then our midlittle made the switch because well, he often accompanies me in the bathroom, and often wants to do whatever it is that I am doing. And then his bigger brother followed suit because it just kind of became normal after that. So I started using them full time, since the boys were brave enough. Three months after we made the switch our smallest little was born and she too mostly uses cloth wipes. The only one in the family who hasn't completely made the switch yet is Papa Bear. He actually only makes the switch when he is out of toilet paper. {yes, he is still buying the junk!} However with him being the only one using the toilet paper, when it's out it's out for a while, because what kind of man is going to remember that he needs toilet paper before he actually needs toilet paper? Catch my drift?

I am happy to say that I have been mostly toilet paper free for 9 months. I say mostly because sometimes when you're out and about the moment arises that you need to wipe with something, right? And you can be sure that now when that moment does arise, and I complete my duties, I almost always throw my used toilet paper into someones trash can. Which sometimes leads to me having to pick used toilet paper back out of someones trash can too. Yucky. Because who wants to walk out of a restroom with their poopy toilet paper on display and most people might wonder why one would opt out of flushing toilet paper and may be a bit grossed out to find it while emptying their trash can, I'd think.

And with trying not to leak too much information here, you know tmi, or did I already cross that line with all my talk of poopy toilet paper? I want to add how much softer it is to wipe with cloth and how it doesn't ever tear and leave little remnants stuck to your skin. And, if you can have your set up near a sink I highly recommend it. It's so nice to have a dampened wipe should the moment arise when you may need one, just sayin'. 

Happy wiping!  


  1. happy to hear that papa bear is at least (if only grudgingly, under duress) joining the fc club! ;) my set up is almost like yours- basket, but wipes are not folded, they are just tossed in it willy nilly (i'm so not a washcloth folder!) and most of mind are oddly shaped fabric scraps (luckily i have organic scraps, they're just um, triangular and trapezoidal and my personal fave, moon-shaped etc.) oh, and i wash it (as well as the dipes) in with the clothes. so some people are grosser than kristin, papa bear. ;)

  2. Hmmm. I've been thinking about family cloth for a while. This post made it seem very approachable. Now that our toddler is almost potty trained I would love for him not to have access to his favorite activity of pulling the toilet paper off the roll.....


  3. I LOVE this post! Totally made me laugh. I forwarded it to my mom b/c she is having embarrassment issues with me blogging about our cloth wipes. lol I will link this on my blog too, you added info that I wanted to on mine but was afraid of mama backlash!

  4. I have to admit that, crunchy though I may be, I had struggled with the family cloth idea. It was a little uncomfy for me but as your Dearman visitor above said, you have made it seem very approachable. I can definitely see using it for numero uno at the very least! Thanks for not letting the fear of embarrassment keep you from sharing!