Here at Mossy Life we like to find the positive and would encourage people who may be stuck at home with more time on their hands to take this as an opportunity to try new things.

In the crazy world of empty shop shelves where there was once toilet roll, there is a simple alternative that can lower stress, save money, and be kind to the planet. Even better, you don’t have to buy anything fancy to get started so you are not relying on shop stock levels. You can literally start this without leaving the house.

What magic is this you say? It’s not magic it’s just going back to basics and not having to use throw away items to keep clean. Instead of using paper toilet roll, you can use soft absorbent pieces of cloth to dry and clean once you have been on the throne. They are also perfect for babies bum, replacing the plastic filled disposable wet wipe that is a staple of most parents changing kit.

Reusable cloths, also know as family cloth (although this can sound off-putting to some), is a simple way to reduce your paper consumption, and make your household more self-sustainable. Being less reliant on buying ‘things’ from the shop is definitely appealing in the current climate!

All you need is some squares of cloth and two containers to sit in the bathroom. One for clean and one for used.

Containers for clean cloths can be virtually anything. A large jar, old basket, tuppaware container or even a mesh bag. Just pick something you already have that can be placed close to the toilet.

The second container has just two requirements. It needs to be waterproof and sealable. You could use a tuppaware box, old ice-cream tub, or a nappy bucket. A wet bag can also work really well. Having something with a lid helps keep the bathroom smelling fresh between washes.

If you use something small enough to fit in the washing machine door it will have the added benefit that you can just tip cloths straight into the machine without having to handle them (although it is not much different than handling your families underwear! and definitely no worse than changing a babies nappy, which many of us do multiple times a day.

Now you have your two containers, next you need the cloths.

Now there are some amazing companies out there that sell absorbent, soft, purpose made cloth wipes. If you fancy splashing out you can. But realistically all you need are small pieces of soft fabric that don’t fray. Old t-shirts work really well and can be chopped up with no sewing required. Or you can use old flannels cut into smaller squares.

If you are a dab hand with the sewing machine you can adds tab of velcro or a popper into each one at each end. Attach them in a long line and roll them up. Ta da! You have something that can be hung on an existing toilet roll holder, so you don’t even need a container to store them in.

For those of you with sensitive bums who like aloe vera infused toilet roll or moisture enriched wet wipes, then try using your cloths wet. Place them into a sealed container with a small amount of cooled boiled water and a few drops of whatever essential oils you like. Turn them over a few times before pouring away any excess liquid. This box of cloth wet wipes can then be used in the bathroom, or on babies bum for that extra clean feeling. Just make sure you put fresh wipes and water in there regularly so they do not get stagnant.

Washing wise depends on what else you use in the house. If you are already washing cloth nappies, then just bung them all in together. If you don’t then you could do them on a separate wash, or if it is just ‘number ones’, then bung them in with the towels or bedding. You can either put them on a hot wash, or your standard setting, but then put them in the drier. The heat will help kill off any bugs. For those who are still unsure, you can get antibacterial solution to add into your wash for extra protection. Just go easy this as whatever we use in our washes has an impact on the environment in the long term, not to mention the extra plastic containers you will probably end up with.

Our suggestion? Use this uncertain time to try a few new things that will make your household more resilient in the future. If you can use cloth for even 10% of your bathroom habits, that will be 10% more toilet roll available for others unable or unwilling to give it a go. You will be benefitting the planet by reducing your reliance on a disposable item and benefitting your community by helping reduce the need for bulk buying in times of crisis.

Go on give it a go. We would love to hear how you get on!

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Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot