Friday, January 21, 2011

Reusing old towels

I have been married for 15 1/2 years and have been using the same towels I got at my showers and wedding. They are still in pretty great shape, but are thin and not as wonderful as they once were. So I have decided to buy new ones and to buy all white towels. Here are a few reasons why: White never goes out of style and will match any bathroom, no separating into darks and lights, I can bleach them and not worry about fading, plus after 15+ years I need some bigger, fluffier towels that cover our bigger, fluffier bodies. I'm still transitioning. I have yet to buy white hand towels and kitchen towels. Plus I want good quality ones to last another 15 plus years. Maybe one day I will even go to all white sheets for the very same reasons.
Not wanting to waste these still useful towels I decided to re-purpose them.
Several years ago I convinced my husband that I needed a steam cleaner. I didn't want one of those puny hand held ones I saw on tv,  so I did some research and found a big heavy duty, rolls on the floor, cleans everything steamer. It has a squeegee attachment for mirrors and windows, a few little brushes for grout and such, and a floor cleaning brush head that you can attach cotton pads to and steam mop your floor. I totally forgot about that function (most of the times I forget I have the steam cleaner), but a few months ago I thought about buying one of those Bissell steam mops. My sister-in-law had one and loved it! I Googled to find the best price and came to the conclusion that it was way too expensive for me and oooh wait! My steam cleaner has that function! Plus it has a huge water supply tank and will cover more floor! Wondering where I could get the mop pads at I looked in the manual and didn't find anything but measurements of how big the pad, or folded towels as they suggested, should be.  LIGHT BULB!  Cue in old ugly towels. I realized I could TOTALLY make my own quite easily. Here is what I did

Huge stack of ugly towels

Cut to specified size in manual, or close to that. Mine suggested 8x12.

Use fabulous serger to finish off the edges easily. I used two layers to make them thicker

Stitch a big X across the layers to keep them together and for stability.

Clip on to the mop head brush and clean floors... I haven't actually used them yet, but maybe soon?
(Oh how I despise my ugly flooring)

I ended up with almost 50 pads. Those Bissell mop pads are $5 - $10 each! I haven't made them all, but I did cut them out and that's the "hardest" part.
The dark ones, purple, red, blue etc. are getting a new home too. I have used some as cleaning rags ( I dont wash them with my body or kitchen towels ... ick!), some are going in the trunk of my car. Great for kneeling on if you have to change a tire, have a kid who accidentally lands in a puddle of water and you are an hour away from home, umm and plenty of other uses I am sure.

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