I’ve got to admit, this idea makes me think “ew!” – yet it intrigues me. You can use anything for family cloth, like old, cut-up T-shirts, or cut squares of a baby’s flannel receiving blanket. The benefits include material that makes wiping easier – family cloth won’t shred or tear like good old TP. It’s supposed to be more comfortable, too. And, environmentally speaking, family cloth eliminates toilet paper. You’re not flushing paper down the toilet, and you’re not exposing yourself to bleached paper. Plus, it’s super cheap.
But for newbies like me, the concept sounds super gross. (This is coming from a mother who has used – and cleaned – cloth diapers for about four total years with my two children.)
Keep in mind that you can take a family cloth challenge to any level – some families choose to use family cloth only after urination. To me, that doesn’t sound so bad. Other families use it every time (EW!) and reserve toilet paper for guests.
You have to wash and dry family cloth. For cloth diaperers, this isn’t a big deal. Some family cloth users claim to wash their family cloth with their towels. Others wash them with their cloth diapers. I’m totally on board with adding the family cloth to loads of dirty diapers, but once my children are potty-trained I don’t want to add dirty wipes to my normal loads of laundry. Maybe a family cloth and underwear load could be a great plan.
[P.S. (updated at 10 p.m. Aug. 15) OK. I gave in today and tried it, just for fun. Never again! I tried a flannel blanket square, and it felt just like my quilted toilet paper. Except I had to throw it in my dirty cloth diaper pail. From now on I will stick to my toilet PAPER. And yes, I may be green, but I splurge on the comfy T.P. instead of the ecologically friendly one-ply stuff.]
[P.P.S. (updated on March 8, 2013) Now that both of my children are out of diapers and we have a lot of potty time and wiping going on in our house, I’m sticking to toilet paper – not cloth. I’ve switched to a two-ply septic-friendly paper, though.]
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