Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cloth Wipe Challenge 2008

Cloth Wipe Challenge 2008Oh, it's that time of year again. Last year this time, I held a Cloth Wipe Challenge and a number of you faithful readers jumped on the bandwagon and pledged to change the way you wipe. Your butts.

Yes, folks, for those of you still not on the cloth wipe bandwagon, you've had a whole year to think about it. Now's your chance to join in with a group of intrepid wipers and make the switch.

And, once again, the rules are soooo simple.... it's as easy as wiping your, ummm, ass. You can choose to just use them for #1 or you can go all out and clean up for #2 as well.

I'll be going over the details again this time around but if you want to get a jump start on what to expect, you can read all the posts from the last challenge here.

I estimate that we've saved about $180 in toilet paper over the year since the challenge started (we normally get the Seventh Generation 100% recycled toilet paper so it's a tad more expensive). We only use it for #1 so the hassle is a lot less, it's a lot more comfortable than scratchy recycled TP and we're saving on tons of paper products.

This year's challenge will only be a week long, so you have no excuse to not give it a try. To sign up, just add yourself to the comments. I know this is a tough one for you guys - there are a lot of mental and cultural barriers to making the switch, but I guarantee if you just give it a try for #1, you'll be hooked!

If any of last year's participants/converts want to add your encouragement, please do!

61 comments:

Moonwaves said...

Crunchy, as ever your timing is impeccable. I said I was going to do this when I had my own place but everything was so hectic moving to Germany and starting my new job that I just gave in and bought some toilet rolls to get me through the first while. Have three left and have been thinking the last week or so that I must look up all that info again and get started on it. So, count me in.


One thing though (sorry to be a pedant), don't you mean 'you've no excuse NOT to try'?

Kel said...

OMG! i think i'm in! Since we're washing cloth nappies anyways, we are set up for this so no issue with throwing in a few more cloth bits. Its your constant mentioning of *softness* that really got me going 'ohhh yeah'

Burbanmom said...

Eeesh. OK, I always say "I'll try anything once - twice, if I like it". Count me in for #1s.

jlygrnmigt said...

Ack! I've been wanting to try this, but I live in a co-op and I just don't know how to approach the topic of "what that little basket in the bathroom is for". There's a newborn also living in the house using cloth diapers, so the "poop in the washing machine" excuse no longer works out so well :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I'm already on the Diva Cup and lovin' it! This isn't too far a jump from that, count me in. Although I think I'll do me shoppin' at Hancock Fabrics, more variety, better prices.

margaret said...

Yeah, count me in. Actually, we've been doing this non-committaly for several months. First just me, but now my 6 year old, who often wasn't bothering to wipe at all, is now using the cloth, and likes them better because they're so soft.

Kate said...

We've been doing this for months and love it. Compared to a toddler's poopy cloth diapers, a few cloth wipes are nothing! I made a ton of wipes out of flannel as well as flannel hankies and a bunch of un-paper towels. My extended family thinks we are nuts, but we are saving a fortune on paper products and the positive impact on the environment is huge. Go for it folks!

LisaZ said...

I'm in! Maybe this will finally give me the motivation to get a system set up to do this...

Anonymous said...

We were just talking about this the other day-no fibbing. My daughter got on board with the homemade cloth pads..which she is loving...and she makes them herself..knew that used starter sewing machine would get it's use..if it's just for #1 we were saying we could do that. We're not so sure we want to deal with #2. Not yet anyway..yeah I think we can jump on board...

Tara said...

Okay, I have to be really honest about this. I did try this, about a month ago, and well, I made it a whole two days (I was "joining" the last challenge extremely late). I really like the IDEA of doing this, and the washing part doesn't bother me a bit, but wiping with cloth was just...weird. I actually found the softness to be rather unnerving (I have the same hang-up with padded toilet seats - they feel too much like furniture to me, and like a place I shouldn't be peeing). I've never really understood the obsession with TP softness, anyway. I've never used any, no matter how rough, that I really found objectionable.

SO, um, no. Not this time, not for me. I can't say that I'll never try it again, because the idea of not wasting paper and saving money really does appeal to me. Maybe someday I'll be able to get behind it, but today is not that day. :)

dahlia said...

ah! i've been snagged at the perfect momen of vulnerability. i've been doing this for pee for months and adore it, but haven't overcome the wee bit of aversion to dealing with poop. but every time i wipe my bum with paper i think "i could be using nice soft cotton for this."

ok, i'm in.

now that we use rags instead of paper towels for most things, hankies for our noses, i use cloth pads, and tp only for poop & guests, we hardly ever need to go to the drugstore! we're saving buckets of money. i look forward to taking that even farther and getting even comfier.

is anyone else going to try for #2?

my current system is just a compost bin for wipes, with a nice lid, and i seem to recall that wet storage is needed for dirtier wipes....

Ashley said...

For those of you wanting to try - check out my testimonial "Over or Under is No Longer a Debate when I started doing this last year.

It's super easy - I'm STILL doing it. Wooohoo!

yellowpansy15 said...

I would totally do this if I didn't live in an apartment with several other people who will NOT respect it.

However, I will try for #1 as often as I can. (Hopefully they won't get too weirded out.)

alianora said...

I already do this for myself most of the time, but Ill pledge to increase my cloth usage to 100% instead of the current 90%. :)

Betsy said...

Crunchy, here's an even bigger challenge for you: go wipe-less and save the hassle and the effort of dealing with poopy cloths. (oh, and saves the washing water and the detergent, too.) I've been doing the water-only rinse for both #1 and #2 for more than a year now, and I love it. I have a 1-liter plastic water bottle that I rescued from the recycling bin...it lives next to my toilet and has a squeeze top. After doing my business, squirt, squirt, maybe a little finger-tip scrubbing if needed, and then I wash my hands carefully. I haven't purchased TP in 6 months (would be a year, but houseguests...). It could be the next level in your fab challenge! :)

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Um, this is gross. No disrespect to you Crunchy - I appreciate an alternate point of view. But I draw the line at doing laundry of cloth wipes of 6 different peoples nether regions. Plus I already have a ton of laundry that I can barely keep up with.

Bobbi said...

My daughter and I are both in - hubby absolutely refuses!

Sarah said...

Um, this is gross. No disrespect to you Crunchy - I appreciate an alternate point of view. But I draw the line at doing laundry of cloth wipes of 6 different peoples nether regions. Plus I already have a ton of laundry that I can barely keep up with.

If it won't work for your family then it won't work! But my opinion is that chances are good that small amounts of "waste" already get on your family's underwear, especially if you have kids in the family- they don't usually wipe all that carefully. Washing cloth wipes isn't any grosser than washing underwear.

That said, since I wash on cold, I only use wipes (old cut-up t-shirts) for pee. I've been doing it for years and it works great. The rags are small enough that they make little difference in the washing machine. Hanging them to dry is a bti time-consuming but it doesn't matter if they're wrinkled so the kids can do it.

Anonymous said...

I did this last year, and it's a piece of cake! Of course, my husband does not do it, and I already wash diapers and wipes for my son, but for me, it's easy!

I use cut up tee-shirts as wipes for my son and for me -- it's FREE!

Erin

Theodora said...

Along with Betsy, let me say:

I lived in India for several months, and in traditional homes there, water is used. The set-up is a bit different, so here's how we do it in America.

Keep a large plastic cup next to the toilet, fill it before you go, then pour with the right hand, wash with the left. Yes, you are wet. Don't worry about it. Turn the sink on with your right hand, wash hands carefully, *then* pull up and recombobulate the clothes.

It's not gross, I swear, and if you are not feeling well (read -- diarrhea, very common in India) this is a lot more comfortable than using paper.

This is ALSO the reason that one NEVER, EVER eats with the left hand in India or the Middle East!

I recommend this because I'm with everyone who thinks that washing rags would be incredibly awful. I don't have any diaper experience. ;-)

mudnessa said...

im already on the bandwagon thanks to you, and my extreme boredom. i went through all your old posts months ago and decided cloth wipes for #1 would work great for me.

i tried switching to recycled paper but my husband was having none of that, so picky, so i decided i would go to cloth for myself and cut use that way. our toilet paper lasts a lot longer now, that is for sure.

i would really like to do it for #2 also but i dont know about "storage" of cloth wipes between laundry loads. i think i just need an extra push to get me going on that. so maybe this will be it . . . we will see.

Kim from Milw said...

I've been doing the cloth for #1, but for this challenge I'm going to try Beth's suggestion, cleaning with water for the backside. I've gotten spoiled using the cloth, it's soft and I feel like it cleans 100x better than paper. I've used the cloth for #2, just washing it after usage, and that works for me, too, but I wanna take this a step further.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

I think the water washing thing sounds like its worth a shot(he he). Truthfully Crunch, most guys just shake for #1. I will try the cloth for that though since I am more fastidious than some.

Chelsea said...

Okay I'm in for me, I already have diapers in the wash so this won't be a stretch in the cleaning department (honestly I hadn't thought of this before if you can believe it!) My husband is a no, for now...

What do you think about cutting up old receiving blankets? I haven't heard that mentioned.

Sharlene said...

I am going to have to think about this. My first instinct is no because I pee a million times a day and that sounds like a ton of laundry but I may be willing to try it. Let me talk to my husband and see if he thinks it is something we could get on board with. I am quite certain my ultra conservative family would think I am insane which is all the more reason to try it in my book...

Sarah said...

My first instinct is no because I pee a million times a day and that sounds like a ton of laundry but I may be willing to try it.

You could use the same rag all day and rinse it out in between. (Sounds even grosser, I know, but thinking outside the box....)

The Purloined Letter said...

I'm not signing up since we're already using cloth for 1 and 2. But I do want to give people lots of encouragement. You'll feel pampered and never go back!

Using wipes for #2 is really no big deal. It isn't at ALL like washing diapers or anything because there is very little poop on the wipe. The best part is that you are a LOT less likely to get poop on your hands than you are when you use toilet paper. We store all our used wipes in a nylon bag and do about one wash per week, often with our kitchen cloths. No smell--really.

I would love it it you looked into how much water goes into making disposable toilet paper. Seems like it is enormous--which made me feel better about washing the cloths.

Robj98168 said...

Nope. I use my Bidet Ole It uses a small amount of water, Or i time my pooping time to coincide with shower time. Anyways- I don't use TP.

Holly said...

Okay, okay. I'll do it. Really. I even have a stack of soft old t-shirts to cut up into wipes. I...just...have to do it.

kmcdade said...

OK, those who use the water method -- don't you still need to dry off a bit?

Hausfrau said...

My husband reports he's a "shaker" for #1, and I am in for cloth wipes for #1. The washing is just really no big deal! I just throw them in with my whites! Of course, it's just me, so I'm not washing up after anyone else. That makes it super, super easy.

Segwyne said...

We stopped buying TP several months ago, and I found the hardest part was making the decision to just do it now instead of saying maybe next week, or when this roll is done, or, or... One day I just said to the kids that the TP was going into the closet for guests and we would use washcloths. They aren't the most comfortable choice of wipes, but we had about 200 of them. We toss them in a bucket by the toilet and I dump the bucket in with the laundry the next day. Easy peasy. I even got hardcore and decided that the TP will not be for guests, but for blackouts when I can't run water to wash them and we have to rig a temporary composting toilet. Guests (what few we have) have to use cloth, too. The kids' friends have no problem with it. It's great.

melanietai said...

i'm in. #1 for 'almost' always. #2 for the week...and we'll see how it goes.

April said...

Sweet Mother Earth don't make me do this. I'm trying my hardest to like that damn Diva cup, but this I just can't commit too. Hail NO!

Young Snowbird said...

Ok, I'm in, for #1, with slight modification- using the water thing and then using the cloths for drying. I've always wanted a Bidet!

Recently switched jobs and need to cut costs. So, I'll give it a try.

bekahcubed said...

I read this yesterday and thought "Yes!" I've been mulling over all the stuff I throw away and wondering how to reduce it. Toilet paper has been on my mind since I spent a month in Mexico this summer--but I couldn't really think of how to reduce it, except to use the bare minimum that I needed. But I'm not exactly pleased with the wet fingers of underestimation.

I cut up an old t-shirt yesterday and I'm on the bandwagon for #1!

scifichick said...

Sign me up! I'm already doing this anyway after reading your blog. Just for #1, but it still saves me paper and it's not a bother at all.

Quoda said...

Considering I use cloth menstrual pads, this shouldn't be too hard, right? I think I'll start with #1 and maybe graduate to #2. I cut up a terrible old pair of comfy shorts. The elastic waist had gone out and the fabric is thick, so they should work. They're in an inconspicuous little basket on the toilet that can be tucked away when people come over.

Could be interesting. So far I haven't died from it yet.

Carmen said...

So, I want to do this challenge. So much great success with DivaCup. But, I have to ask... what kind of cloths do you use? Where do you store them up until you are washing them? How do you make sure they are sanitized?

Conscious Shopper said...

I'll give it a try. We already cloth diaper, and I've often thought that I ought to stick the cloth wipes in the bathroom and have the kids use them. Maybe it will help them do a better job of wiping their bums than they do with toilet paper (if they can remember to put it in the diaper pail and not the toilet). Luckily, I'm a lone woman in a houseful of boys, so we don't use much toilet paper around here anyway.

knutty knitter said...

have gone #1 since the last time. I might try the rest this time. I do need to get a storage bin and a few more wipes anyhow cos I keep running out :) Something to do with being older I think. I am getting a bidet put into my new bathroom sometime - been halfway through that renovation for about 3 years now......sigh!

viv in nz

emerzim said...

OK, I'm in for #1. I just cut up an old t-shirt and I'm ready to go. Wish me luck on my first challenge...

Anonymous said...

Last year when you brought this up, I though you were absolutely crazy ... but the DH and I got to talking about it and decided for it. We went out and got a couple of yards of flannel, I've only used the first yard. Using it for #1 and #2. We bought a little sealing trash can for the used wipes which sits by the toilet. #2 gets rinsed out before we throw them in.

We still keep a roll of TP for guests, and having the wipes sit out is no problem, we just say they are wipes ... of course, with a 2-year-old in the house, that doesn't draw any strange looks. :)

Anyway ... I'll never go back!

Riana Lagarde said...

we are still doing it and loving it!
i wrote a big post about "the smear campaign-cloth wipes" on my blog and have sent everyone your way!

http://frenchtoastfrance.blogspot.com/2008/09/cloth-wipes-smear-campaign.html

Christy said...

I'm in for this year. Last time you did it I wasn't ready, but I've been using cloth pads for over a year and love it. DH and my son both shake so I'm the only one who wipes for #1.

Nadine said...

OK, I'm in. I'm going to start with #1 only. If that goes well, I will consider #2. I have some new cloth wipes in the wash right now.

Rachel said...

I've been reading your blog for a long while and wanted to join one of your challenges. This is the one for me! Sign me up!

Kismet said...

I stumbled onto your site a while back and was intrigued by last year's Cloth Wipe challenge -- I've been using cloth hankies and pads for years, but this had never occurred to me! I began using cloth wipes made from old t-shirts, and they work wonderfully. Unfortunately, I fell out of the habit when I spent the summer housesitting for my brother, and hadn't bothered to start it up again. And now, here you are, reminding me! I'm in, for #1 at least -- and for good this time!

To Think is to Create said...

Count me in, girl. Been needing a kick start for this...

Katie_bug said...

HA! This is so funny! I didn't even know about this challenge until about a minute ago and I had just asked my Mom today where her pinking sheers are so that I can make some cloth TP to use. Count me in, but I guess I'll be starting a tad late seeing as how I won't have any made until tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I just installed a Biffy type bidet on my toilet and love it!
(http://www.biffy.com/). I used to live in Turkey, where they use the same system as India, mentioned above, so was looking for a quick, cheap bidet to use. This thing works great! (and I don't work for the company!!) HA...

Stacey said...

I'm in :) I already use cloth for my baby, and I have a bunch of extra wipes just sitting around.

I was also thinking, as I changed my daughter's diaper this morning...

those that use just water, if you have a peri bottle left from having a baby, that would work great for cleaning your backside! I actually have my old peri bottle in the babies room to wet her cloth wipes.

I think I'm going to try a combination of the peri bottle and cloth wipes.

Jen said...

I think I'll try it the next time I have some old Ts to cut up, but not right this minute, as I'm busy with other projects. But I told my husband about it, and while he was not entirely disapproving, he requested that I make some cloth handkerchiefs for him. He said he'd been thinking about it for a while to replace tissues and they could just go in the wash with other laundry. :)

City2Country said...

I'm new to the Crunchy Challenge world but I like this idea. I've been thinking of it for a while but with no sewing machine, I thought I couldna make cute little flannel wipes. Then I saw a mention of cutting up tees. Perfect! I'm in. Even though we live in an apartment and have to use a common laundry area, I think doing this for #1 is A-OK.

Also regarding,

We store all our used wipes in a nylon bag and do about one wash per week, often with our kitchen cloths. No smell--really.

If you're washing poopy cloths with kitchen towels, be careful to rinse, rinse and rinse well! Washing doesn't remove bacteria per se and usually just redistributes them in the water. So use vinegar (natural anti-bacterial) and maybe a double rinse cycle to make sure you're not moving bathroom bacteria into your kitchen towels!

terraphany said...

I'm late to the party, but I've just discovered your blog and I'm inspired to give this a try. I had been resigned to toilet paper just being one of those things I couldn't avoid buying. The only other alternatives I had ever heard of were paper from old phone books and corn cobs, neither of which appealed to me. I've got plenty of rags on hand and I like the prospect of having one less thing to buy.

I'll just do #1 for now and see how it goes. I share a bathroom with my roommate, who's hardly eco-conscious, so I'll have to do this on the sly. I think hiding the wipes in the cabinet should work.

Anonymous said...

Hi İ have just seen this Challenge, İm not sure İ could do it but want to comment - İ am living in Turkey and the majority of people here do not use toilet paper they use water only - İ am not sure of the technique they use and havent wanted to ask but they have been doing that forever - toilet paper here is very expensive as a result, luxury item.

Aidan and Sophie said...

Just discovered this and sounds totally up my alley. I have an old flannel sheet I was cutting up for baby wipes anyway so I can just make more. My plan is to use water for #1 and #2 (might just start with #1 and see how it goes) and dry off with the cloth - so shouldn't be too dirty for cleaning that way!

venezia221 said...

I'm new to this- can someone send me a link or explain to me how exactly this is done? Are there sanitary issues with washing #2 soiled cloths with other laundry? Do you just keep a bag by the toilet?

I had no IDEA people did this- it's awesome!

Katchmo said...

Today was our first day of paper-free. I think it is great...the rest of my family is not impressed. I keep saying, what is the difference except that it is softer and thicker and doesn't scratch, and you drop it into a can instead of the toilet (youngest accidentally flushed one). My husband hasn't decided what he will do yet. Tune into my blog to find out!

Anonymous said...

Well... I know I'm REALLY late... But after getting some cloth wipes recently, I decided to start giving it a go as of yesterday. It's only for #1's and only for me as hubby doesn't wipe for that :)

It should have some amazing benefits since we live in a caravan, and use a portaloo that hubby has to empty. I'm HOPING it'll be nicer to empty! :)

Anonymous said...

It's the last poster again. It's been 2 weeks now and the portapotti for one, doesn't stink like it used to, and two it's only half full instead of all ready emptied like it used to be. The wipes are making a HUGE difference!

LinkWithin