Reducing Cooties: Bathroom Hand Towels

Last winter, between the boys and I, it seemed like we were sick every other week. So, in the spring, I decided to change our hand washing process in the common half bath and switched to single use hand towels. And we (knock on wood) have not been infested with cooties very much at all this year–and it’s January. I’m going to call this a success.

Of course, single use towels are not a new idea. Any respectable source will discuss single use towels as an important infection control method–the problem is that they generally refer to disposables. And I am not a fan of disposables for two reasons–the cost and the waste. Enter cheap Dollar General washcloths. I think they were only like $4 for 12 or something ridiculously cheap like that. I’m sure before having children, I would have gone to the fabric store, found some adorable cotton weave fabric, and stitched a decorative border around the hem. Hahahaha–I was so adorable back then.¬†OMG LOL

Now, these are not “nice” washcloths, but they are thin and don’t take up tons of space, which is what I was looking for in a towel that would be folded, stacked, used once and hand towelsthrown in a basket to be washed. I bought several packs so that I would have time to get behind on laundry (because that always happens). I found a cute wall plant holder at a thrift store, but didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time. I just knew it needed to be at our house for something. That something then became hand towel storage, but the towels could also be stacked on a shelf or put in a basket on the counter if you have the space. I also put a small plastic container on the wall at “kid level” to increase compliance. :)

Warning–this may confuse guests initially, but our experience is that they adapt quickly. And, if you really think about it, it’s pretty nice not sharing a towel to dry your freshly washed hands. This way, you don’t have to worry about any lingering cooties from the 5 year old that just dried his hands before you!


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