So obviously if you have never heard of family cloth before, you still may have figured out what it is - reusable toilet paper! I'm not talking about toilet paper made out of recycled paper but rather out of soft cloth. Toilet paper is one thing that most people are very picky about. It can be too thin, too thick, too rough, too soft, too linty...and the list goes on. My biggest problem with toilet paper (I'm getting personal here!) is that in my experience when it is soft and luxurious, it just doesn't get you clean. I am not a fan of toilet paper being left behind! Not an issue with family cloth.
Family cloth (which by the way we call eco-wipes at our house because my husband like that term better) is simply squares of fabric generally in size from 4"x4" to 8" x 8". They can be bought pre-made or make you own out of nice fabric. You can even just cut-up old clothes or use baby washcloths.
I currently use a mix of serged flannel/ribbed cotton and flannel/flannel wipes along with the same material combination turned and topstiched. I also have one layer flannel wipes that are frayed on the edges that I never got around to sewing. But they work! When I first started I cut up an old terry cloth robe and used those squares (and rectangles...and triangles...) un-hemmed. They were not fancy at all but worked great and I washed them with my towels because I didn't have the kid yet (my sister is cringing as she reads this last part).
|my oh so fancy hanging bag for used wipes|
After use,the wipes are placed in a bag or bucket until wash day. If you already cloth diaper then this is real easy, just throw them in with the diaper wash. If not, you could save them up and do a load of just family cloth a week, or you can simply throw them in with your towels or other hot water laundry. Now I realize that a lot of people would be squemish about doing that, but to some it would be the same as putting the clothes from a soiled child in with the wash. Plus, some people only use family cloth with #1, reserving toilet paper for #2.
Either way you decide to do it, it saves money as well as valuable resources.