I tried “Family Cloth” for a Month- Here’s How it Went


If you spend any amount of time on the internet like I do, you have maybe come across the idea of Family Cloth. If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about- let me break it down for you. Essentially, family cloth is reusable toilet ‘paper’. It’s what a lot of people would put in the category of going a little too far on the hippie wagon. Always looking for more ways to be sustainable and stubborn to my core, I like to try anything once if it seems reasonable. To some, family cloth may not be reasonable, but since it’s just my husband and I here currently, I saw no real risk in just trying it out. Read on if you are curious how it went and some tips if you want to try it for yourself.

I Tried Family Cloth for a Month- Here’s How it Went

Before I dive too far into this post, I want to share that I made a couple of rules to lessen the ick factor for myself. I didn’t use the family cloth for #2 (bowel movements). I just wasn’t sure I was ready to take that deep of a plunge into hippie land and I figured I am far too lazy to do that much laundry. Also, I didn’t use them during that time of month. Again, I didn’t want to feel pressure to do too much laundry. So, I did this project what I call family cloth light, or I used it only for urine. Now, all that said, there is nothing wrong with using it for all of the above. If you think about it, I use mama cloth (reusable pads) so I do period laundry, but I didn’t want to do more than necessary this time around. Also, anyone who had cloth diapered knows that although using cloth diapers can be slightly messy, or inconvenient at times, it’s not completely disgusting and completely easy and reasonable. I was more just seeing if using this for just urine would be worthwhile for those that can’t get over the ick factor, so I set out to experiment and give my thoughts.

Tips for Using Family Cloth for Just Urine

I made my own family cloth by simply going to the thrift store and buying old towels. I cut them up into squares about the size of a tp square. I found this to be the perfect size. I would, however, recommend that you don’t use fluffy towels, but more the kind that are for the kitchen such as kitchen linens. I discovered when I washed them that they tended to shred up and get entangled in each other making them quite annoying to separate, completely making the whole process more inconvenient.

I kept a small bucket container under my sink in my bathroom for the dirty ones. I did not notice any urine smell to my complete surprise. I think this might have been because I did not lid the bucket and they dried fairly quickly in the bucket. This eased my mind about one concern.

To wash the ‘pee towels’ (as my husband lovingly called them), I simply washed them in hot water in my washer with gentle detergent with my cleaning rags. I wanted to make sure they didn’t irritate my lady parts since I am sometimes sensitive to dyes and fragrance. The whole process was so simple.

My Final Thoughts on Family Cloth

Overall, since I didn’t use them for any messy jobs, I found using them for urine extremely easy and well worth the switch. The biggest reason isn’t only because I feel like it’s a green thing to do. The savings on toilet paper alone will leave me doing this for years to come. I found that my use of toilet paper was cut in HALF and for us, this is a huge savings.

It takes some getting used to, mostly because it is developing a new habit, but I found that I adapted quickly.

Would you be willing to give this a shot? If so, try it for just a week and see if you can make the switch.

2 Replies to “I tried “Family Cloth” for a Month- Here’s How it Went”

  1. I’ve been thinking about doing this along with a bidet squeeze bottle. I wasn’t sure how big the cloth squares needed to be. Based on your recommendation, I’ll try maybe 4×4” squares. Thanks for your experimentation. I’m willing to take the plunge now.

    1. Don’t make it difficult. I’ve been using “tinkle wipes” for a few months now. Cut in half generic j-cloths from $ store. No sewing and soft. Fold like Kleenex and store in plastic box with slit and make second box to stuff used wipes in with baking soda sprinkled in bottom. Empty into a delicates laundry bag as needed.

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