I'm losing track of what I've already suggested, so there's a chance I've included this, or at least reference to it, in another post, but I'm thinking people don't necessarily go back & read everything I've ever written, so I'll risk repeating myself LOL.
This is mostly about saving money and the environment, though if I wracked my brain I could probably come up with some way this is healthier, but I'm feeling lazy. Anyway . . . stop using paper towels!!! Seriously. Just STOP!
I originally did this to save money. When the girls started eating solids I wasn't about to go through countless paper towels every meal cleaning up baby food smeared ear to ear & I didn't like the idea of using a dish rag that had been used to wipe off the counter & such on my babies' faces. So, I went to Walmart & grabbed a big pack (18?) of plain white washcloths and put them in a basket next to the paper towels to use for cleaning up the kids and surrounding area after feeding them. Over time I just reached for those cloths instead of paper towels more & more. They've gotten stained over time, but who cares. If I DID care, laying them out in the sun would probably bleach out the stains but I don't care that much (did I mention I'm lazy)? I do still have paper towels in my house because I make candles and wax shouldn't be put down the drain so if I have to clean up wax I use paper towels. Along the same lines, I've seen discussions online about what to use for draining bacon if you don't use paper towels and honestly I didn't bother figuring out what solution people had come up with since we don't eat bacon. But that might be a valid use for paper towels, I don't know. BUT for the vast majority of things we use paper towels for, plain old washcloths work just fine. I run approximately one load of laundry per week that includes these cloths, plus cleaning rags, towels, etc.