The Family Cloth

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 OK I know this will not be for everybody. But it is something to
think about especially when money is extra tight “The Family Cloth” it is kind of like reusable TP, actually I guess it is reusable TP. Now don’t run away yet, just hear me out. Just think, you would never run out, it is a lot softer then TP, it doesn’t rip or leave pieces behind,and your not filling the septic up with extra paper.

Now some people use them for pee and poo but I haven’t got that far yet ( maybe someday) it is just pee for now .I have a small bucket beside the toilet to put the dirty ones in then I throw them in with the whites ( I just dump the bucket in, that way I don’t have to touch them.)when I wash that way they get washed with hot water and bleach. They don’t take up a lot of extra room in the washer so I am not really paying extra for water and soap. I have to admit I really do like using them I am having a hard time getting the girls on this band wagon lol ( They think I am crazy when I come up with these things) but most of the time they come around.

These are so cheap and easy to make . I just go to the second hand store and buy a bag of rags which is mostly T-Shirts bring them home and wash in hot water with bleach. After they are dry I cut them out. You could also use an old flannel sheet.

I use my rotary cutter which is so handy for this.

Just lay out your t-shirt

I have a 8×8 square that I use for a pattern just cut around that. Do this to all the shirt and you will have a nice little stack when done. I do not sew around the edges like some I have seen. Being t-shirt material it won’t fray so I see no point in sewing the edge.


So even if you don’t want to do this it might be a good idea to have some on hand if you run out of TP or if money gets extra tight.

So what do you think? Is it something you would consider doing?

35 thoughts on “The Family Cloth

  1. Kim

    It would not be a problem around here. I have often thought of what we could do if the SHTF and TP was not availabe in stores. I would just use our own shirts and not have to buy the rag bag.

  2. Rachel E.

    I would probably do it. You aren't the first I have heard of doing it. It would be easy enough to toss them into the diapers as well.

  3. Joani

    I've never thought about this. When I was growing up we used out houses & the sears catalog was always used.

  4. Elle Mental

    Yes, I would use cloth wipes! After living in Coata Rica where the TP is like burlap, a soft tee shirt wipe sounds like a luxury! In my long term storage I have a huge quantity of flushable wet wipes (I bought them at Walmart), that I got to get us through a of couple of weeks without power,(which has happened more than once in the last 10 years). I have been glad they were available for bathroom use, but also for cleaning up and wiping hands without wasting water. We are on a well so when there is no power, there is no water. Water become like gold when there is no electricity! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Nana

    I've often thought of doing just that! Nice TP is expensive! We always buy Charmin strong.

    We are empty nesters so it would just be me. I wouldn't have to fight to get my husband on board! Knowing him, he would think that idea was totally gross.

    I just might have to go to the thrift store this weekend & get some T-shirts. 🙂

  6. Connie

    Ya if you are already washing diapers it woould be no big deal to toss them in with them. Pretty much the same thing.

  7. Connie

    Wipes would be good to have on hand if water is an issue you wouldn't want to have to waste it on extra washing. Like they say you always want to have more then one back up plan for every thing.

  8. Connie

    My whole family thinks it is gross (and think I have lost my mind lol)but I am hoping to at least get the girls on board with it one of these days.

  9. Rachael

    Despite my initial response of HOLY CRAP, I think this is pretty smart! It's not like you're all sharing one piece of cloth at a time, and if you cloth diaper your babies, you do something pretty similar. Sounds smart and frugal to me!

  10. Connie

    Ya if you are already washing cloth diapers then it wouldn't be a big deal to throw them in the washer.

  11. Alison P.

    I already got him to cut down on paper towels and use rags instead. We now have one roll of paper towels last over a month (instead of one a week). I am trying to work on composting now because my husband things it is isn't the best idea for our neighborhood so I don't know if I could tackle TP yet. It is something to aim for 🙂

  12. Connie

    I know sometimes it is so hard to get the family onboard with the frugal cuts. Just have to hope they come along someday lol I am still working on the girls haven't said anything to my husband yet because I know where that is going to go lol.
    Just keep trying

  13. Anonymous

    Allison, have you thought about vermicomposting (composting with worms)? You could have your compost hidden in the garage or a shed, maybe your husband would agree to that.

  14. Liz Beavis

    Great idea for when we can't buy TP, not sure I can handle the extra laundry this stage, thanks for sharing though, it really gets you thinking about your options. We were told not to use bleach with our septic, so I use a few drops of eucalyptus oil as antiseptic instead.

  15. A Proverbs 31 Wife

    We got rid of paper towels (for the most part) in our home and hubby is all for that. But I mentioned family cloth like once and he threw such a fit that I haven't mentioned it since. Still, when we have a kid and have diapers to wash, who knows, I may just start using family cloth 🙂

  16. Connie

    The eucalyptus oil is a great idea. I learned the hard way that bleach isn't good for the septic. The flu was going around and I have a lot of kids in and out so I was using bleach everywhere washing dishes and clothes and everthing I thought I could use it on well needless to say the PH in the septic got bad and we had to have it pumped out. So now I just use a little in my laundry.

  17. Connie

    P. 31 w.
    I have tried to get rid of most our paper products but do have a few paper towels on hand for teh really nasty or gross stuff lol. I think men a re a little funny about these kinds of things lol. And if you are alredy washing diapers it is no big deal to throw them in with them.

  18. Moonwaves

    Moving to Germany (nearly five years ago) meant that for the first time I was able to finally afford to rent my own apartment and not have to share with other people. Wee wipes was one of the first things I did that I had been waiting for ages to try out and once I started using them there was no going back. I still do have ordinary toilet roll for visitors and I think my brother is the only one who knows that I do it but he thought it was great. I think it would kill me now to have to spend so much money on toilet rolls again – sometimes when I've had friends staying for a few days I'm just amazed at how much of the stuff they go through. I've been threatening for ages to write an update post on that and have even made it as far as starting a draft, really need to get to work on that again.

  19. bellavistafarm

    Great idea if I HAD to do it! My family would throw me out of the house if I told them to use cloth. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  20. Connie

    Thanks for stopping by. I love the name wee wipes had not heard them called that before. If more people realized how much money they could save using these, I think more of them would use them

    Have a great day,

  21. Jacki

    While the world may think you are crazy…I think you are totally sane. We use them here in our own (for the post part…#1 only). We have had three babies in cloth diapers with the last two using cloth wipes (#3 is still in cloth diapers) makes sense to me.

    You are forgetting about some other environmental benefits as well. Think of all the processing that goes in to producing TP, and the shipment of all the TP.

    I will be following your blog!

  22. Connie

    Thanks for stopping by and for following. If you are already washing diapers then this isn't a big deal to do and and teh savings are great.

  23. Writer Mom

    This is so cool, Connie. When I read you're post I instantly thought about camping and homemade cloth baby wipes. I have made my own baby cloth wipes in the past but I didn't like them because I was instructed to use terry cloth face cloth towels (which by the way did fray). But its as if a light bulb went off when I read your post. I should have used T-Shirts (cotton, soft, no fray). What was I thinking? Anyways, your girls may not be on the band wagon, yet, but I'm sold. Thanks so much for sharing!

  24. Anonymous

    Connie, this is funny. I had a holy nightie and some holy t-shirts that I cut into wipes (maybe 5" x 8") and tossed into the long term storage. The odd shaped pieces around the edges went into the rag bag to cut down on use of paper towels. The TP in the long term storage would sure hold out a lot longer if "wee wipes" are on hand. I haven't quite worked up to using them in the current day, but you're right, the dollar savings could be huge. brenda from ar

  25. Connie

    Writer Mom,
    The t-shirt fabric is great no fray and last a very long time.
    My goal this summer is to get the girls to a least give it a try we will see what happens lol
    Take Care,

  26. Connie

    It took me a while before I could bring myself to do this but once you try it you will like it. Now I just have to convince the girls to give it a try lol.
    Take care

  27. Anonymous

    We've been using family cloth for about a year and a half now and we love it! It has been so nice to have one less thing we have to purchase when we go to the grocery store; plus, I've never felt so clean in my life.

  28. Anonymous

    I've started using hydrogen peroxide in the whites to help with the bleach in the septic tank problem. It is really working for us, now I only bleach socks once a month. (we don't use antibacterial cleaners or soap of any kind, it will hurt the septic too.)I also learned from my grandmother to add yeast or beer to the septic to help keep it running goood.