Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Frugal Living - Cleaning Cloths

What am I doing? I thought, as I made a list of things to buy at the supermarket, including cleaning cloths, and a list of things to do, including taking old clothes to supermarket rag bank.

When did I become so susceptible to marketing that I would throw away old clothes which could be easily turned into cleaning cloths. Then I would waste time and money buying packaged cleaning cloths from the supermarket. And, if I'm being honest with myself, although I think I reuse them by throwing them in the washing machine, they fall to bits after a couple of washes and get thrown away. I buy about one packet of cloths a month, so that's about £25 a year I can save: not much in the grand scheme of things, but every little counts.

And then I read the packaging on the ready made cloths : "Made in China" and I got really annoyed with myself for buying these. I've nothing against the Chinese - the ones I know through work are hard working, decent people, just trying to make a living for themselves and their families. But what am I doing spending my money and time buying something which has been shipped from the other side of the planet when I already have a free solution in my own home. I should know better than that.

So, I've spent the last couple of hours, whilst watching TV, sorting through the clothes I was going to put in the clothing bank. Anything which looks new and good enough to wear, goes to the charity shop, hoping that it will be of use to someone. Anything else: stained, torn, or too many washes, gets put into the rag recycling.

Many of us will remember our mothers and grandmothers having a rag bag for cloths. Ours was in the bottom of the clothes drying cupboard and contained a not very exotic mixture of old pants, vests and shirts which had seen better days. A call for a cloth resulted in someone running upstairs, fishing about behind the boiler, and then trying to rip something resembling a cloth from an old piece of clothing. If you were lucky, you would find something which had been ripped up a bit before since it was difficult to start a new tear.

I've folded my new cloths up nice and neatly (won't stay like that for long, lol) and put them in a little basket under the sink. Now when I reach for a cloth, I'm reminded of clothes my kids used to wear, which is nice.

I realise that it is a bit obsessive to cut them up like this, and it is something my mother would never have done. However in our house, laundry just doesn't seem to be the organised affair you see on TV, and I don't want to see my kids wearing something I previously used as a wash cloth and then threw in the laundry. Best to cut them up to look more like cloths, and less like clothes.

1 comment:

  1. Yours has to be the prettiest collection of cloths around! Indeed - why buy cloths when we've all got plenty in the 'charity bag' which could be used?!
    I shall take you up on this tip!