Paper towels

Hi all, I’m currently writing an article on paper towels. We’ve tested them recently and plan on publishing the results soon. I have a few specialities that I use paper towels for, but I wanted to know what else people use them for.

Here is my top 7;

• Keeping greens and herbs fresh
• Cooking bacon in the microwave
• Adhoc salad spinner
• Wiping up spills
• Wiping away the moisture from raw meats
• Adhoc filter
• Straining grease

Does anyone else have any ways they use paper towels that are a bit of a hack for people to use?


Cooking frozen pies in the microwave as it stops the pastry from getting as soggy.

Filter paper for the chip oil

Cleaning glass windows and mirrors (generally with a spray or vinegar solution)

Camping dunny paper (mostly emergency use)

Wiping the oil dipstick

Cooking potatoes in the Micro if the normal bag is in the wash

Sometimes the buffer for my shoes

Wiping the tiles in the kitchen

Use old ones when germinating seeds as part of the pot filling (torn up a bit they hold moisture fairly well)


Anything where hygiene says throwing it away after single use is a good idea - drying the cats litterbox after cleaning is one. Some brands seem to work well for glass/mirror cleaning, others leave it a little ‘dusty’ - I use it for bike and car mirrors and the mirror in the bathroom with home brand window cleaner …


Reasoning my cast iron cook ware after each use . Holds the Canola oil I use really well then throw away .


I also use them for cleaning the wok/re-oiling and the same on the gas BBQ, as well as many of the above uses. They also get used regularly for wiping away excess liquid from the bag opening when vacuum sealing the trout I grow in the aquaponics system. Wet bags wont seal.


Folded up, they can be used to fix a wonky table leg.

They are also good for drying flowers (say wedding flowers or those one want for keepsake)…if the paper is replaced every day or two. At university, we used paper towels to dry plant specimens which is an extension of drying flowers.

Unbleached and unscented ones can also be used to filter wine that has had its tannins settle out. Create a small funnel and pour through slowly.

We usually only buy recycled ones as we don’t want to see trees cut down for a single use item like paper towels (likewise for toilet paper).

If we need a stronger wiping cloth, we revert to reusable and washable fabric ones.


Indeed, IMO only recycled product should be allowed to be sold for once-off uses like the above, and tissue paper. We’ve been buying bulk boxes from ‘who gives a crap’. Their paper towels are made from a blend of bamboo and sugarcane, with 50% of profits donated to a building more toilets for those who dont have access to one.


We put it on the plate/bowl to absorb oil from food that has been deep fried.


Almost exclusively use paper towels where oils or grease are involved, eg wiping out the frypan before washing, cleaning around the rangehood filters, etc.
For cleaning glass, mirrors, and the like, I’ve switched to using microfibre cloths. Still unsure whether washing and re-using them is better for the environment or not…


We’ve now published on these:

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions - you’ll notice I’ve added them and my own into the buying guide.


Even just drying your hands put it aside and use it again later or wipe up a spill or something


I use it to wipe up possum wee on our back deck before it stains. Also, only use recycled paper towels.


Straining coffee grounds from coffee plunger before they go to compost bin.

I use paper towels to wipe away moisture from raw fish before cooking it; cleaning windows; wiping away insect spray plus gathering the dead insects and polishing my granite benchtop after using Mr Sheen, to get it shiny.

I use notebooks for my writing. I find paper towels too soft for that sort of work.

If I have leftover strawberries or mushrooms, I put a paper towel folded in half and then half again, in the bottom of the plastic punnet to keep them dry.


Stuffing them in my childrens wet shoes to try to dry them.


Add me to the list for wrapping pies in the microwave.


I fold the towel in to four and place it on my plate , add my toast and butter , the towel keeps my toast hot.


I also use one on my coffee machine after each cup:

  • Rinse then dry the basket
  • Wipe the tray as well as the group head and the part on the machine that it plugs into
  • Wipe the bench to catch any stray grounds from the grinder
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