Posted by: purityseekers | June 26, 2007

Family Cloth — My newest frugal revelation!

It’s been almost a year since I started using cloth diapers and ever since… I have fallen in love with the idea of not having to buy disposables.  I LOVE being fairly self sufficient, despite my occasion purchase of products I use to make laundry detergent, and absolutely LOVE not throwing stuff out like we used to.

We were the King & Queen of paper.  Not only the obvious baby stuff like disposable diapers and wipes, but we used tons of paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic silverware, paper towels, etc.  I was constantly using plastic grocery bags to dispose of my disgusting & smelly diapers.  If it was "throw-out-able"– it was for us!

Not anymore!!!  We have made loads of changes (that I will also talk more about in another post) and it seems like everyday I am getting more and more frugal ideas for our family that also keep us & the environment much healthier.

Family Cloth.  Google it.  You will be amazed at how many people have made the switch.  What IS family cloth?  It’s simple… say good-bye to toilet paper…and say hello to soft washable wet or dry cloths!!!  Sound gross?  Well… let’s just fess up to the fact that most anything dealing with a potty room is just gross no matter how you look at it.  We are just used to the good ol’ rollable paper that you can easily just toss and flush.  For crying out loud, they even make disposable flushable wipes just FOR the potty… for ADULTS!!!  It’s like a light went on a few years ago and people started saying "wow… paper stinks at getting you clean… let’s make something better."  The only problem is that it’s still a disposable thing that gets flushed down into your septic system.  YUCK.  

Ever since I have started using cloth on my kids little bunzies… they are free of rashes, smell better and are just SO squeaky clean compared to wiping them up with disposable wipes!!!  It seemed that the better the wipe… the more fuzzy stuff was left on my kids buns!!!

Since I am used to washing cloth used on poopy buns… family cloth really didn’t faze me.  But for those of you who don’t cloth diaper or those who don’t have children the age for diapers… it’ll just take a little bit of "thinking outside of the box".  But before we think "OUTSIDE of the box"… let’s take a look INSIDE one.

I’ll show you what I did after doing some research online.

** just a little note before I go on.  I was asked what to do for company.  We always have TP out for them!

Here’s the bucket I use for the "dirties"…


I made the liner by winging it.  I just measured all around and made a bottom and sides high enough to fold over the top nice and tight!

This is a view looking into the bucket…(minus the "dirties", says my DH as he is reading this over my shoulder)

I found a place online where a woman said she made her "family cloth" out of old t-shirts.  I went to Goodwill and ended up finding a full size jersey knit sheet set and made 53 wipes out of just the flat sheet!!!  I was psyched!  I just set a washcloth down and cut around it.  Some are a little odd shaped, but who really cares??  They are so soft and you don’t have to hem or anything.  The sides just kinda curl up slightly and wash great!!

I keep one bucket of wet wipes (that I add about 2 cups of hot water to, mixed with a bit of tea tree oil and Burt’s Bee’s body wash) and a bucket of dry wipes.  I left the dry on top to show you how they are kinda all random sizes.


I did have the wipes on the back of the potty but the kids had a hard time accessing them. 


I don’t have a picture… but they are now on the floor in front of the potty! 

Yes… you DO have to train your kids to not throw them in the potty, but they catch on very fast!  The 1st day we started using them I went in with each kid seperately and explained how to use them.  They really like it!

This whole "family cloth" thing got me thinking.  If paper is not good for septic systems…then how can anything else that goes down the drain be good.  We have been chewing on the idea of an "urban outhouse".  Instead of the dreaded outdoor outhouses…

you have an outhouse IN your house.  (guess you’d have to call it an "INhouse")… they kinda look like this…

and then we thought… why not just keep on a’ goin’ and look into using human compost!  I think we are going to get this book:

Ok… and now for those of you who think I have gone COMPLETELY nutso… I am JUST KIDDING about the last 2 things!!!!!!!!! haha  We DO use "family cloth"… but there is NO way on God’s green earth that I would use an indoor outhouse OR compost the grossies!!!  **(but a personal note—I see nothing wrong with people that DO do either of the 2 above things…I am just totally not ready for anything like that!  We all have our limits!!!  To be honest…I’d love to read that book to see what it is all about!)  The whole end of my post was JUST for Bob Hastings, since I know he reads my blog and just LOVED one of my last "cloth" posts!  haha  Hope you enjoyed this one! 

And for those of you who are saying "who the heck is Bob Hastings????"… he is a wonderful friend of my brother’s who is a missionary (with his family) in Guatemala (where my brother and his family will be serving after a year in Costa Rica for language school!)  Make sure to check out Bob’s blog and see all the awesome work they are doing there! 

Let me know what you all think of "family cloth".  I have gotten many different responses when I tell people about it… most go something like this:

"oh…uh… ok.  I think it’s completely gross… but whatever floats your boat!"  haha SO… if there is ANYONE out there that thinks this is a cool idea… ENCOURAGE MY EFFORTS, people!!  🙂

Hope you are all having a great week!!  Stay cool, all you people dealing with hot weather like us!  My next post will be some cute pix of my kids having some good ol’ summer fun!!  (But that won’t be until another time because I am just "pooped" out!  haha just HAD to say that!!!)

🙂 B




  1. …well our septic can't handle the paper of five people. So right now we throw everything in the garbage. Which people find gross =) BUT it beats plunging anyday!!!

    So this has got me thinking……

    What about company – will they get paper or would they use wipes?


  2. This was something new to me. I have made a concerted effort to rid my family of our disposable ways (no more paper napkins, plates, or paper towels). Although I have to admit I never thought of ridding ourselves of TP.

    You've given me something to think about.


  3. why family cloth is not gross but composting toilets are.

  4. Thank you for sharing. I am here to encourage you my friend. I have been wanting to do the switch over as well. I have a whole bunch of flannel left over from when I purchased it on sale for the cloth pads. I have some wooly thread for the the serger, and was going to make some. It's on my list of to do's. My beloved lovingly threatened to send me off to the island that I so loved the last time we went if I take his tp away. I figured the children and I can do it to at least start. I use wet wash cloths for the boys when they poop anyway, so I don't really see a big difference. You are doing great, keep it up. I'm off to go look up family cloth, thanks for sharing. I have tea tree oil from my homemade cleaners, I just need to get the Burt's Bees you mentioned. We really are kindred spirit, my friend. ;0)

  5. You go, girl! I've actually been thinking about this too but haven't gotten up the nerve to try it yet. And I think DH would really take some convincing. (Guess I could always just keep TP around for him and any guests. I use more of it anyway, being a girly and all 🙂 You've inspired me to take the plunge!


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