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11 Creative Uses for Bamboo Paper Towels Beyond Cleaning Up Spills

We all know how great bamboo paper towels are at soaking up icky, germ-ridden spills and splashes. But paper towels can come in handy in a number of different ways —in the kitchen and beyond.

Below is a list of our favorite paper towel uses — ideas for that inner cardboard tube included!

1. Keep Greens Fresh 

It’s frustrating to find delicious, vibrant fresh greens at the farmers market on the weekend only to have them wilt by the time you want to use them on Tuesday. Luckily, with a little planning, you can use paper towels to keep those greens fresh for up to a week.

Here’s how: when you get your greens home, give them a gentle rinse in some fresh water. Shake off most of the water, then use several paper towels to gently wrap them. Store them directly in the salad spinner or in a reusable bag. The paper towels will trap just enough moisture to keep your greens fresh.


 

2. Use Paper Towels for Fast Seed Germination

Starting a vegetable garden and want to sprout seeds quickly? The paper towel method is the fastest way to do it. Here’s how: 

  • Lightly moisten one half of a paper towel. Dip your fingers in water and just flick them over the towel, or use a spray bottle.
  • Place your desired amount of seeds on the moistened half, and cover them with the dry half
  • Place the seeds in a bag or a glass container with a lid
  • Keep the seeds at room temperature out of direct sunlight

The seeds should sprout in 5-7 days. They’ll need to be planted soon after they sprout. Be gentle when picking up the sprouts— use tweezers or a flat knife to lift them up and into the soil.

3. Cover Food in the Microwave

You’ll save yourself the headache of scrubbing hard-to-reach corners of your microwave if you drape a tree-free paper towel over your leftovers before reheating. The paper towel traps just enough steam to keep your food from drying out, and keeps splatters from going everywhere.

4. Season Cast Iron

Cast iron skillets are sturdy, long-lasting kitchen workhorses. If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable in the kitchen, choosing cast iron is a great option for durable cookware that will last a lifetime. But they need proper care to maintain their nonstick surface

  • After cleaning your skillet, wipe dry with clean paper towels. 
  • Add a drop of cooking oil to the skillet. Using paper towels, wipe the oil over the entire skillet— inside and out. 
  • Turn the skillet upside down and place on the rack in a 450-degree oven. Use a baking sheet to catch any drips on the bottom rack. 
  • Leave in the hot oven for one hour. Turn the oven off, and let the skillet cool completely in the oven.

5. Clean Mushrooms

Mushrooms need a gentle touch when cleaning, since they bruise easily. And rinsing them may make them water-logged. Simply brush the mushrooms gently with a folded paper towel to get rid of any dirt clinging to them.


6. Peel Beets Without Staining Your Hands

Keep your hands clean and your kitchen from looking like a crime scene by using bamboo paper towels to peel your cooked beets. After your beets are cooked, but before they’ve cooled completely, use a few layers of paper towels and rub the beets gently between them. The peels should slide right off and your hands will stay clean.


7. Makeshift Strainer

If your strainer has large holes and you need to strain out spices, seeds, pulp or other fine items, use a layer or two of paper towels. Nestle them in your colander to catch the finer bits.


8. Use the Tube For Tidy Cord Storage

Fold your cords in 6-inch lengths and slide them into the cardboard tube. Label each tube so you know what the cords are for.


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9. Make Cardboard Tube Animals (you can use bamboo toilet paper rolls for this too!)

How cute are these cardboard tube cats from MollyMooCrafts? You could make a whole family with different sizes for parents and kids using paper towel and toilet paper rolls.

And you don't need to stop at cats. Think owls, foxes, penguins, and more!


 

10. Make a kaleidoscope! 

You can absolutely get the kids excited about this one. A do-it-yourself, customized kaleidoscope using cardboard tubes. To use a paper towel tube just cut it in half for the perfect size. Get a complete tutorial here.


11. Make a peanut butter bird feeder 

This is an easy way to reuse your paper towel rolls in winter when birds are short on natural food sources. 

  • Make sure all paper is removed from the roll.
  • Using a butter knife, spread peanut butter in a thin layer on the outside of the roll
  • Dump birdseed onto a clean work surface
  • Grabbing the roll at the edges, roll it over the seed, coating the entire surface
  • Slip the cardboard tube through a tree branch and enjoy watching the birds that come to your yard

Be sure to check out Cloud Paper on social media for the latest updates, tips, and eco-friendly living inspiration!