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000's of Quality Products

 Free Returns
28 Day No Quibble Guarantee

 Fast, Secure Delivery - from £1.99 / Free £50+

 Go Zero Waste Today -  000's of Quality Products

 Free Returns - 28 Day No Quibble Guarantee

Are UNpaper Towels Absorbent? You bet and here’s why

are unpaper towels absorbent

It’s a fair question, are UNpaper towels absorbent must be one of the most common questions we hear from people wanting to make the switch. Quite rightly, people want to ensure that reusable kitchen towels perform just as well as their traditional paper towels. So what’s the answer?

UNpaper towels are very absorbent, in fact just as absorbent as traditional kitchen towels. Primarily made from natural, organic materials such as cotton or bamboo these reusable paper towels will perform just as well as their paper equivalents mopping up spills quickly and efficiently.

So let’s explore this a little further and discover some cool tips on how to keep these towels as absorbent as possible.

What are UNpaper Towels?

UNpaper towels are a reusable replacement for your single-use kitchen roll/paper towels.

At approx 10″ (25cm) square these amazing little towels are your eco-friendly saviour when it comes to mopping up accidental spills around the home.

If cared for correctly UNpaper towels will last around 2 years and at the end of their long life are 100% biodegradable and so really are a great zero waste option.

One word of caution, the initial price of UNpaper towels can seem expensive however because you only buy them once these towels can actually save you money in the long run.

I wrote an article “How Much do UNpaper Towels Cost: Not as much as you’d think” which is well worth a read after this.

What UNpaper Towels are Made From Matters

UNpaper towels can be made of any fabric but of course, it’s important to choose a material that is absorbent.

By the way, if you are making your own UNpaper towels check out my article “Best Material for Unpaper Towels

Most of the products on the market are made from natural materials such as organic cotton or bamboo.

As we know organic cotton is ideal for making towels and bathrobes due to the high absorbency of the fabric.

Bamboo is also incredibly absorbent which is why bamboo sports clothing and bamboo underwear are becoming much more popular these days.

If you are thinking of purchasing UNpaper towels then you won’t go far wrong with towels made from either of these fabrics.

Why is the First Wash of UNpaper Towels Important?

The first wash of your reusable towels is important.

Ideally, organic cotton should be soaked for around 12 hours before use.

Soaking the fabrics ensures two things:

  1. It removes any dirt or debris from the manufacturing process.
  2. It allows the organic cotton fibres to expand.

The second point here is critical to how the UNpaper towel will perform in terms of absorbency.

When the fibres expand it creates a larger surface area. With a larger surface area, the towel becomes much more absorbent.

Why You Should Avoid Fabric Softener When Washing UNpaper Towels

Even for regular cotton towels, many people believe that fabric softeners should be used during the laundry cycle.

But the truth is that although fabric softener will soften your towels and make them smell nice, it will also reduce the absorbency.

Fabric softener coats the cotton fibres effectively putting a barrier between the liquid spill and the towels themselves.

So my advice is to avoid softener when you launder your UNpaper towels.

Quick Tip: If you do wash your UNpaper towels with fabric softener by mistake then another 12-hour soak will help to bring back the absorbency.

Our UNpaper Towels Absorbency Experiment

UNpaper Towels Absorbency Experiment

So just to prove the theory here at greenerlyfe we decided to test how absorbent UNpaper towels are.

I would caution everyone reading this article that by no means was this a scientific experiment in any way!

We took a single sheet of paper kitchen towel and a single UNpaper towel.

For each towel, we spilt a small amount of water, used each towel to mop it up and then squeezed the water back into a measuring jug.

The theory was that the more water left in the jug at the end must be from the more absorbent towel.

Here are the results:

Towel Type
Paper Kitchen Towel18ml
UNpaper Towel20ml
UNpaper Towels Absorbency Experiment – Results


Hopefully, you’re now convinced that UNpaper towels are right for you,

If so I’ve provided a couple of product links below, I personally use the Tabitha Eve towels and if you’re wondering how many reusable towels you might need then do check out my article “How Many Unpaper Towels? How big is your household” next.

Common FAQs

What are UNpaper towels used for?

UNpaper towels are used for general cleaning around the home, office and garden. They are a direct replacement for paper kitchen towels immediately coming to the rescue when those little accidents occur. They are reusable which makes them ideal for those looking to reduce household waste.

Do UNpaper towels work?

UNpaper towels work extremely well for everyday cleaning including mopping up accidental spills around the home or office. Their small size makes them both convenient to use and easy to store away when not in use and their reusability is ideal if your household includes children and/or pets.

Products Featured in this Article

UNpaper Towels from Tabitha Eve

These affordable reusable unpaper towels are ideal for replacing your normal kitchen roll. 100% biodegradable cotton in a waffle design, the towels are strong, absorbent and scrubby as well as being plastic free and easy to wash.
Buy on greenerlyfe

MioEco 10 Pack Reusable Paper Towels

A zero waste alternative to a regular paper towel that can last for years! Unlike other paper towels the MioEco biodegradable paper towels absorb spillages and mess far easier…. And the best bit? You can simply wash them out and use them again and again!
Buy on Amazon

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