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Best Paper Towels

Power towels are a staple in our kitchens, and come in handy for everything from wiping down and sanitizing surfaces, to drying our hands after washing instead of reusing regular cloth towels, to using them as a makeshift plate to hold pizza, to writing little notes on them if there is no paper around. The reasons to use paper towels are never ending, and the varieties available seem endless. Although some brands of paper towels are in short supply, there are others that are both available and praised by internet reviewers around the world.

Let’s find out about some of the most popular and well-received in-stock paper towel brands on the market today:

Kleenex Multifold Paper Towels KCC01890 – best rated overall

Kleenex Multifold Paper Towels are very highly rated by paper towel users. They come in a pack of 150 individual white towels measuring 9.2 x 9.2 inches each, Z-folded and interspersed with each other so that when you pull out one towel, the next one becomes available to use. They can be delivered as a case that contains 16 packs.

Although these paper towels are normally purchased by commercial companies or offices for their washrooms, many at-home users are buying these now.

They are more sanitary than using a normal cloth towel, and many users appreciate having a clean paper towel every time they wash their hands or face or brush their teeth. They look great too, with their bright white color. Put these in your guest bathroom and your visitors will know you cared enough to offer them the best experience.

Users praise the high quality of these Kleenex paper towels. They are soft and strong at the same time. Some users find them similar to the folded paper towels found in upscale hotels or restaurant bathrooms. They have a thick, rough quilted texture that makes them very absorbent.

They are durable; one is enough to dry hands without tearing. You can also use these to dry dishes or wipe down your counters.

These paper towels meet EPA standards, are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Eco logo certified, and use a bleaching process that is free of elemental chlorine (ECF).

One drawback is some users feel the size of these paper towels takes some getting used to. Being just over 9×9 inches square, they are smaller than your average square from a typical roll of paper towels.

Pros

  • 150 individual white towels Z-folded and interspersed with each other
  • High quality, soft, and strong
  • Bright white color makes them look great in your bathroom
  • Rough, quilted texture makes them very absorbent
  • Durable enough to dry dishes or wipe counters without tearing
  • Meets EPA standards, FSC and Eco logo certified, and elemental chlorine-free

Cons

  • Their smaller size compared to traditional paper towels may take some getting used to

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Scott Essential Plus Hard Roll Paper 50606 – best rated less expensive

Scott Essential Plus Hard Roll Paper is the most highly rated less expensive brand of paper towel. The paper towel comes in a 600 foot roll and does not have perforations. It can be delivered in a case of six rolls. Each roll is 7.75 inches in diameter.

Although they are intended for commercial use, many people are using them at home because they are more effective than typical at-home paper towels. These paper towels offer a great balance of efficiency, performance, and value.

They are very durable and have premium absorbency pockets that soak up liquids well. They are perfect for cleaning up spills. They absorb a lot of water quickly which means you use fewer paper towels. These paper towel rolls last a long time and offer great value. They work well in your kitchen, bathroom, and even your workshop.

In addition to their premium absorbency performance, these paper towels are soft and textured to the touch. They are also more lightweight than other brands.

One drawback is, because it does not have perforations, this paper towel can be a challenge to cut, especially if kids are using it. In addition, they are not as attractive looking as other brands but they make up for it with their very affordable price.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • 600 foot roll of paper towel with no perforations
  • More effective than typical at-home paper towels
  • Premium absorbency pockets soak up liquids well
  • More efficient: absorbing more water means you use less paper towels
  • Soft and textured to the touch

Cons

  • No perforations means paper towel may be a challenge to cut
  • Not as attractive as other brands

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Georgia Pacific Basic Recycled Hardwound Paper Towel Rolls 26301 – best recycled

Georgia Pacific Basic Recycled Hardwound Paper Towel Rolls are considered the best recycled brand on the market today. These are similar to the previously described Scott Essential brand in that they come in a six-pack of giant ‘hardwound’ rolls, and they do not have perforations. Many users find the Georgia Pacific brand to be economical for their purposes and say that they last a very long time.

Customers have been drawn to this paper towel because they couldn’t find their regular brands due to the COVID-19 shortages. However, they realized this brand was better than what they used to buy. They are great for cleaning counters and disinfecting surfaces, as well as for drying hands after washing, and some call them ‘quarantine’s best friend.’

As many users have significantly increased their paper towel usage due to daily home disinfection requirements, they find this brand handy as it is quite affordable. They provide great value for your budget, while some other leading brands tend to get expensive.

These paper towels are dependable, thick, and strong. However, they are slightly less absorbent as other brands that are made for the home.

An added bonus is, they are sustainable, meaning they are made with 100% recovered fiber. They have received GreenSeal certification for their reduced impact on the environment.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Made of recycled material
  • Durable and last a long time
  • Great for drying hands and cleaning surfaces
  • Dependable, thick, and strong
  • GreenSeal certification for reduced impact on environment

Cons

  • Slightly less absorbent than other brands made for the home

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Kitchen + Home Bamboo Paper Towels SC-147 – best reusable

Kitchen + Home Bamboo Paper Towels are considered the best reusable brand on the market. Reusable paper towels are different from other brands. You can actually machine wash them after use, and then use them again. This makes them highly environmentally friendly and offer a lot of cost savings over time.

These paper towels are heavier, thicker, softer, stronger, and longer lasting than other brands that are sold for home use. You can use them for all sorts of things, such as drying hands, cleaning surfaces, dusting, and also for unusual chores like popping them on your floor duster to do the mopping. They are great to bring around when traveling, camping, to the daycare, and for use with your pets.

They are made from sustainable bamboo, which is one of the world’s fastest growing plants. The bamboo is grown without irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers. Each roll contains 20 perforated 11 x 12 inch sheets. One roll is the equivalent of 60 traditional paper towel rolls.

One great feature of these paper towels is they are good for the environment. You can use them without feeling like you are wasting paper. They are a more sustainable choice than towels made of other plant ingredients.

They are easy to clean in the washing machine (preferably in a laundry bag for delicates) and dry quickly. They can be washed up to 120 times and you can use bleach if you wish, to keep them sanitized and white. Although you can pop them in the dryer, they will last a lot longer if you hang them up to dry.

One drawback is you have to figure out where you will store these paper towels after you have used them once, and washed and dried them. People have had to become creative in their ways to store these paper towels. Also, because they are reusable, you might not want to use them for cleaning up seriously messy items like wall paint or axle grease.

Pros

  • Made from sustainable bamboo, free of pesticides, fertilizers
  • Eco-friendly
  • Reusable, machine washable, hang to dry
  • Heavier, thicker, softer, stronger, longer lasting than other brands
  • Use for cleaning surfaces, drying hands, mopping floors with floor duster

Cons

  • Need to find storage for paper towels after washing and drying them
  • Might not be suitable for really messy items like wall paint

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How paper towels work

You might be interested in how paper towels actually work to soak up all that liquid. Well, they are usually made of cellulose fibers which come from plant material like cotton, wood, or bamboo. Cellulose fibers are made of lots of sugar molecules linked together, and sugar molecules and water mix well together. When you add water to a paper towel, the water will rush in and cling to the sugar molecules in cellulose fibers. It’s that attraction between water and the sugar molecules that makes the paper towel pick up the water so well.

What to look for in a paper towel

Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a paper towel brand.

Cost

Cost is of course an important consideration. Paper towels can vary widely in terms of price. You can save some money by buying in bulk.

Ply count

Paper towels can be two-, three-, or four ply. This means they can have two, three, or four layers of paper. The higher the ply, the nicer the paper towel – meaning, the softer, thicker, stronger, and more absorbent it is.

Recycled materials and reusability

Paper towels can be either virgin or recycled. Virgin means it does not contain any recycled materials. It is always more desirable to choose a brand that is recycled, as it is easier on the environment and helps keep waste out of the landfill. Find out if they have a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which means they are made from reclaimed fiber/timber.

Chlorine

Paper towels are often bleached to achieve their white look and sometimes this bleaching is done using elemental chlorine. This is a harmful process that releases chemicals called dioxins which can affect our environment and health. Look for brands that say they are made with ‘elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching’. This means the paper towel has been bleached with chlorine dioxide instead of elemental chlorine gas, which makes the product less harmful. An even better alternative is to look for a product that says it is unbleached or uses oxygen or hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine to achieve bleaching.

Hypoallergenic

If you have allergies or sensitivities, look for a brand that says it is hypoallergenic.

Other features

Other features to look for are whether they are printed, quilted, embossed, or scented. They are all considerations that may be important to you.

What you should never do with paper towels

By now, hopefully you have a good idea of what type of paper towels you are looking for, which brands appeal to you most, and what features work for you. Before buying, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding the appropriate use of paper towels and what to avoid.

Try to be careful with how much paper towel you use. By reducing your paper towel consumption, you can make a real contribution to the health of our environment.

Avoid using paper towels to clean rough or sharp items. Using paper towels to clean rough grout or sharp window tracks will tear the towel rather than clean your surface. Use brushes or rags when trying to clean items like these.

Don’t wipe the screens of your phone, TV, or computer, or your eyeglasses or camera lens with paper towels. Paper towels are quite abrasive and can cause micro scratches on these items. Instead, use a microfiber or suede cloth to clean electronic screens, and a lens cloth to clean glasses and camera lenses.

Paper towels are not the best choice to blot spills on your carpet. The carpet fibers will rip up your paper towel, especially if it is wet, and the paper towel will leave little pieces on the carpet, making the problem worse. Instead, use a white rag to blot stains.

Above all, do not flush paper towels down the toilet. This could cause lots of problems with your plumbing, sewage, and bring you a big bill for the repair. Always throw paper towels in the garbage.

Paper towels are a huge part of our lives right now, since we are sanitizing and cleaning surfaces and our hands more than ever before. By choosing the best brand, and using paper towels appropriately, they can truly be a great help in our lives.

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