6 Reasons I Use Family Cloth

We’ve been selling Cloth Wipes at Lunapads for many years now. It’s a reusable alternative to toilet paper that most people don’t even consider. Lunapads fan, Allison Lee was kind enough to give us her top 6 reasons to consider using Family Cloth!


Always looking for more ways to go green, I made the choice to switch to “family cloth” (that is, cloth toilet paper…that’s cloth. Not paper.) almost three years ago. After using cloth menstrual pads, cloth breast pads to catch milk leaks, and cloth diapers for years, I decided to make the switch to washable, reusable toilet cloth after watching a documentary called No Impact Man.

Maybe you’ve thought about ditching the disposable toilet paper in favor of something more eco-friendly or perhaps you’ve never given it a thought. Either way, ponder if you will my top 6 reasons for using family cloth—maybe you’ll find some convincing reasons to consider the switch for yourself.

1.       I save trees when I use less paper.

2.       No extra work is involved. I just throw my soiled cloths in the wash with all my other laundry, and I almost always wash in cold water. One quick caveat:  I use family cloth only for urine. If you’re game for using it for #2, give it a go. But washing those soiled cloths may be a bit more involved.

3.       It keeps textiles out of landfills. I take holey socks, ripped shirts, torn underwear, worn out pajamas–you name it–and turn them into pieces of family cloth instead of trash!

4.       It saves money.

5.       Family cloth is versatile. I have a two-bowl-system:  One wooden bowl for clean cloths; one bowl (with a lid) for used cloths. When I clean a bathroom, I usually grab a few clean cloths to scrub and wipe up. Then into the “used” bowl they go.

6.       It’s portable. When we travel, I take along a bag of family cloth and simply launder the cloths when we get home.

I only wish I’d thought of incorporating family cloth into my always-trying-to-be-more-green lifestyle years ago. Is this something you’d be willing to do?

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  • No

  • No mention of comfort , hygiene or health?

    Cloth dries you better and without leaving fibres behind, also no bleaches like toilet paper, so you find yourself feeling much drier and less irritated – honestly, like with switching from commercial pads to cloth pads, you don’t notice the discomfort until you switch to something more comfortable! Also cloth moistened with water is great for post-coitus clean-up or to freshen up on hot days!

    I reverted back to TP, as the only one in the house using cloth wipes it just wasn’t practical to continue, it was hard to find suitable cheap wipes and container system in the UK, and between hard water and lack of drier they weren’t comfortable after a few washes.

  • Jennifer

    I hate when toilet paper leaves little bits on your… bits! And the ‘dust’ from the toilet paper makes my bathroom all dusty.

  • Fallgal

    I hope I’m misunderstanding this, but the author makes it sound like she uses the same cloths to clean the bathroom as she does to wipe herself, and that her whole family use the same cloths to wipe themselves. That is really unhygienic and just plain gross.

    • Fiona

      She washes them after. It’s not unhygienic so long as they are being cleaned properly, though I personally would not do the same.

      • Allison

        Perhaps it wasn’t clear in the blog post, but I use family cloth for urine only–which is sterile as it leaves the body. So I’m washing only urine-used cloths (not poo-used ones), and they are far from soaked when they go into the washing machine. And of course, I DO wash them between uses. They are as clean as any other laundry when they have been washed and dried. But that’s just me…I am far from a germ-a-phobe.

  • Fleur

    You have seen No Impact Man too! I am so happy to hear this and the documentary is a bit old but I just saw it this year as well! Also, I was just talking to my boyfriend the other night about using face cloths instead of toilet paper and how he felt about that… we weren’t sure and voila I have stumbled upon this amazing article talking about family cloth!! I am so excited!

  • Padma

    We lived in US for over a decade and I love my Lunapads. We’ve moved back to India. Here we have always used water to clean ourselves after #1 or #2. It is very easy when you install a hand shower near the toilet – just squirting for a few seconds and using your fingers should be enough. Of course, wash well with soap afterwards.

  • L.

    we are using cloth now for half a year, exclusively, and it is not disgusting/complicated/stinkingor whatsoever at all. Well, we changed to cloth in almost everything. Actally you are much cleaner… WE RECOMMEND IT! IT IS GREAT!

  • Carie

    Washing family cloth (urine only) is way more sanitary than washing underwear with skid marks in it. You wouldn’t throw out underwear every time it was used, and trust me, I have a husband and a son and urine drips are in every pair.

  • tracy

    Washing with water and a cloth is much more sanitary than pushing that urine around your nethers. Toilet paper is disgusting.

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  • In my country, a bidet is a normal sight at toilets. So I’d recommend using family cloth together with a bidet. It’s far more hygenic, and your family cloth will only be stained by water not … bodily discharge. I would never use family cloths without a bidet. Just can’t 😛

  • no

    There are some good points made here; however, the argument that it is more eco-friendly is false considering that you are using a lot more water and electricity (non-renewable resources).

    • Jes

      The fresh water utilized in the toilet paper making process, by paper/toilet paper plants is astronomical. The water that cloth using families use when washing their cloth is a mere drop in the bucket (no pun in intended) in comparison. I encourage you to do a little research on the topic.