Monday, December 17, 2018

**REVIEW** Eco Friendly Machine Washable Reusable Bamboo Towels

As with the milk powder I tried, this is another item that I am counting on to save waste and money.

That is a roll of Bamboo Towels - Heavy Duty Eco Friendly Machine Washable Reusable Bamboo Towels (my emphasis)

I was a little skeptical about these washable and reusable bamboo paper towels. Basically, I wondered if they would work without falling apart. I also wondered if they would really work as claimed.

My first test was to wet a towel and clean one of the kitchen counters. I used soap for the first wipe-down, then I used a spritz mix of alcohol and water. The towel held up really well. It didn't shred or leave any fuzz/residue on the surfaces.

The next test was to rinse the towel out with some soap and let it dry. I wanted to see if it retained its original strength and cleaning properties. It did.

At this point, I was feeling pretty impressed. I don't know how long these will last but I'm going to treat them exactly as the packaging suggests and update this review down the road. If they last longer than a month, that would be saving my use of at least 3 rolls of these Viva paper towels I have preferred - and which cost about $9.50 for 8 rolls (with 88 1-ply sheets per roll).

Here's a little more info about the reusable towel:

  • There are 20 sheets of 11x12 perforated sheets to a roll.
  • They are made of a sustainable "bamboo source" (made into a type of rayon material, apparently)
  • For concerned folks, these aren't made of wood from "normal" trees.

What about the "rayon" in "bamboo rayon"?

Some Amazon reviewers noted that there is actual rayon in the product and when I checked my package, sure enough, there was a note about rayon.

 Did you see it? Me either. Until I squinted.

Now, I myself am not troubled by using rayon to clean items in my home. Also, for those who are concerned, I found an article that somewhat clarifies the issue of bamboo rayon fibers. What does bother me is that the rayon part seemed to be hidden. This is a copy/paste of the product description on the product page:
Our heavy-duty bamboo towels are stronger, more absorbent and durable than regular paper towels. They are made from sustainable certified organic bamboo source with each roll can save up to 60 conventional paper towel rolls and fits in your regular paper towel dispenser. These 11" x 12" perforated tear off sheets are machine washable and reusable up to 120 times before discarding. Use these bamboo towels just like how you normally use conventional paper towels. Hand or machine wash and air dry for best results and longer life. They are soft enough to be used on skin and tough enough to be used as shop towels, our bamboo towels can be used almost anywhere. Perfect for household cleaning, travel, car, bathroom, pets, camping, personal care, daycare and more. Unlike normal trees, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, growing up to 3 feet or more day and is grown without pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation, making it an eco-friendly and sustainable choice over cotton and other plant materials. (emphasis mine)
The positives of bamboo and lack of certain items are played up but the rayon is not mentioned. That just seems sneaky. Notice the emphasis I made in showing the listed product name at the head of this post.

Care and Upkeep

Because these are reusable, I wasn't expecting them to be totally easy to care for, but I am glad I paid attention to the packaging. My instincts would be to toss them in a washer/dryer, then iron them. That would be wrong.

These are to be machine or hand washed but with no fabric softener. They must be air dried and not ironed. 

Bottom Line
  • Softer and more pliable than I expected, making them great for cleaning and drying items
  • The size is large enough that one is adequate for most cleaning
  • They are quite absorbent and thick
  • They are tough and don't tear or shred easily (at least not after my first use)
  • Will replace a lot of traditional paper towels
  • They rinse out well - even after wiping stain-like messes
  • There isn't a lot of shrinkage after wetting or drying

Top - dry towel
Bottom - wet towel

  • They have to be air dried so need a place to hang
  • The sort of hidden rayon issue bothers me
Honestly, I really like these a lot. I am going to mention to the seller that the note about the rayon shouldn't seem so hidden. At any rate, I will most likely purchase these in the future - maybe from another seller.