Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reusable Tissues

I have been really inspired by Extreme Cheapskates on TLC.  Of course, a lot of the stuff people do on that show is just a little crazy, but then again that's why I like that kind of show.  There was one woman on the show who, instead of buying toilet paper, cut squares out of fabric and kept them in her bathroom where the toilet paper would go.  She had her family use the "reusable toilet paper" and then throw it in a bucket next to the toilet so it could be washed and reused.  While I can't bring myself to do that (I have more of a problem with the bucket of used t.p. sitting next to the toilet than with the reusable t.p. itself) it did inspire me to come up with this idea for reusable tissues.  And yes, I have heard of handkerchiefs so I know I didn't actually come up with the idea of reusable tissues.  I wouldn't exactly call these "handkerchiefs" but you'll see why.
What you will need:
Old t-shirts or other cotton fabric
Empty wipes container
Our thrift store has t-shirts as cheap as $0.09, so I went hunting for some.  I only found 3 this time, but the price was right so I bought them.  BTW, I decided to stick with the same color.  I have some old t-shirt rags that I use for cleaning, and I didn't want to get the tissues mixed up with the same scraps I use for cleaning.
Then you will need to cut the t-shirts into squares.  A regular tissue is 8 in x 8in.  I found that 8 x 8 inch squares didn't fit so well in my wipes container, so I cut them down to 8 x 7.  They don't have to be exact, you're just going to blow your nose on them anyway.
I got about a dozen tissues out of each t-shirt.  Plus I had a couple of other small scraps of cotton that I cut up.  So I ended up with about 40 tissues.  Fold each one in half and put them in a stack.

Then take a regular wipes container (or other container of a similar size)
And decorate it however you want.  I covered mine with mod podge and some denim scraps from jeans I had cut off at the beginning of the summer.
Put your stack of tissues inside the container.

And now you have a box of tissues that you can wash and reuse, for less than the price of a disposable box of tissues!  These are even better than regular tissues because they won't tear, and they are thicker so you won't need to use as many.  You could even make multiple boxes and keep them around your house like you would with regular tissues.  Just use them, throw them in the laundry, wash, fold, and put back in the container.  I know tissues don't cost a lot, and most people only use them when they're sick, so it may not save a whole ton of money, but no matter how small the amount, I would rather keep it than waste it on something you're going to throw away.

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