My New Favorite Cleaning Tool Is Better than Paper Towels and Wipes Combined

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lisa Diederich)

Like basically everyone I know, I’m trying to create less waste in my daily routine. Old Me had a dirty habit of using a paper towel to wipe up the drips left behind each time she reached for the coffee pot. Old Me also loved a good cleaning wipe for faucets, countertops, and appliance handles. I’m embarrassed by Old Me. She was so wasteful!

New Me, however, is having some success. Thanks, in part, to a cleaning product that randomly showed up on my desk one day.

(Image credit: Ode To Clean)

That product: Ode to Clean. It’s a silly name to describe compostable wet wipes, but that’s what they are. The biotech company that makes them, Solugen, has figured out a way to make hydrogen peroxide (a safe and effective cleaner) without the dangerous, petroleum-based processes of the past. The resulting cleaner is made with an “ultra pure,” energy-efficient process from sugar sources and they call it Bioperoxide. That stuff is then combined with compostable wipes made from just plant starch and water.

Buy: Ode to Clean Kit, $25 for container and 120 wipes at Ode to Clean

Wipes, although incredibly convenient to use, are usually incredibly energy-intensive to produce and create a lot of waste. And you don’t need me to tell you how bad paper towels are! These clean up messes, disinfect, and can be composted (yes, they should be composted — it doesn’t really help if you just throw them in the garbage with the rest of your trash). If you’re going to point out that the storage container is plastic, you are not wrong. But it’s refillable and I can continue to use it over and over again.

I’ve been using them to quickly clean up spills and crumbs after a cooking session, and to wipe down germ-y surfaces. I’ll pull out a wipe in the morning and, as long as it’s not too soiled, I’ll even leave it on the counter to be reused a time or two later in the day. (The wipe dries out a bit, making it more like a paper towel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!)

I’m also using more washable, reuable cloths in the kitchen and have found that the combo of these two things is working way better for me (and Mother Nature) than the old paper towel and Lysol wipe situation.

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