Simplify general cleanup with bulk bar towels

Amazon: Bardwil Microfiber Barmop, Pack of 12 Dishcloths Elizabeth's cleanup tip:

Kids of all ages are messy. The best thing I have found to help with the battle is a bulk package of white  dishtowels, sometimes called bar towels. I usually get them at Costco in the tool/auto section.

Bar towels are bigger than a washcloth but not as big as a hand towel and since they are white you can bleach the heck out of them. I use them in the kitchen, to mop up spills, to do general cleaning, kid messes, dog messes, in the bathroom, just about everywhere.

The best thing is that you don't have to worry about staining a "good towel" when cleaning a bad mess. When they get too stained and ugly I use them outside and in the garage, washing the car, cleaning up paint spills, wiping down outdoor furniture, refinishing and staining furniture and other wood projects, the list goes on and on. They are definitely one thing I would not want to live without.

I would say the same for cotton diapers (the thick, prefolded kind) and a bulk pack of white terry washcloths. Cheap, bleachable, great for cleaning everything!

Related: Use dark washcloths to clean bloody wounds


  1. Jenn says

    We use them as napkins. It made the switch from paper to cloth easy and inexpensive. They’re the perfect size for little laps. And the terry seems to help wipe the mess off their faces.

  2. says

    I use the bar towels for clean-ups as well. One other use I’ve found is to use them on the swiffer sweaper. I just fold them in half and poke the towel in the holes to keep it from moving and use it with a cleaning product instead of a mop. I also use the swiffer sweaper with windex wipes to wash the outside windows that I can’t reach.

  3. says

    All those old bath towels that are too ratty for the bathroom are kept in a basket of “floor towels” in the utility room–towels to be used for drying spills and pets and other things you don’t want on your fluffy bath sheet. Some are cut into smaller pieces for less disastrous events.

  4. Tracy WW says

    Rather than buy new cloths, I use my boys’ old undershirts. My kids grow so fast that I have a seemingly endless supply of outgrown undershirts!

  5. Heather says

    I have been a fan of bar towels for years. My husband would easily use a roll of paper towels each day if allowed.

    A while back I purchased a few packs and we haven’t kept papertowels in the kitchen since.

  6. Rachel says

    I second using them as burp cloths, My son had GERD and all those little cute ones that he got as baby shower gifts didn’t last long, but some cheapo shop towels do the job much cheaper and I don’t care a bit when they get stained.

  7. Liz says

    I bought these when my second child was born, and there is always a stack at hand in the kitchen drawer. They were great for cleaning him off when he was first learning to eat- and heck, at 2.5 they are still great when he is eating. He is also in an annoying dumping stage (milk, water oatmeal, noodles, etc.) and they are just as handy as ever.

    So much more functional then the little baby washcloths we used for our first child’s post eating clean up! There really isn’t any use for those.

  8. says

    This is a great idea! And for those of you who use cloth diapers – don’t throw them away when the little one is finally potty trained! They are fantastic rags for washing and waxing your car or general clean up, of course because they are sooo absorbant. I learned this years ago when I worked in the resterant business. Most larger resterants and hotels stock old (clean of course) diapers for their internal rag service, they were great.