Less Waste Kitchen Essential: Cloth Napkins

Cloth napkins can add a bit more class to your home dining experience and they are sustainable, take up less space and are softer.

How much money must I have spent on paper napkins! It felt so good to take the large unopened pack I had purchased at Costco BACK to the store to return it.

When I knew I wanted to make a real change on how I managed my waste, this was one of the first items I changed. I used the paper ones I had and then ordered cloth napkins to use when they ran out.

Sizes and Patterns

I ordered all my napkins off Etsy from CHOWwithMe, Terri was very nice and offered to look for any patterns I might want to explore. The best part, she is in AZ! So my napkins didn’t travel far.

This is completely up to you, I knew that I wanted some smaller ones for my packed lunches and snacks and larger ones for dinners. I found some really cute napkins rings at Goodwill that I can use on the larger ones for a classier look if the occasion calls for it. Unlike the paper napkins I can look for cute designs to add color to my white plates!


I find a drawer works well for the larger one and I continue to use my napkin holder for my square smaller ones.


I wash mine with a load of laundry or if I don’t have a load to wash, I’ll wash them by hand. The key is to get enough so you are not doing laundry all the time. If you are unsure, purchase some and see how you like it, then add to the collection if they work well for you.

Where to Shop

So you might be asking so where might I purchase cloth napkins? You can go to any Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target*, Kolh’s, Macy’s, etc. If you want something more custom and possibly cheaper check out Etsy.com. Etsy has this fun feature where can look for shops in your area.

*Side note: I tend to recommend Target more often than Walmart because they tend to sell a higher quality option that you know what it is made of. Lots of products appear to be something they are not. If you do go to a Walmart or Kmart be sure to do some research on the option you are looking into before you buy to be sure it doesn’t have plastic in it. Research is good practice to do no matter where you shop.

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My name is Kate and I'm a world traveler looking to make a positive impact by reducing my waste and single plastic use.

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