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Nose test comparison on cloth handkerchiefs and paper tissues, TP, etc.

Today I turn away from the holidays for a moment, to discuss a matter of great importance during what is commonly known as cold and flu season: the nose. We kicked off cold/flu season with a bang by all coming down with strain A of the flu over Thanksgiving. If there's a silver lining to that dark cloud, it's that I've had ample time to conduct a thorough nose test of handkerchiefs made of several types of cloth, as well as dipping into some disposable paper products made with post-consumer recycled content. Here is my well researched, scientific and highly important executive summary hanky report:

  • Washed Kirkland wipes just keep getting better and better
  • T-shirt material makes an excellent hanky
  • Flannel is potentially the ideal handkerchief
  • Cheap woven cotton hankies sold in 3-packs in the dollar store are not worth the dollar
  • 7th Generation toilet tissue is really quite soft on the nose
  • 7th Generation facial tissues leave a lot to be desired

Any time I mention the washing of Kirkland baby wipes for reuse, the standard first reaction is "horrified." They ask: "Are you talking about what we wipe baby poop up with and then are supposed to throw away?" Yes. Bingo. Exactly. But that's not a very productive way to think about it. Here's how I think about it: we use cotton washcloths on a regular basis in our homes. Sometimes we wash our faces with them. Sometimes our behinds. They all end up in the washing machine, and they get clean. Same deal with the wipes. What I've found is they become more soft with each washing, like flannel sheets. They have been kind to my nose. They are a good size for my kids who blow once, then toss (into the hamper). I've heard they will eventually lint away to nothingness, but so far have not had that happen.

We have a slew of t-shirt material napkins that are often cross-utilized as hankys. They are soft and absorbent. I can understand why kids often favor wiping their noses on their sleeves if this is the type of shirt they generally wear (mine do). If I have no clean Kirkland wipes available, t-shirt handkerchiefs are my second pick. Well, really it's a tossup. Either are winners.

Flannel would probably be ideal. But unfortunately, I'm speculating, because I don't have any flannel hankys. They would require hemming on the edges, and I've never taken the time to do that. I have some lovely flannel remnants that I plan to work with someday....

Woven cotton real genuine hankies with little lace trims or floral embroidery. Thumbs down. Really rough on the nose. Now, I will confess that the ones I have were bought in a moment of weakness at a dollar store (I don't even know how I ended up in that place, let alone spent money.) It's possible they'll soften up like old bandanas as they age and get repeatedly washed. But given the rough intro I've had to them, it'll take a while for me to actually use them. I will use them to dam up my nose if it happens to be running like a faucet and won't seem to stop (sadly, this has been happening far too frequently lately). Not very satisfactory for wiping or substantial blows.

7th Generation Toilet Tissue and Facial Tissues. So this is our home brand. 7G tp works well for both ends. Don't understand why tp would be softer than their facial tissue. Don't really buy the facial tissue anymore. To me 7G facial tissue has way too much in common with sand paper. Well, not that bad. But close.

I'll excuse myself now. I need to go blow my nose.


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