Sunday, March 26, 2023


18 smart ways for RVers to use paper towels

Sure, we all use them to sop up spills, but paper towels can be used in so many additional ways! That’s why we always pack them along whenever we go RVing.

Note: I like Bounty, Brawny, or Viva brands because they handle most jobs without tearing. That said, a lesser-quality paper towel may work for some of the following tips, especially the suggestions that do not require scrubbing.

Ways to use paper towels in your RV

Keep greens fresh. Loosely wrap fresh herbs and salad greens in a paper towel to keep them fresh a bit longer inside your RV refrigerator. Extend this tip by placing the wrapped items inside a plastic bag or storage container.

Microwave bacon. If rain forces you to cook breakfast inside your rig, grab the paper towels. Place two paper towels on a microwavable plate. Place bacon strips side by side on top of the towels. Cover the bacon with two additional paper towels. Microwave on high for one-minute intervals, then check for crispness. It will take about five minutes in total. (Hint: I place the greasy paper towels inside a plastic bag and use them later as a fire starter, minus the bag.)

Clean fruit. I used to bring along my stix-n-brix strainer when RVing. Now I just use a paper towel to clean fruit. Here’s how: Put the fruit in the middle of a towel and run water over the fruit. Easy! And saves space in the RV cupboards, too.

Remove pulp. Use a paper towel like a strainer to remove pulp from juice.

De-silk corn. You can use a damp paper towel to remove silk from fresh corn on the cob. The towel grabs the silk quickly so you can get the picnic started in record time.

No soggy bread. If we camp in a remote location for an extended period, I usually bring along an extra loaf of bread and freeze it in our RV freezer. The problem? As the loaf defrosts, ice crystals can make the bread soggy. To solve this problem, I slip a towel inside the loaf of bread before freezing it. It helps to eliminate excess moisture in the bread.

Seasoning meat. RVers love to grill! If you pat the meat dry with a paper towel before adding seasoning, the spices will adhere better. Even if you’re not adding anything extra, the pat-dried meat will sear better on the grill.

No-slip cutting board. Place a towel under your cutting board to prevent it from slipping on your RV countertop. When finished cutting or chopping, use the towel to wipe away any juice or spills.

Stop microwave splatter. In our stix-n-brix home, I use a plastic microwave cover to keep microwave splatters under control. A paper towel can serve the same purpose without taking up valuable space.

Cast iron helper. Use plain water and a strong paper towel to scrub away food bits from cast iron pans after cooking. Rinse well and then dry thoroughly. Use a towel to apply cooking oil to the pan’s interior surface. I then place a clean paper towel inside my cast iron pans to absorb moisture, protecting them from rust.

Keep fridge clean. If you line your RV’s refrigerator drawers with paper towels, they will catch any spills and crumbs. The towels will also absorb excess moisture, helping your produce last longer. Easily remove and replace the paper towel when soiled.

Clean can opener. Did you know that you can run a paper towel through a can opener to clean it? It’s true! Just imagine you are opening a can, run the paper towel through the mechanism, and the paper towel will remove any “gunk” from the opener.

Chill wine. Need to chill a bottle of wine quickly? Wrap the bottle with a damp paper towel and place the wrapped bottle in your RV’s freezer. The bottle will chill in a flash.

Soften brown sugar. A moist paper towel can soften brown sugar that has hardened. Place the brown sugar inside a bowl and then cover the bowl with a damp paper towel. The sugar will soften within a few hours. (If you’re in a hurry, put the covered bowl into the microwave and microwave it for 25 seconds or until softened.)

Impromptu filter. If you forget to pack coffee filters, a paper towel will do the trick! Use it to line the coffee maker basket and the paper towel will strain out the coffee grounds.

Sew clean. After oiling my sewing machine, I thread it as usual and then stitch several lines through a paper towel until any oil residue has been cleaned away.

Faux napkins. When we eat barbeque wings or other meat, I like to use paper towels instead of table napkins. The paper towels seem to handle the sticky mess better than paper napkins. We thread a bungee cord through the paper towel tube and fasten the roll to the middle of the picnic table so everyone can easily grab one as needed.

Clean hands. My husband keeps a roll of paper towels in the RV basement for quick and easy access. He uses them to dry his hands, check engine oil levels, and more.

How do you use paper towels as you RV? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

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Grace Wilfong
1 month ago

If we are just having a sandwich or something for lunch, we put it on a paper towel instead of dirtying a dish.

1 month ago

While RVing we do use a lot of paper towels, but at home we’re trying to get away from them. The solution: a whole stack of small, square, paper-towel sized rags, gleaned from old t-shirts, towels, etc. The key is to make them easy to grab. Unless it’s an especially nasty job, we just throw them in with the wash. My mom got by without paper towels for many years, and I figure so can I. But it takes a little bit of effort.

Ron L
1 month ago

It takes 17 trees and more than 20,000 gallons of water to make one ton of paper towels. Most paper towels and facial tissues are made from virgin paper. This means no recycled content is used to make a product that is thrown away after just one use. What a waste!

1 month ago
Reply to  Ron L

And they grow those trees specifically to make things like paper towels.

1 month ago
Reply to  Gary

Thank You Gary. I have been trying forever to make people understand that trees grown for papers is a renewal farm crop.

Terence P Jr Hennessy
1 month ago
Reply to  KellyR

YUP, they PLANT THEM TO GROW THEM TO make paper towels.

1 month ago

Some times when you have fixed a leak and you’re not sure it’s totally fixed, where there might be a drip and that drip will dry up before you check the area again, place a paper towel under the suspect drip source. If there’s still a drip between when you check it even a day or two later, the paper towel will not be as new ie: you can tell if the paper towel has gotten wet even after a drip has dried.

1 month ago

I have a roll fastened to my utility bay door towel holder for use at the dump station – also a round container of sanitizer wipes and a box of latex gloves. (the “glove box” was a former Swiffer pad container – works great and has a transparent lid). To hold the sanitizer wipes container I used a black plastic fire extinguisher holder. I also installed a hand held sprayer in the bay.

1 month ago
Reply to  DW/ND

Good ideas. Thanks for sharing!

1 month ago

Off topic, but the best bacon is done in the oven if you cant be outside with the grill.

Bill Semion
1 month ago

you forgot one: the “man kleenex.” 😉

1 month ago

Window cleaning and wiping up spills. Picking up after pets. Universal go-to item.

1 month ago

I keep a roll of paper towels in an outside compartment with my grilling utensils and use them to cleanup during and after grilling and for general outdoor cleaning.

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