Shop Towels vs. Paper Towels

A classic dilemma: cloth shop towels vs. paper towels. Whether you manage an auto shop, a manufacturing facility, warehouse, or any other business that regularly uses towels, here are some points to consider:

5 Considerations for Cloth Shop Towels vs. Paper Towels

This decision will depend on factors unique to your business. Absorption, durability, convenience, cost, and sustainability should all be considered before making the purchase. 

1. Desired Absorbance

When it comes to absorbance, cloth top towels generally do a better job than paper towels. They’re larger, thicker, and can be wrung out for immediate reuse. Paper towels are only used once before they’re thrown away. A shop towel several times before it loses its ability to absorb dirt and moisture. 

2. Durability

Cloth towels are more durable than paper towels and can be used many times before they need to be laundered. After laundering, they can be used again. Paper towels are only used once before they need to be thrown away, even if they hold up during that single usage. 

3. Convenience

Paper towels are generally considered more convenient. They’re simply thrown them away after use. No laundering, no counting. However, they must be stocked on a fairly regular basis, especially since they’re only good for one use. Additionally, they fill trash cans around the business quickly which can be inconvenient and unsanitary.

4. Cost

As a long-term strategy, paper towels are far more expensive than cloth shop towels.  Though counter-intuitive with how cheap paper towels are at purchase (low-end≈$1.00/roll [2022]), their true expense adds up quickly. Businesses using paper towels can never stop purchasing them. Additionally, they must transport, store, and replace rolls constantly. Those small moments of labor, energy, and space consumption add up. Cloth shop towels, on the other hand, can be used multiple times before having them laundered, folded, and stored. 

5. Sustainability

13 billion pounds of paper towels are used and thrown away every year, in the United States alone. Additionally, the raw materials used in paper towel manufacturing contribute to deforestation. If sustainability is a concern, the decision between cloth shop towels vs. paper towels the answer is clear. 

How To Maintain Cloth Shop Towels

Though they are good for many reasons, maintaining a stock of cloth shop towels is no simple feat. Depending on the volume of towels consumed, the stress they would put on traditional washing machines is considerable, even if at a lower volume. Investing in a commercial-grade washer and dryer, installing the system, training somebody to use it, another to maintain it, and supplying detergents, utilities, and maintenance throughout use is a lot!

This is where we come in. American Wear’s towel service will bear the burdens of cloth shop towel maintenance in your business for you. Working with us is even less expensive than doing everything yourself!

Contact American Wear for Professional, Reliable Towel Service 

At American Wear, we provide a wide variety of shop towels in a number of sizes and textures so that you can get the product that gets the job done. From maintenance and cleaning to automotive and manufacturing, we have a towel that fits your industry. 

Plus, all of our towel products are recycled, laundered and delivered on a weekly basis by a route representative who personally manages your inventory. It’s efficient, convenient, and one less thing for you to worry about. Contact us today to learn more about our shop towel, microfiber cloth, and bath towel services. 

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