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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Nest.

In this Badge Bit, you will setup a cloth napkin system.



Some related articles
  - Save Money and Reduce Waste with Cloth Napkins
  - Problems with Easy Solutions: Cloth Napkins
  - How to Wash, Iron, and Store Cloth Tablecloths and Linens
  - Why You Should Switch to Cloth Napkins and How to Do It
  - How to Create a Paperless Kitchen





To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
  - set up a cloth napkin system
      - dirty napkin basket (with labels)
      - clean napkin storage

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must provide:
   - a picture of where the dirty cloth napkins go
   - a picture of where clean napkins are stored
   - a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned
   - OR a 2-minute video of you doing this
COMMENTS:
 
steward
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Approved submission
About half a year ago, I made this little box to hold all our napkins. Once they are dirty, they go in our rag bag, which gets washed every few day, as we generate a lot of dirty napkins, towels and rags cleaning up after our kids. The rag bag and it's napkins get washed with a little bit extra detergent than a normal load, and if things are really messy in there, I wash it on hot to help remove the grease and gunk in the rags, napkins, etc.

Dirty napkins being put into rag bag:



Our napkin box:

napkin-box.jpg
napkin box
napkin box
Staff note (Mike Barkley) :

I certify this BB is complete.

 
gardener
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They are washed at the same time as the towels. Dark towels don't risk stains.
Dirty-rags-and-napkins..jpg
Dirty rags and napkins.
Dirty rags and napkins.
The-clean-napkin-box..jpg
The clean napkin box.
The clean napkin box.
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
pollinator
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We love our cloth napkins! I made ours from some cute fabric scraps that I had laying around the house.
We've been using ours for a couple years now, but I had to whip up a few more last week because some of the napkins have mysteriously disappeared (napkin fairies!!)





Clean napkins live in a little basket on the kitchen table


Dirty napkins go in our small bin along with towels, washclothes and rags. They get washed with bleach, which none of our other laundry gets.


The bin isn't labeled because we've been using this system for almost three years now and no one in the house needs the reminder of where things go anymore.
 
Carolyne Castner
pollinator
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Carolyne Castner wrote:We love our cloth napkins! I made ours from some cute fabric scraps that I had laying around the house.
We've been using ours for a couple years now, but I had to whip up a few more last week because some of the napkins have mysteriously disappeared (napkin fairies!!)

The bin isn't labeled because we've been using this system for almost three years now and no one in the house needs the reminder of where things go anymore.



Fixing Pics that weren't showing up!

Green-napkin-in-progress.jpg
green napkin in progress
green napkin in progress
Finished-green-napkin.jpg
finished green napkin
finished green napkin
Chevron-napkin.jpg
chevron napkin
chevron napkin
Napkin-basket.jpg
napkin basket
napkin basket
Dirty-Napkin-Bin.jpg
dirty napkin bin
dirty napkin bin
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
pollinator
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We have nearly 100 cloth napkins, which seems a bit excessive for 2 guys, no matter how messy 😀

I gathered them from thrift stores and made a bunch back in 2017 for our wedding. Now, maybe 20 of them are in regular use at home, and the others are taken to local events for use instead of paper ones.

Napkins are washed in the regular laundry: cold water wash in a clothes washer, home made laundry soap, hung to dry. Unless unusually gross, in which case they might get rinsed out first, or put in a separate rag load.
B1DCD38E-FA94-4674-825C-E3ECFD4A70AB.jpeg
Napkins in a cupboard right by the dining table, ready for use.
Napkins in a cupboard right by the dining table, ready for use.
A19C92C2-8288-48E6-BD9D-F7B9437320C3.jpeg
Dirty napkins go in the regular laundry basket, no need for special treatment.
Dirty napkins go in the regular laundry basket, no need for special treatment.
Staff note (Ashley Cottonwood) :

I certify this BB complete! I also humbly request a thread with your homemade detergent recipe

 
gardener
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Hi Kevin,

For the BB to be complete there needs to be" a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned".

Please include this information so we can certify this BB!

Spiffy napkins though!
 
Kevin Wilson
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote:For the BB to be complete there needs to be" a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned".

Please include this information so we can certify this BB!



Added to original post!
 
gardener
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Approved submission
My son and I are both pretty tidy eaters. Often, our napkins can get a reuse by shaking the crumbs into the compost bucket and returning the basically-clean napkin back to our spot at the table.

Truly dirty napkins (or thrice-used-basically-clean) get a shakeout over the compost bucket, and then go straight into the washing machine, until a full load gets run.

I cleaned up and labeled the clean napkin storage.
IMG_20200818_194031.jpg
Old system, not working, also it's so blurry, how did we see anything
Old system, not working, also it's so blurry, how did we see anything
IMG_20200818_212343.jpg
New clean
New clean
IMG_20200818_211331_1.jpg
Dirty goes here
Dirty goes here
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
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I inherited cloth napkins, linen ones. But my dad and I had used cotton ones too. When $ got tight it was a cost saving idea I had that he approved of as it required next to no extra effort. I grew up with cloth napkins, so using them isn't different for me.

I have a holey linen table cloth I'm going to try and turn into napkins. I've never done that as sewing just isn't a skill of mine. But it's a nice piece of cloth and I want to salvage it.

We use paper towels for grease. I use rags for messes and wash them. I use old washcloths to clean the kitchen counter/cutting boards, etc. But we're not on city water and DH does NOT want the fats in the leach field, so I use paper towels and sometimes, when I have it, newspaper. What do you do with your grease and fats?  Putting them in a can doesn't answer the issue.

I have a rag system, not a napkin system. When a rag gets where I won't yell at DH if he uses it for something really nasty, I put a slash on it with a permanent marker, like "/". When it degrades to a shop rag altogether, where it will likely be tossed after its next use, it gets another slash "\" so now it looks like this: X. I use the same method for marking sheets and other cloth items. "/" means I'm not pristine, but still have life in me. "X" means I'm on my last legs and if you abuse me, I'll probably wind up in the trash.

Re cleaning napkins? We use them once and I look at them afterwards. If they're stained or icky they go in the wash. if not, they get a second use before they're washed. They're always washed with the flannel I use for dishwashing and other rags, on 'sanitize" and I only do full loads...
 
pollinator
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Another BB I go for. Cloth napkins.


There's a hole in this tablecloth ... I will use it as fabric for napkins


I cut 8 napkins from the good parts of the tablecloth


Sewing the seams with my sewing machine


New napkins rolled up neatly in the closet next to the table . So this is the place for clean napkins


New napkin on the table (good combination with my tablecloth)


This is the basket where all dirty laundry goes, also dirty napkins.
How they get cleaned: like all other laundry they are washed in the washing machine. At 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). I use home-made laundry liquid (ingredients: olive oil soap, washing soda and water) or biodegradable washing detergent.


Staff note (Ash Jackson) :

Hi Inge, I could certify this if you also included, "- a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned."

Staff note (Ash Jackson) :

I certify this BB complete!

 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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Hi Ash. I edited to add 'how they are cleaned', in the last sentence.
 
Posts: 68
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I've collected an assortment of cloth napkins over the years. We keep most of them in a drawer in the kitchen, but we do have a wooden napkin holder my spouse made that we use to keep some accessible on the kitchen table (when it gets low we replenish it with more from the drawer). Under the sink we keep a small trash can that we've converted to a "laundry basket" for dirty kitchen linens - napkins, dish towels, dish cloths, etc. We wash the contents of that basket along with with the contents of our general towel basket (bath towels, hand towels, towels we used to dry the dog after she was out in the rain, etc.) in a washing machine on a the "energy saving" setting with laundry detergent. Usually we run the washing machine on cold unless there's something particularly greasy on something.
IMG_20200927_024140108.jpg
Kitchen drawer where we keep clean, folded napkins.
Kitchen drawer where we keep clean, folded napkins.
IMG_20200927_024236684.jpg
Napkin holder on the table.
Napkin holder on the table.
IMG_20200927_024113368.jpg
Small "laundry basket" under the sink where we put dirty napkins, towels, dishrags, etc.
Small "laundry basket" under the sink where we put dirty napkins, towels, dishrags, etc.
Staff note :

I certify this BB complete! Congratulations on your new air badge!

 
pollinator
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Just bought myself some fair trade napkins and a table runner (I didn't buy it just for this BB, its because we finally got a house of our own big enough to have room for a table and have people over). We normally use oshibori for wiping our hands before and after food (also cloth, was labeled face cloths in the setting up a rag system as we also use them as face cloths). Anyway the napkins will probably reserved for fancier meals and when we have guests. I've not washed them yet but I intend to throw them in with the regular laundry and if they are particularly stained soak in baking soda in the sink beforehand. Potentially I'll use my 100% biodegradable stain remover block when/if needed.

(I think this is my last BB needed for the sand nest badge depending on whether my rug one is sufficient to be approved).
IMG_20201111_161225.jpg
Shiny new cloth napkins on top of my table runner
Shiny new cloth napkins on top of my table runner
IMG_20201024_105041.jpg
Dirty ones go in here
Dirty ones go in here
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: I certify this BB is complete.

Staff note :

For the sand badge please posts links to the BBs there so it is easy for staff to verify.

 
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This is my first BB and hopefully it'll get the ball rolling as I've got several that I should be able to pick off easily if I can find the time.

I have made the mistake of washing our napkins with our clothes a time or two, with some clothes getting grease spots as a result.
Despite this I somehow hadn't thought to devote a bag for them until coming across this BB.
So our system now is to place the dirty napkins in the bag shown below. When it's full, also pictured, they get washed on a sanitary cycle and then returned to their spot in the drawer by the oven mitts and pot holders, last picture.
IMG_20201116_131218.jpg
Dirty napkin and napkin bag
Dirty napkin and napkin bag
IMG_20201116_131229.jpg
Filled napkin bag
Filled napkin bag
IMG_20201116_204724.jpg
Clean napkins in their drawer
Clean napkins in their drawer
Staff note (gir bot) :

Jordan Holland approved this submission.
Note: Good job! Welcome to Permies!

 
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Dirty napkins go in the basket, clean napkins in the drawer, and dirty napkins get washed with the rest of the kitchen towels in the washing machine.
B10E66C7-75FC-4968-BC4A-3D155E7A0755.jpeg
Dirty napkins and rags
Dirty napkins and rags
185E0CC8-0892-42EC-98C1-CD79126AD50E.jpeg
Clean napkins and rags
Clean napkins and rags
Staff note (gir bot) :

Jordan Holland approved this submission.

 
pollinator
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.
Note: Clever label system!

 
pioneer
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Setting up a cloth napkin system - they work better than normal napkins and are fun to feel fancy even though it is simple! Ours will shake out the crumbs, then wash with our other kitchen towels/rags in the washer (for now) on our weekly laundry load. Used a wood tray for storage, and a drawstring our sheets came in for the dirty bag!
image.jpg
Ready for a meal!
Ready for a meal!
image.jpg
Dirty bag hanging from the side!
Dirty bag hanging from the side!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Nicole Alderman approved this submission.
Note: I hereby certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
Posts: 12
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Do you mean it? You want to see my pretty linens? :::skips Snow White-ly into the kitchen:::

I've made napkins from an old bedsheet before--just cut the fabric to size, zigzagged around the edge (in red, so they'd match the dishes), and trimmed the excess. Those lasted for years--longer than the cat, actually. Sigh.

I bought our current set of 2 dozen napkins for our wedding back in January. I brought my Fiestaware collection for our guests to use, and I rented what I didn't have at home so we didn't need any single-use items. Just throwing that in because I'm proud of it and the picture is pretty.

Newlywed though I may be, I'm an experienced hausfrau. As such, I've got a collection of kitchen linens too! I bought some, I made some, I won a few in a church raffle, I knit them when I'm bored.... they just sort of come to my house and stay there. And then I make them work. :::supervillain laugh:::

For extra Instagram-worthiness, I've rolled up several napkins taquito style and put them in this container for ready use. It lives on the table or the counter, depending on where we put it last.

We'll usually leave napkins on the table for two or three uses. When they need to be changed out, I'll get one wet and wipe the table with it, then toss it in our regular laundry a few steps away in our bedroom. I wash all the kitchen linens, bathroom linens, and bed sheets together in hot cycle with Charlie's Soap. I pretreat with regular soap and/or add oxygen bleach if necessary.
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Eliza helping me make napkins from an old bed sheet
Eliza helping me make napkins from an old bed sheet
img_4838_51044430173_o.jpg
A glimpse of our cloth napkins at our "Reusable Reception" when we got married in January.
A glimpse of our cloth napkins at our "Reusable Reception" when we got married in January.
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The drawer where the napkins and other clean kitchen linens live.
The drawer where the napkins and other clean kitchen linens live.
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The kitchen table/counter container that holds napkins ready for use.
The kitchen table/counter container that holds napkins ready for use.
20210622_205151.jpg
The receptacle for dirty linens, along with the rest of the laundry.
The receptacle for dirty linens, along with the rest of the laundry.
 
Summer Newcomb
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Oops! That was a dog, not a cat. Here is Eliza helping me make napkins.
20121203_095531.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20121203_095531.jpg]
 
gardener
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My family has a tradition going back at least four generations of using individual napkin rings. When I got married, my wife bought me a new one and had it engraved. My childhood napkin ring is still with my parents and I use it when I stay. Having individual rings means those of us who are less messy get to use our own napkin at more than one meal. My boys are muck-magnets . . . When the big one left for college, I was very sad to see his unused napkin ring in the draw.

Grubby napkins are enthusiastically hurled down the basement stairs into the cloth laundry bucket. The same goes for dish cloths and tea towels / drying up cloths.

The house fairy, aka me, then washes and line dries them before folding and putting back in the draw at the bottom of the pile, so they all get evenly cycled.

C73C11C7-9EB2-4816-93BD-19D65E8DBA8C.jpeg
Napkin draw
Napkin draw
CA4B7D8E-CD0B-4516-823B-6D07FF167BD8.jpeg
Cloth bucket halfway down the basement stairs
Cloth bucket halfway down the basement stairs
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Line drying
Line drying
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Opalyn Rose approved this submission.
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We store our cloth napkins in the drawer in our table, making it very convenient to grab them before or during meals.

The linen napkins have been in use in my family since my mom's childhood in the 50's and 60's. They came from the lace factory where my grandmother worked. My mom, my generation, and now my son have all sat around the table with family and friends using the same cloth. I love sharing their history with my son. I made the gingham napkins over a decade ago and tend to use them for more 'risky' child meals!

Unless the meal is greasy or they were heavily used, the adult napkins get more than one meal. When they're ready to be washed, we put them directly into the washing machine as we carry our dirty dishes into the kitchen. If the washing machine is full, they wait patiently on the floor (high tech solution!). We wash them on the lowest setting with our clothes.
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[Thumbnail for PXL_20220207_111503327.MP.jpg]
Table drawer
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[Thumbnail for PXL_20220207_111645780.MP.jpg]
Napkins
PXL_20220207_111522420.MP.jpg
[Thumbnail for PXL_20220207_111522420.MP.jpg]
Washing machine
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Someone approved this submission.
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pollinator
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Hooray for cloth napkins! We’ve used this system for so long that I can’t even remember when we didn’t. Our napkins are from a mix of sources. Some were my mom’s. Some were my spouse’s grandmother’s. Some I’ve made. Some were thrifted. They live in a basket on the dining room table. Once out of the basket and in use, spouse and I will leave them at our respective places at the table for a few days or until they get mucky. Then they go in the bin on top of the dryer, which is also used for kitchen towels, dish cloths, and rags. Once a week, they all go in the washer with a greywater-friendly detergent (Dropps). I dry them on the line outside when it’s sunny and in the dryer when it’s not—I want either UV or heat killing any pathogens from the dish cloths.
E161AA19-C740-4F7E-A54D-7F56489D5F4A.jpeg
Clean napkins ready for use, on the table
Clean napkins ready for use, on the table
AF28DD22-245C-446A-B717-03C8B7FE13FE.jpeg
Bin for the dirty ones
Bin for the dirty ones
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This cloth napkin system has lasted my family of 4 for years but it doesn't hold up so well when we have guests for multiple days. If I were to change something I would have made the clothes unique so that guests could easily distinguish which one is theirs for the duration of their stay if they don't get use often. Otherwise, I just do more laundry.

A description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned:
I sort of labeled the dirty basket bin in that it's the laundry machine. I wash the napkins with everything else and they get washed more quickly/frequently this way and they get washed no differently than any of our other clothes, a volume of detergent proportional to the volume of clothes in cold water. Plus the laundry is right next to our kitchen in this house so it's extra convenient. Previously I had a bin in the stairwell since the laundry was in the basement.
a-picture-of-where-clean-napkins-are-stored.jpg
a picture of where clean napkins are stored - a cigar box found at a thrift store and cleaned up
a picture of where clean napkins are stored - a cigar box found at a thrift store and cleaned up
a-picture-of-where-the-dirty-cloth-napkins-go.jpg
dirty napkin basket (with labels)
dirty napkin basket (with labels)
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gardener
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Submission flagged incomplete
Our napkins are multi-purpose face wiping, crumb catching, table cleaning cloths. They're mostly made from old towels, or the little courtesy present towels that are given as rewards or gifts.

We wash them every morning with the regular laundry. No special treatment, and as such they go straight into the washing machine in the morning.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - set up a cloth napkin system
     - dirty napkin basket (with labels)
     - clean napkin storage

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must provide:
  - a picture of where the dirty cloth napkins go
  - a picture of where clean napkins are stored
  - a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned
  - OR a 2-minute video of you doing this

Clean napkins stored under the kitchen sink in a reused salvaged plastic basket.


Dirty napkins go directly to the washing machine.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone flagged this submission as not complete.
BBV price: 1
Note: Looks like you need the following:        - dirty napkin basket (with labels)

 
L. Johnson
gardener
Posts: 1631
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
735
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Approved submission
Trying again following the directions more carefully.

Our napkins are multi-purpose face wiping, crumb catching, table cleaning cloths. They're mostly made from old towels, or the little courtesy present towels that are given as rewards or gifts.

We wash them every morning with the regular laundry. No special treatment, and as such they go straight into the washing machine in the morning.

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - set up a cloth napkin system
     - dirty napkin basket (with labels)
     - clean napkin storage

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must provide:
  - a picture of where the dirty cloth napkins go
  - a picture of where clean napkins are stored
  - a description of how the cloth napkins are cleaned
  - OR a 2-minute video of you doing this

Clean napkins stored under the kitchen sink in a reused salvaged plastic basket.


Dirty napkins used to go directly to the washing machine. We now have a collection basket to make it clear which ones are dirty and which are clean on the kitchen table.

Staff note (gir bot) :

Nikki Roche approved this submission.

 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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