I was reading over at Simple Mom about her goal to be "paperless" and thought I'd share a part of my "paperless kitchen" with you. Mind you, my house isn't paper-none. Just paper-less.
When Julia was born we tried to use the conventional burp cloths and bibs we received but I quickly found that our drawer was full of cloth that looked pretty but sucked at actually doing it's job. The cutest bibs we had were polyester based. Why did they even manufacture those in the first place? The purpose of the small towel on my shoulder was just for show. Slightly curdled milk chunks just ran down the towel like rain on a window. It didn't stop until it hit the floor. The bib was pointless!
On our next trip to Stuff*Mart I picked up a mulit-colored pack of cheap 100% cotton wash cloths and immediately separated them into categories. (NOTHING soaks up spit like cotton!)
The white and yellow ones were for the kitchen; wiping faces, cleaning food off tables, etc.
The pink and purple ones went straight to the diaper changing table and were to be used as drying towels for Julia's bottom. I never liked putting a diaper on a freshly wet-wiped butt without drying her little cheeks off first.
The blue and green ones went to the bathroom for typical wash cloth use there.
And it has been wonderful! Over the past two years the white and yellow ones have become stained and dingy so the old white & yellows are now under the sink with our cleaning supplies. I replaced them with a full pack of white ones and we go through them so quickly in a day! They're obviously new with their fluffiness and brightness so it's easy to keep them separated from the old ones.
Don't be afraid to problem solve in your house. Not just with wash cloths ... look around. What isn't working? Can it be fixed some other way? Don't think of the things that are MARKETED to us ... think of the things that could actually be helpful!