Clean your home with newspaper

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a tree hugger. I love nature and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to prevent waste, Predictably, one of my biggest annoyances is paper towels. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal. Paper towels are incredibly convenient to have around and even I have a roll in my kitchen. However, the idea of a product who’s only purpose is to be used to clean up spills and discarded doesn’t always sit right with me.

Lately however, I have discovered that another fairly common household item can do just as good — and in some cases a better — job than paper towels. I’m talking about good old fashioned newspaper. Yes, it seems that far from just being a delightfully retro way to impart the day’s events, newspaper is extremely versatile around the house. From cleaning windows to banishing funk, here are 10 ways to clean your home with newspaper.

Cleaning windows and mirrors


It turns out this old wives tale is pretty accurate. When it comes to cleaning windows, newspaper is a great alternative to paper towels or cloths. There are two reasons why newspaper is the ideal tool for this job. First of all, the ink in the paper acts as a mild abrasive, which helps scrub away stubborn dirt. Secondly, newspaper is comprised of dense fibres that won’t separate and cause lint.

To clean your windows using newspaper start by spraying the window with your favourite glass cleaner. Then, grab a sheet of newspaper and wipe the window in a circular motion to spread around the cleaner. Finally, use horizontal and vertical motions to wipe away any remaining liquid.

Remove smelly odor



The carbon found in the newsprint ink is great at absorbing bad smells. As you can imagine, this leads to many possibilities for odor control.

If you suffer from smelly sneakers try stuffing them with some newspaper. Alternatively you can use newsprint to freshen up a stinky fridge. If your fridge is smelling really bad try stuff any gaps with damp newspaper. Leave the paper in the fridge for a few days and the smell should be gone.

Cleaning a grill



If your grill needs a solid clean after a long winter, try using some newspaper. Heat up the grill for about 10 minutes and leave it to cool. When the grates are still warm soak some newspaper in water and lay them flat over the grates. Close the lid and let the grill sit for an hour. Once an hour has passed, remove the newsprint and most of the encrusted dirt will come off with the paper. Once the newspaper has been removed give the grates a quick wipe.

Cleaning an oven



If you’re out of paper towels newspaper can be used to pick up any residue left over after a self-cleaning cycle.

Clean a stainless steel sink



Just scrunch up some newspaper into balls and wet them. Then, use them to polish the sink and faucets.

Line shelves



When it comes to spring cleaning the secret is planning ahead. Save yourself a little time next year by using some leftover newspaper to line kitchen, bathroom, and cleaning storage shelves.

Line tables



Place a layer of newspaper under your dining room tablecloth. This is a cheaper option than regular padding and if you spill anything you can just chuck away the paper.

Cobweb remover



Roll up some newspaper and secure one end with an elastic band. Cut strips into the other end and use it to remove spider webs.

Remove musky odor



Scrunch up some paper and stuff it into suitcases or musky wardrobes. Leave the paper for a few weeks and the musky smell should be gone.

Impromptu knee pads



If you’re going all out on the spring cleaning you’re probably going to be spending some time on all floors scrubbing the floor or pruning the garden. Turn newspaper into impromptu knee pads. Just fold some paper into thick squares and strap them to your knees with some old socks or stockings.

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From a student of old methods
From a student of old methods
4 months ago

My mother, an old timey nurse, would tear newspapers in strip stick them in a bucket of water then throw them down on the floor after wringing them out. Then sweep up the papers and the dirt flinging to it. Obviously this technique is only good on well sealed floors.

Last edited 4 months ago by From a student of old methods
Carol Ann Kalish
Carol Ann Kalish
3 months ago

This is done in the movie “Perfect Days” and I have never heard of it. Your comment helped me understand it. Thank you so much!