Last updated on January 27th, 2022
I’m hooked on Flour Sack Cloth. It’s great for mopping up kitchen spills, polishing silverware, dusting furniture, and lots of other household tasks. Unlike expensive/wasteful paper towels, flour sack is easy on the wallet. Also, it’s indefinitely reusable. Here’s the history of this old-fashioned fabric, plus my tips for using it in the kitchen and all around the house:
The History of Flour Sack Cloth
Starting in the 1800s, and continuing through the 1940s, flour, sugar, and certain other dry goods were shipped in sacks weighing 50 or 100 lbs. The sacks were made from tightly-woven cotton. When a sack was empty, it would be laundered, bleached, cut, and hemmed. Flour sack was commonly used as kitchen towels, cleaning and polishing cloths, diapers, underwear, sheets, and pillowcases.
Flour sack cloth is soft, super-absorbent, lint-free, and highly washable. And get this — the cloth becomes even softer and more absorbent every time you wash it. The only products that will hinder absorbency are fabric softeners and dryer sheets, so please don’t use them. Otherwise, feel free to wash flour sack in hot or warm water, either with or without bleach. Bleach is not often required, as the cloth does not hold stains easily. Machine dry.
Cutting the Cloth
About a year ago, I purchased two packages of flour sack cloths from Amazon. Each package contained seven 38-by 33-inch cloths — the ideal size for hand towels, tea towels, or for covering a tea table (see photos below). I used pinking shears to cut some of the cloths into smaller sizes for wiping up spills, dusting, and etc. Since I did not stitch, or “hem” the cloths, the cut sides frayed a little after the first laundering. They did not, however, continue to fray after subsequent washings. That’s because flour sack cloths are made from tightly-woven, 100% cotton.
Ways to use Flour Sack Cloth
I use flour sack cloth for wiping up spills…
And for straining used deep-fry oil (so that the oil can be used again and again).
I also use the cloths for cleaning and polishing sterling silverware…
For cleaning and buffing stainless steel appliances…
For drying vegetables…
And for drying pots, pans, and delicate crystal.
Because the cloths are lint-free, they are great for cleaning and polishing windows and mirrors. (Who needs wasteful, expensive paper towels?)
Flour sack even makes a great table cloth for a tea table!
Where to Find Flour Sack Cloths (Towels)
I’ve heard that flour sack cloths of questionable quality can be found at big-box stores. I ordered high-quality flour sack from Amazon — click here for details and to read reviews.
Wanna help the environment and save a LOT of money at the same time? Do what I did, and trade your paper towels for flour sack cloths! Love ya! Kevin