Paper Towels - Necessity?

Paper towels are the bane of my existence! I’m so sick of constantly buying and restocking giant packages of paper towels (I don’t live onsite for any of my listings).
Guests seem to use an inordinate amount of them, but on rare occasions when I run out I never get any complaints. Is it worth it to provide them?

I stopped supplying those very early on in my hosting career - I think they’re expensive and used at an incredible speed. I get the odd comment but I still don’t supply them.


I supply them in my whole-home listing for up to 8 guests. I put 3 new rolls in the pantry along with whatever remains on the paper towel holder. I keep the giant package of rolls in a locked storage room.

Most guest groups use a reasonable amount. Less than 10% are excessive, and I could easily control that by putting out only 1 extra roll instead of 3.

I’ve done analysis on my consumables and both toilet paper and facial tissues (e.g., Kleenex) cost me more than paper towels and they both are more often excessively used by guests.

If you are putting the giant package of paper towels where your guests can access them, then maybe the guests are helping themselves and what you need to do is keep them locked in a room or cabinet and have your cleaners put out only what is appropriate for the next reservation.


I started supplying them in the last two years. I have mixed feelings about them. Yes, they are wasteful in some ways but if a guest needs to clean something up, wipe a spill for example, they need to be available. I think they are a necessary evil, especially at your price point @cooperjto.


I feel paper towels are quite necessary unless you want them using your bath towels or face cloths for clean up.
I noticed in your site photo’s that you just have it sitting on the counter, perhaps you should consider using a paper towel holder so it not so easy to pull off reams of sheets.

Fully booked I only replace the towel roll every 2 weeks, ( I use the big fat rolls from Costco so they fit a little bit tight in the holder) I also supply a copy cat brand of Lysol wipes.
I would expect paper towel for any stay with a kitchen or snack prep area.


I provide paper towels, disposable cleaning wipes, AND - for the environmentally sensitive - old rags in the kitchen and laundry areas. Didn’t stop that one group of jerks from using a brand new, never-before-used white plush bath and hand towel set from the complete opposite side of the house in the bathroom to clean up a black oily mess in the kitchen. Jerks jerks jerks.


I do think paper towels are a necessity—environmental nightmare though they are. I like the suggestion from another commenter about using big fat rolls and a dispenser that helps limit waste.

I believe by not supplying paper towels, you’d be inviting far worse problems: stains not cleaned up or cleaned up with expensive towels, pet or child messes left for you—provided you allow pets/children.

At home, we use relatively little paper towel. But we’re disciplined about which towels are our “rat” towels (meaning “utility”) and about washing them promptly. We’re also disciplined about using our plant-based sponges and running them through the dishwasher. Guests probably wouldn’t be informed and disciplined enough to do those things.

We don’t include much in the way of kitchen privileges for guests, so none of this is an issue for us.


yes. i grew up with no paper towels and i like them.

So what are your guests using to clean up accidental spills of liquid or food – your bathtowels? Your toilet paper? Your facial tissue… oh, you probably don’t supply it either because it gets used up.

One roll of paper towels per listing, and don’t put another in until the previous roll is below 6mm thick. Three rolls of TP per guest set. Don’t leave a case of paper towels or toilet paper at a listing, you’re asking for them to disappear!

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Although there are none in the photos, he could have kitchen towels and kitchen washrags (bar mops) in drawers. I hang up 2 of each up in the kitchen of my listing an there are another 10 of each in drawers. Still, some guests prefer paper towels, and I can’t blame them because I don’t really like to use cloth to wipe up some kinds of spills that I know will stain or be difficult or time-consuming to rinse out.

I put a small amount in the pantry so guests rarely use them and supply washable cleaning cloths under the sink which they use for cleaning.

I tried bamboo reusable cloths but even after washing they looked dirty after a couple of uses.

I supply a number of dark coloured kitchen towels are well as paper towels. Rarely have to top up the paper supplies.

I supply paper towels but I also prove kitchen towels. I rarely have to restock the paper towels.

One full roll, in addition to the tea towels supplied in the kitchen (about three usually). I don’t skimp on any cleaning materials at all - the cupboard under the sink is like the supermarket’s detergent dept :slight_smile:


I supply them. I leave one on the kitchen counter and a spare roll in the pantry. The others I lock in the shed. I used to stock pile them in the pantry and people would go through the entire pack!

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Exactly. You should expect that if you skimp on cleaning supplies, guests are guaranteed to skimp on cleaning up after themselves.


No paper towels here. I do supply two big older towels for spills, wiping paws, wiping baggage and gear, as well as a small stack of cleaning cloths that can be used for anything. Also a jute bag in which to put the used cleaning cloths/towels. In seven years, no guest has asked for paper towels, most have cleaned up their own spills, and all can feel virtuous. :wink:


I stopped buying rolls and switched to tri-fold paper towels, they are way cheaper and they are not prone to overuse because you have to pull them out of dispenser one at a time. Here is the dispenser I bought

And here are the tri-fold towels I bought in January and still have half left.



RR I like that. I was going to try to incorporate just that inside Gypsy, but there wasn’t enough space::

Does it stand out from the wall the full width of the tri-fold?

I had a thought: since you do not live on site, I will assume you are not involved in cleaning, perhaps your cleaning crew are using them?