Selecting the Right Paper Towel

Paper towels are an absolute must in just about every business and home in America.  They are versatile, cost effective and can be used in a variety of different areas of the business or home, from washrooms to kitchens and work areas.   Paper towels are also used for a variety of applications including hand-drying, soaking up spills and leaks and general purpose cleaning.  When selecting paper towel some of the factors to consider include ply, absorbency, sheet size, fold type and cost.  In this article, we address some of the questions and factors to consider when selecting a paper towel.  

Can Paper Towel Be Recycled?

No.  Whether clean or dirty, paper towel cannot be recycled.   Therefore, it is recommended to ideally find a purpose for any unused paper towel materials.  Paper towels consisting of recycled content are a great way to reduce the impact on the environment since the materials used in making recycled paper towel are getting a second use.

What Are the Best Paper Towels for You?

Choosing the correct paper towels may seem like an easy choice initially.  However, upon closer review there are a number of differences to consider, including:

  • Ply Count:  The number of layers of paper used to make the complete paper towel.   The higher the ply count, the more absorbent, thick, soft and strong the paper towel will be.
  • Sheet Size:  Paper towels come in different sizes.  Therefore, it is important to select the size that will work best for your needs.  Smaller paper towels can help reduce overall use, but larger paper towels are more useful for large spills.
  • Environmental Certifications:  Paper towels will often have environmental accreditations which might be of interest for reducing your carbon footprint.  Keep an eye out for FSC, SFI and PEFC labels on packaging.  

What Are the Different Types of Paper Towel?

  • Virgin:  Paper towels that do not container any recycled or alternative fibers.   Generally, virgin paper towel has a very high level of absorbency.
  • Recycled:  Recycled paper towels are made from a mix of reused materials, making them less harmful for the environment.
  • Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF):  Paper towels that are free from chlorine-gas processes.  These paper towels are bleached with chlorine dioxide instead, which means the process is less harmful to the environment as well as to the workers manufacturing the paper towels.
  • Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF):  PCF towels are treated with bleach alternatives such as hydrogen peroxide or oxygen.  

Types of Paper Towel Folds

  • C-Fold Paper Towels:  The most common type of folded paper towel.  Each paper towel sheet has both sides folded inwards to meet in the middle.

  • S-Fold or Z-Fold Paper Towels:  This type of fold ensures that paper towels are interlocked.  When each sheet is dispensed from a dispenser, the next sheet follows and becomes ready for dispensing.  S or Z-Fold paper towels promote hygiene and help to control usage.

  • Multi-Fold Paper Towels:  Multi-Fold paper towels are folded in three layers, in an accordion shape.   Multi-fold towels are usually more absorbent than other due to their larger size.  Multi-fold paper towels can be a more cost-effective option when used in high traffic areas.

  • Single Fold Paper Towels:  Single fold paper towels are folded once down the middle of the towel.   They are stacked in an interlocked fashion with the next towel in a pack.  This controls their usage and helps to reduce consumption and waste.  

  • Rolled Paper Towels:  Rolled paper towels are best for commercial use and are commonly found in kitchens and washrooms.  The towel is pulled down from the center of the roll, allowing it to unravel inside the dispenser.  

SupplyLand offers a wide range of paper towel and dispenser options.  If you need assistance selecting the right paper towel for your needs, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.  

The information contained in this article is for information, educational and promotional purposes only and is based on the information available as of the initial date of publication.  It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations.  If there is any question or doubt in regards to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will SupplyLand be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.