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December 29, 2013

Consumer Reports: Best, worst paper towels

(Continued)

• Green towels still lag behind. There’s little or no governmental regulation of many of the green claims on paper towels, though recycled claims have some merit. Seventh Generation Right Size, which the maker claims is made from 100 percent recycled paper, wasn’t very good at absorption, scrubbing or strength, and it’s a bit more expensive. The company that makes Scott Naturals Mega Roll Choose-A-Size says that it has 60 percent recycled fibers. It costs less and was stronger when wet, but it’s not very absorbent.

USE IT, SKIP IT

You probably know you can prevent cross-contamination after handling raw chicken and meat by using paper towels and hot, soapy water to clean kitchen countertops and cutting boards. But here are five “aha!” uses for those handy helpers.

• Wash and dry fruit and vegetables with paper towels before peeling to help keep dirt and bacteria from transferring from the knife to the produce.

• Wrap food in wet paper towels to steam-cook in your microwave, creating healthy meals and snacks.

• Cover bathroom door handles with a paper towel before turning them to reduce exposure to germs during cold and flu season.

• Make a tight pad from two folded paper towels, add some vegetable oil and use tongs to drag it across your grill’s grates just before cooking to prevent food from sticking.

• Clean the rubber edge of your car’s wiper blades with a paper towel dampened with glass cleaner or water and a little dish detergent to extend the life of the wipers.

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