Updated at: 24-08-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Nowadays, paper towels are a need in almost every home. Paper towels can be found in every room of the house. You can quickly mop up spills and leaks with paper towels. Why didn’t you use a roll of toilet paper or some old rags? What makes paper towels so effective for wiping slicks and spilled liquids is that they are absorbent. So, what exactly is in paper towels? Paper towels, a household staple, will be the subject of this article, which aims to educate and inspire you to make your own.

What Are Paper Towels Made Of

You may have read or heard that recycling paper helps the environment and saves trees. Hence, you may have questioned, “What are paper towels made from?” Paper towels are created from the same plant fibers as other types of paper. When paper is wet, a special resin is added to the fibers, resulting in a solid product. Paper towels can be distinguished from a wide variety of other papers. Paper towels, unlike sticky notes or tissue paper, do not break as rapidly when they are wet. The motifs are squeezed into the paper to give it the appearance of being quilted when it is made. These patterns create microscopic holes in order to pull in water. That’s why paper towels absorb so much water.

What Are Paper Towels Made Of? | Clean Sweep Supply

It is a well-known fact that paper is a byproduct of forests. Paper towels are made from wood and fiber crops that are pulped. Paper pulp does not always have to come from a tree, either. Instead, packaging companies should utilize recycled paper pulp instead of virgin pulp, which again reduces the number of trees being felled. As an alternative to wood pulp, paper towel manufacturers have turned to renewable resources like bamboo. Where do paper towels come from? We hope we answered this question.

How Are Paper Towels Made

Everyone knows that paper is made from trees, so this isn’t a huge revelation. Paper towels are made from wood and fiber crops that are pulped into sheets. Paper pulp does not always have to come from a tree. To reduce the amount of trees being cut down, packaging companies could instead utilize recycled paper pulp. Another sustainable resource created by the paper towel industry is bamboo. What’s in paper towels, exactly? We hope this question has been answered.

The impression of embossing is similar to that of a quilt, with multiple layers of soft paper towels laid on top of one another with gaps between them. A molded surface is used to modify the top of the towel in relation to the flat workpiece. Raised regions on a flat soft tissue surface are used in this technique, and these structures will collect and hold water.

How Does Paper Towels Absorb Liquids

How do paper towels absorb liquids? The answer depends on how they’re constructed. The paper towel is able to absorb water and a variety of other substances because of the air spaces, but there is much more that is absorbed. Any cellulose fiber in the sheet is used to make sugar molecules. If molecules adhere to the fibers of the paper towel, it will easily penetrate the spill. Paper towels and toilet tissue absorb some of the solution before it dissolves.

It doesn’t make sense for paper towels to be as obligated as other paper products are. Using merely a thin layer, two pieces are joined to form a single sheet. When two substances come into contact, they form tiny air pockets that eat the other. Towels made using this method are just one-ply, whereas two-ply paper towels are made by binding two sheets together.

Towels absorb moisture because of sugar molecules, which act as tiny binders in the fiber. Consider how rapidly glucose degrades in water. When you soak a paper towel, the water molecules rush in and adhere to the fibers. The reason paper towels are so effective at wiping up spills is because of this.

How Trees Are Needed To Make Paper Towels

The number of trees needed to produce 2,000 rolls of paper towels is an important initial step, given the volume of paper towels. One load of paper towels requires 17 trees and 20,000 litres of water. In addition, a single tree uses 1,176.47 gallons of water to produce around 118 paper towel rolls.

Paper towel manufacturers can make recycled paper towels if they so desire, but not everyone does. There are environmentally friendly paper towels and cotton towels available for folks who are concerned about their impact on the environment. In order to keep your shop clean and organized, you don’t need to remove an old tree.

Best Paper Towels To Buy

We understand the need of using high-quality cleaning towels in both the home and the business to maintain a healthy and safe working environment. Bulk purchases or one-month stock amounts are required depending on the needs of your home. According to our research, the following are the top-rated paper towels:

  • Two ply Bounty Select a Size
  • Pick-A-Size 2-Ply with Strength
  • Costco’s Kirkland Signature 2-Ply Create-A-Size
  • Vivid 1-Ply Strong and Soft as Cloth
  • Target’s Up & Up Make-A-Size 2-Ply

How Paper Towels Are Manufactured

Paper towels are one of the most often purchased household goods. However, few people are aware of how paper towels are produced. To produce consistently high-quality rolls, a lot goes into paper towel production, including wood fibers, industrial rollers, and absorbent materials.

Making the Pulp

Making pulp is the initial stage in the production of industrial paper towels. Paper towels, like toilet paper, are made from a pulp made from wood fibers and chemical additives. When the fibers come into contact with each other they form a pulp, which is subsequently separated into individual fibers. The pulp is cleaned and bleached once it has formed an useful state. By doing this, the paper is free of pollutants and other impurities that could otherwise degrade its quality. A bleach solution is then used to whiten the pulp after it is filtered through big screens. The fibers are strengthened and bonded by combining the mixture with resin after further processing. A series of industrial heating and cooling rollers are used to shape this final slurry.

Bonding the Paper

Paper towels don’t need to be pressed as hard as other paper products throughout the production process. Using a thin glue, two pieces are carefully bonded together to produce a single sheet. When the two layers come together, they create tiny air pockets that absorb liquids.. Only one-ply paper towels are produced using this method; two-ply paper towels are generated by bonding two distinct sheets together. Quality of the mixture, quality of the bond, and type of resin are all factors in determining paper towel composition.

How Paper Towels Absorb Liquids

Although the paper towel can absorb water and other liquids thanks to the paper towel’s air pockets, there is more to the absorption process than that. Sugar molecules make up the cellulose fibers in paper. Using a paper towel to absorb a spill is easy since the water molecules adhere to the fibers. This permits paper towels and toilet paper to absorb a specific quantity of liquids before they decompose, allowing them to be more environmentally friendly.

Can You Compost Paper Towels? — Bustling Nest

6 Best Paper Towels, According to Cleaning Experts

Strong, absorbent, and soft paper towels are ideal for wiping up spills and wiping faces. The Textiles, Paper & Plastics Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute put paper towel brands to the test to identify the best overall value. We evaluated how quickly and how much liquid each sheet absorbs as a means of testing absorption. Because no one wants a paper towel that crumbles under pressure, we then assessed the strength of each paper towel while wet. In the end, we looked at shedding, which is a common concern from consumers.

Afterwards, we delivered samples of paper towels to consumers who evaluated how soft they were and whether or not they enjoyed using them. For the greatest new styles on the market, we not only conducted lab tests, but we also combed through hundreds of trustworthy evaluations of famous paper towel manufacturers.

What makes a good paper towel?

Cellulose, a plant fiber crushed into a powder, is the primary constituent of paper towels. Carbon dioxide is attracted to the water molecules that make up the molecules of cellulose. Because of this, paper towels are excellent at removing liquids off surfaces. A little-known fact: the pattern of a paper towel is made up of microscopic fissures that assist the paper towel hold its shape better.

Each brand has a different number of sheets per roll, and the size of a whole sheet might vary from one company to the next, so comparing prices can be difficult. Despite the fact that smaller sheet sizes make it easier to use less, you are getting less product for your money. These paper towels are ready for any messes. Find the top-quality paper towels at the best prices:

Select-A-Size Paper Towels

Paper towels from Bounty are the best in the business, and GH lab professionals choose them over any other brand. With these paper towels, you won’t have to worry about lint ruining your counters because they absorb liquid rapidly and leave no lint behind. It’s great that they’re both thick and soft to the touch. Using the convenient “select-a-size” option, you can only remove what you need to clean up messes of any size.

It costs $1.51 per hundred sheets to print.

There are 138 full-sheet sheets per roll.

Flex-a-Size Paper Towels

Amazon’s Presto! paper towels have more than 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. For the price, you get a lot more absorbent paper towels than you would with smaller rolls. You may get these 2 ply paper towels in six, twelve, or twenty-four rolls, so you’ll always have what you need. Depending on your preference, you can either take off the entire sheet or part of it.

It costs $1.05 per hundred sheets to print.

Roll capacity: 140 sheets

Tear-A-Square Paper Towels

As humans, we all have the tendency to overestimate the amount of paper towels we will need for a task. You’ll use less of these Brawny paper towels since you can easily take a full, half, or quarter sheet. These paper towels performed exceptionally well in our tests, showing good wet strength as well as total absorbency and speed of absorption. Although they appear expensive at first appearance, consider that the whole sheet size is greater than most other brands.

$2.09 per hundred sheets

64 complete sheets per roll (or 256 quarter sheets)

Signature Cloth Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels

Viva came out on top in our absorbency testing. The most liquid was absorbed by these cloth-like paper towels, which were also the fastest to clean up messes. In addition, Viva paper towels were found to be the softest by our customer testers. They were one of the strongest and most durable alternatives. There are fewer sheets per roll than comparable brands, according to customers who have written reviews.

100 sheets cost $1.57. (price for TaskSize sheets)

There are 58 complete sheets in a roll of paper (or 143 TaskSize sheets)

Create-a-Size Paper Towels

Lint is left behind by some paper towels as they are disposed of. Non-linting paper towels like Kirkland Signature are ideal for clearing up messes because they don’t leave behind any residue. These were found to be lint-free and quick to absorb liquid in our tests. Moreover, we found the paper towels to be somewhat thick.

$1.04 for one hundred sheets. (Note that Costco membership and delivery are additional fees)

Full-sheet capacity: 160 sheets on a roll

Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Paper Towels

When it comes to environmentally-friendly products, Seventh Generation’s 100% recycled paper towels are a great option because they don’t use bleach for whitening. Paper towels from Seventh Generation outperformed all other recycled-content options in terms of absorption speed and lint removal.

The cost of a hundred sheets is $1.70

140 complete sheets per roll

Best Overall: Brawny Tear-A-Square Paper Towels

Even though they’re less expensive, Brawny paper towels are nearly as long-lasting as Bounty towels. 128 sheets per roll can manage any issue that occurs at your home, whether it be a large spill or an unsightly spot that needs to be cleaned. Brawny rolls are the only paper towels on the market that feature both vertical and horizontal perforations, allowing you to chose the size you like. In comparison to the half-size, the 5.5-inch square is far more convenient to hold and may be used for a variety of tasks that don’t require them to soak up large spills. For those with sensitive skin, these gloves are also soft and cloth-like.

Best Absorbent: Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels

The price of these rolls is higher than most of the others on our list, but when you see how much a single sheet can clean up in one swipe, you’ll see that they were well worth the money you paid for them.. In comparison to other custom-size-it paper towels, the 2-ply towels are twice as absorbent. They are also useful for removing stubborn stains and picking up loose dirt in the nooks and crannies. These double rolls (triple rolls are also available) reduce the frequency with which you must go to the garage to get a new roll because you won’t be hitting the cardboard as soon as you would otherwise.

Best Resuable: Kitchen + Home Bamboo Towels

Bamboo is far more environmentally friendly than trees because it is a fast-growing grass that requires minimal water to thrive. This makes bamboo paper towels an excellent alternative for individuals who want to make their homes more environmentally friendly. Reusable towels look and feel more like paper towels than most. Despite their softness and thickness, they are remarkably strong. To be honest, if you ever run out of pads for your flat mop, you can use these as a cheap replacement option.

Having torn these into individual sheets and tucking them into a basket, stacking them in an empty wipes canister, or layering them as you roll them back around the cardboard tube can be a pain. However, there are a number of creative solutions to this problem: The sheets may be easily washed in the washing machine. Although you can use a low-temperature drier to keep them from shrinking, air-drying is the most effective method for preserving their shape and quality.

Best Compostable: Food52 Five Two Compostable Sponge Cloths

Despite the fact that these sponge cloths aren’t paper towels, we couldn’t resist mentioning them because of their durability and strength. They can be used as a dish sponge or a surface wipe, as their name implies. Unlike other sponge cloths, which are stiff and difficult to work with, these are pliable and easy to work with! They’re strong enough to support up to 16 times their own weight, and the patterns are adorable and colorfast enough that they won’t fade even if you use bleach on them.

These sponge cloths, like the bamboo towels, can be washed in the dishwasher or the washing machine repeatedly. In the microwave, you can even disinfect them as you would a regular sponge! If you don’t use them in a while, you’ll be able to throw them away in your compost bin with the rest of your food scraps.

Best Holder: simplehuman Wall-Mount Paper Towel Holder

The simplehuman Wall-Mount Paper Towel Holder is both elegant and discreet, making it the perfect paper towel holder for any kitchen. It’s so simple to place beneath your cabinets, on the inside of cabinet doors, or on the wall with the help of three tiny screws. The roll is held in place by a tension spring inside the knob, which allows you to peel out a single sheet with one hand. When a roll is empty, simply replace it with a fresh one: When you remove the knob, you can replace the cardboard tube with a new one, and then slide the knob back in place. You’ll never go back to a countertop towel holder again because this one is so simple to use.

Best Recycled: 365 Everyday Value Paper Towels

It’s not always easy to be environmentally friendly, but 365 Everyday Value Paper Towels are an excellent compromise. Towels that are made of 100% recycled content are less wasteful, more convenient than dealing with cloth towels that need to be washed, and just as absorbent as standard paper towels. If you have sensitive skin, these are a wonderful option because they don’t contain scents, dyes, printing inks, or chlorine bleach. Because they’re only a dollar a roll and don’t have the half-size holes, this is the only major negative. Aside from Bounty or Brawny’s superior durability, these towels are nonetheless sturdy and absorbent enough.

Are Paper Towels Recyclable? (And Can You Flush Them Too) - Conserve Energy Future

Best for Glass: Scott Shop Towels

Scott Shop Towels are a lifesaver when it comes to washing glass since they leave no streaks behind. No lint or streaks will be left behind due to the lack of binders and treatment. Designed to clean up oil and grease in auto shops, you can be sure they’ll be able to deal with more severe messes. The blue sheets lack the stitching that makes some paper towels feel scratchy and have a thick, cloth-like texture.

Incredibly, the price of these speciality towels is roughly the same as the more economical ones on this list—around 1.4 cents per sheet—so you don’t have to worry about spending a premium to make your windows or electric stovetop glitter!

Best Value: Scott Essential Multifold Paper Towel

To save money, Scott Essential Multifold Paper Towels are an excellent option. They’re the cheapest on the list at less than a cent a sheet. Even though they’re only one layer thick, the “absorbency pockets” ensure that they’ll soak up water quickly and keep it for a long time. Paper towels like Scott Essential Multifold Paper Towels are a fantastic option for minor cleaning tasks, like wiping off the kitchen table or picking up dog crumbs. Hand drying with fabric hand towels may now seem even less hygienic than before, so consider using paper hand towels instead. Investing in a dispenser or two that allows you to draw out a single sheet without touching or leaking water on the next one is an alternative to piling them into a basket.


What are most paper towels made of?

Ground-up plant matter, such as wood, cotton, and other plants (cellulose), is used in the production of paper towels. Water molecules are drawn to the cellulose molecules because they are sugar molecules, but not the kind we consume. Because of this, paper towels are excellent at removing liquids off surfaces.

What makes a good paper towel?

The strength, scrub strength, absorbency, weight, softerness, water filtering capacity, and thickness of paper towels are all critical factors to consider while looking for the best paper towels. The most critical of these is the material’s absorptivity.

Is Brawny better than Bounty?

Over the course of a single roll, Brawny gathers more liquid than Bounty and is less expensive. The most important things to remember: This paper towel is our top pick because of its strength, absorbency, and cleaning power. Compared to our second-best pick, Bounty, Brawny has a lower per-square-foot price.

What happened to Brawny paper towels?

DELAWARE CITY Reuters reports that a slew of high-profile cases have been Brawny paper towels maker Georgia-Pacific LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States because of the rising costs of defending against asbestos-related disease claims, according to a corporate statement released Thursday.

Why are some paper towel brands stronger than others?

It has to do with the manufacturing process of the paper towels. It is the same type of plant fibers that are used to make other forms of paper. It is the particular resin that is blended with the paper fibers to give them strength when wet that sets paper towels apart from other forms of paper.

Why Bounty paper towels are the best?

Due to Bounty’s Speed. It’s unlike any other paper towel in the world. In comparison to any other product, Bounty sheets are more durable, absorbent, softer, and thicker. So that you can continue to enjoy life even as the messes keep on piling up.

Are Kirkland paper towels good?

Because they’re so absorbent and don’t leave streaks on windows and mirrors, Kirkland paper towels are the favorite choice of our team. These paper towels have an additional benefit. Because there are 160 pages per roll, the cost per sheet is less than one cent per page.

How do they make brown paper towels?

Kraft paper is used on a commercial scale to produce brown paper towel. Brown paper towels that have not been bleached are better for the environment than white paper towels that have been bleached. Unbleached brown paper towels have the minor advantage of being compostable, but only if they haven’t been used to remove any chemicals off surfaces.

Are towels made out of wood?

In addition to cotton, other materials are becoming more popular for towels. Flax (linen), polyester (microfiber), bamboo, alternative wood fibers (Tencel), hemp, and ramie are also frequently used fibers.

Can you eat paper towels?

They are safe to eat. They don’t taste good, have no nutritional value, and can’t be used as a meal replacement in any way. Due of the cellulose in the paper, the stomach acids will break it down and use it as a source of fiber.


Paper towels are a popular household item that many people stock up on at this time. Many people don’t know what paper towels are composed of. To ensure consistently high-quality paper towel rolls, the manufacturing process should include a number of steps. In order to appreciate and use paper towels more sensibly, you need to know what they are made of and how they are created. Find out more about the materials that are used to make paper towels, as well as some useful hints.