What a Spanky Hanky!

Pretty hankies.

Cold season. Allergies. Runny nose. Bloody nose. Leaky nose. Whatever the case, your nose will always have a reason to need an object to wipe it.

But do we need to use disposable tissues? I say not! Hankies are what we use to dot our little noses in this house. Of all the sustainable behaviours and routines I do, this one always gets people: “really, you use hankies?”

Ya, I use hankies! They are so cute and adorned with little motifs. Best of all, they’re cheap to buy, own, keep clean, and it’s snot hard at all to switch to them.

Top five reasons why a reusable tissue is are far superior to a disposable tissue:

  1. They are more durable. Facial tissues tear easily, and I often find I end up with some boogers on my fingers, truth be told. Whether your hankie is cotton, flannel or mixed, they will hold that dancing boogie.
  2. They are cheaper. Once you own them, you own them! Name brand facial tissues run about $1-$2 a box, and that’s if you buy them in a bulk package with multiple boxes. Alone they run $2-$3 a box. I usually find my hankies from the thrift store at $0.25-$.50 a piece. Basically for the price of one box of tissues, I can own 2-8 handkerchiefs. I can use these over and over, meaning, I do not have to keep spending money on disposable ones.
  3. They are reusable. How happy is Mother Earth and your mommy knowing that you are keeping the planet and your nose clean? This is the winning bullet for me! We all know by now that reusables win in the face of disposables.
  4. They travel easily. I can’t stand how disposable facial tissues get all crumbled up in a pocket, leave behind dust and fluff, and even further how they ruin a perfectly good load of laundry when left in a pocket; itsy bitsy pieces of stuck-on fluff everywhere. Adorable squares of cotton softness don’t do that.
  5. They are cuter. I don’t care how lovable the graphics are on the box, nothing is more charming than vintage hankies.
My mom used these as a kid.

If there was a con (which there really is not), it would be that you could end up with some spotted and stained previously-loved hankies from the thrift store, but just sort through them. Heck, you might even stain them.

Taking care of them is way easier than breathing after a congested cold. Here is what I do:

  1. When I first buy them from the thrift store, I boil them all in a pot, then I wash them in a quick, hot cycle.
  2. Once I own them, I wash them with my towels and/or kids’ clothes in a quick, cold cycle. Just don’t forget to unravel them and make sure they’re open so they get a thorough washing.

Sure pulling a tissue out of a cardboard box is easy, but it’s just as easy for me to grab a handkerchief from my top drawer in the living room. As always, my sustainable topics are easy to do, easy on the planet and easy on your budget. This post checks off all these boxes… easily! So what’s next? Ah! To tell a little joke…

So how to do get a hanky to dance?

You know… you put a little boogie in it!

One thought on “What a Spanky Hanky!

  1. Very good information.

    Another drawback of disposable tissues is that many people flush them down the toilet and this causes problems. Facial tissues do not break down in water the same way toilet paper does. They should never be flushed down the toilet; flushed tissues can cause clogs and other serious plumbing issues and can also overwhelm the municipal sewer system.


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