What It’s Like Switching To Handkerchiefs
By Julia Chiarella-Genoni, Ask Mama Moe
When I was young, I distinctly remember my father using a handkerchief. He would wear the small piece of cotton in his suit pocket, and if he wasn’t wearing a suit, he would keep one in his pant pocket. My grandfathers also carried a handkerchief with them. I think my very cool dad was keeping an old tradition alive because, frankly, no one was using handkerchiefs anymore for what they were intended, except for a pleasing decoration in the suit pocket.
You can still find them in department stores with men’s suits. But it’s much harder to find handkerchiefs for women (it was common once), until now. Omaiki has brought back the handkerchiefs in their new HOM Signé line. The complete line of products is a beautiful effort to help us as a society to reuse items instead of disposing of waste on a daily basis.
I am already a big fan of their reusable makeup pads and wash clothes so I thought I would go back to my roots and have a try at my father’s good sense to use a handkerchief. Here is my review after using the handkerchiefs for one week instead of disposable napkins.
Making The Switch
As a mother, it is practically a written law that you carry wipes and napkins with you wherever you go. And ever since my boys were born, that is what I have done. And of course, on the rare days when I have run out of napkins or wipes, that is when a complete messy disaster occurs. Switching over to reusable cotton handkerchiefs was a great concept to me, and one I was totally on board with because I am really trying to eliminate waste where I can in our daily family life. I will mention, however, that my boys are not babies and the smaller the child the more messes occur, so making the switch now was pretty easy.
Luckily, I do not have children than love napkins. As a parent, you know exactly what I mean. I never had a mat night surprise in my bathroom with napkins and toilet paper everywhere. In fact, with my boys, it is almost the opposite and I have to remind them clean up.
I immediately placed two handkerchiefs in my current purse and one more in my coat pocket. The fourth in the pack was kept at home to see if we could use them even when we were not on-the-go.
Out And About
The first place we went was skiing for the weekend. So, I placed the two handkerchiefs from my purse into my ski jacket. Inevitably, the boys get watery eyes or runny noses while skiing, so having them on hand was key. Surprisingly, we only needed them twice. One of my sons gave me a surprised look, but after I told him I was trying them out and wanting to use less waste, he was fine.
The second time was for a different son, and he wanted to be very sure the handkerchief he was using was not used by anyone else. Understandably, if it’s to clean yourself on the face and hands, each person must have their own, because the last thing I want to do is pass germs. So, for our family, I would consider traveling with three handkerchiefs in the future.
During the week, we also needed the handkerchiefs for sticky hands at a Cabane A Sucre (I dabbed it with water and helped with clean up), and for myself, when I needed one to blow my nose.
Depending on if you need to use them in your week and how frequently, this will determine when and how often you need to clean your handkerchiefs. After our week, I took all of them and rinsed them in water, then added them to a load of towels in our washing machine. They came ready to place back in my purse and coat pocket.
It is worth noting we did not have any sick members of he family while we tested out this new system. If any of them had been sick with a runny nose, I most likely would have carried disposable napkins, to lessen the chance of germs passing to all of us.
I think keeping this part of our lifestyle will be easy. However, I think I would keep more on hand, especially if I would like to use them at home. Every member of the family needs their own, and luckily Omaiki has many patterns so everyone can have their own design.
Putting this switch into our lives now will help us all waster less. It’s another easy change that can make a big difference.