My dad used handkerchiefs all the time when I was a kid, and I never thought anything of it. I always used tissues, personally, and it wasn’t until the past few years that I noticed I was using tissues for way too many other purposes.

I haven’t bought paper towels in a long time, so I would grab a tissue from the bathroom to wipe up a small spill in the hall, or scoop up a (*shudder*) dead bug. It took me way too long to realize I was using too many tissues for these purposes – the exact reason I stopped buying paper towels! (Because if they are around, I will use them. I will use them all in a week and then wonder where my paper towels have gone. Best to not even have in the house.)

Since I started using compostable dishcloths more like paper towels (minus, you know, throwing them away), I figured it was time to do away with tissues, too. So last summer I bought a twelve pack of plain white handkerchiefs, and that’s what I’ve been using ever since.

I always carry one in my bag, because they’re a little too bulky for my pockets. I also keep them strategically around the house (sorry to any potential houseguests that might gross out). My son uses them, too!

After I got my plain white ‘kerchiefs, my mom shared some that she used as a kid, so I’ve added them into the mix. I’ve also considered adding a pretty trim to the edges of the plain white ones, just to spruce them up. Maybe use a variety colors to differentiate between mine and my son’s.


As far as upkeep, they’re super easy. I have enough to last the week, even if we have colds. I throw them in the weekly laundry with the towels, and they come out as fresh as ever!

Do you use handkerchiefs? Would you ever switch from tissues to ‘kerchiefs?


  1. Here’s my secret for cloth handkerchiefs: flannel! It’s thicker and softer. You don’t get so much of that gross feeling of soaking through, and it’s easier on your nose when you have a cold and are blowing a lot. But I’ve never seen them for sale, so you’d have to make your own. I use them for all my handkerchief needs when I’m at home, but usually use disposable tissues when I’m out and about. My daughter uses them most of the time at home, but my son and husband never. Oh well, every little bit helps.
    Black and White: H is for Hercinia


    • Flannel is a great idea! Sometimes the cotton irritates my nose, even if they dry in the dryer and get soft. (Air drying these can be torture to use later! Crisp handkerchiefs, haha!) I’ll try to snag some flannel shirts or sheets at a thrift store and see if I can make my own. Thanks for the tip!


  2. I used to use handkerchiefs when I was in primary school but I haven’t for many years! My father and brother still uses them though. For my brother’s birthday recently, I wanted to get him more handkerchiefs, but they weren’t that easy to find! I did find them finally but concluded that handkerchiefs aren’t popular if it’s not being sold in most department stores. Sad!


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