Consumer Reports: Best performing paper towels

Consumer Reports: Best performing paper towels
2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Friday, March 29 2024 Mar 29, 2024 March 29, 2024 6:36 PM March 29, 2024 in News - Consumer News

Are name-brand paper towels worth the extra money? Consumer Reports can tell you. Its testers just spent weeks putting six popular paper towel brands -- including Bounty, Brawny, and Scott through a series of pick-up, strength, and absorbency tests to reveal which brand comes out on top. 

Sometimes, a paper towel is the only tool for the job. They’re not always the best option for the environment, but there are just some messes, like kid's and pet’s messes, that you don’t want to clean up with a reusable paper towel.

For quickly cleaning up spills, you want a single sheet to hold as much liquid as possible, so testers calculated the absorbency of each paper towel. 

Testers also measured strength by slowly adding weighted test pellets into a cup held up by just a single wet paper towel until the paper towel gave out. The more and longer it can hold, the stronger it is.

A machine helped testers evaluate scrubbing strength. The best paper towels scrubbed a piece of sandpaper for about 15 cycles before breaking down; the worst struggled after just six cycles. 

And – apologies in advance – CR’s dedicated tester even simulated vomit with a concoction of chunky oatmeal and dehydrated vegetables to see how well each paper towel could pick up the mess. 

CR also checked to see how fast each sheet ripped from its roll and whether or not a paper towel could be reused. The testers evaluated the price both per roll and per sheet.

The winner? A name synonymous with paper towels for almost 60 years -- Bounty -- “The quicker picker upper,” had the highest overall score, but it comes at a price. Bounty was the most expensive brand tested. CR says Brawny could be a good alternative if you’re trying to save a few dollars and don’t want to lose out on performance. 

All the paper towels in CR’s tests could be reused after light use. But paper towels aren’t recyclable. For routine cleaning, CR recommends reusable paper towels and microfiber cloths, which you can wash and reuse. 

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