The Super Smart Viral Paper Towel Trick We Wish We’d Known About Sooner

Roll of paper towels on a wooden holder

When it comes to household staples, like dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent and paper towels, you almost need to get a side hustle to keep up with the rising costs. Buying in bulk can save you money, but what if there was another way to save on paper towels?

There are so many savings hacks online, but there’s one idea that resurfaced recently and caught my eye. Instagramer and hack guru Lorafied recently shared a paper towel trick where she cut a paper towel roll in half with a knife, then stacked the two halves on the paper towel holder. She claims this hack cuts her family's paper towel use in half, meaning not as many trips to restock. I was intrigued, so I gave the trick a try in my kitchen.

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What I Thought of the Viral Paper Towel Hack

I started with my go-to paper towel brand, Target’s Up & Up 2-ply, Make-a-Size roll. At $15.99 for a 12-count double roll, each paper towel breaks down to about $1.33 each. There are 98 sheets per roll. I grabbed a large wooden cutting board, one paper towel roll and a sharp knife (so I thought). Honestly, the hardest part was cutting the darn roll in half. In my attempt to cut it, each half started to fray and shred a bit.

With two halves on my paper towel holder, I began a 2-day test of this trick in my high-traffic kitchen. Our household typically uses one paper towel roll in about two days. It took some getting used to, but tearing off a quarter sheet came in handy when I just needed to dry off my hands. More sheets were needed for cleanups. Overall, I felt like I was using less. My kids definitely did. And, as of writing this article (the end of Day 2), I still had about a quarter of the second half left.

Because I use a paper towel that lets you rip off less than a full sheet, this trick might be a little less effective for me because that feature already encourages you to reduce the amount of paper towels you use. If you use a brand that's all full sheets you might see more of a difference. 

So, is this paper towel trick crazy or genius? It’s a maybe with a strong yes for me. I don’t mind the halved roll, but I’d have to experiment a bit longer to determine whether this will actually save me money and double the shelf life. I do see the potential in the hack, but only time will tell.

Next up: The Best Way to Reheat Fries in the Air Fryer