6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, top-tested paper towels

6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, top-tested paper towels

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(ABC 6 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.

“Paper towels are not always the best option for the environment, but there are just some messes like kids’ messes and pet messes that you don’t want to have to wash out of a reusable paper towel,” says Consumer Reports’ Jodhaira Rodriguez.

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.

CR 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 it can hold and for longer, the stronger it is.

Testers also evaluated 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.

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.

“We also checked to see how fast each sheet ripped from its roll and whether or not a paper towel could be reused. And we evaluated the price, both per roll and per sheet,” says Rodriguez.

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 of 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 you can wash and reuse.