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Paper towels Buying Guides

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When it comes to slurping up spills, some paper towels really do "bring it," which is Bounty's challenge to the messy among us. Among the nearly two dozen products we tested, two Bounty products were best, but a third version absorbed less than its brand mates.

We test for absorbency (measuring how much water weight a towel can suck up), scrubbing strength (the number of strokes it takes to tear a wet towel when rubbed across an abrasive surface), and wet strength (the force it takes to pull apart a wet towel that has been clamped into a tensile-strength-testing machine).The best at scrubbing survived five to 10 times as many scrubbing strokes as those that tore most easily.

Prices ranged widely, from $1.46 to $5.12 per 100 square feet, but you needn't pay top dollar. One brand from a big-box store cost $1.82 per 100 square feet and was very good; the most expensive paper towel was lowest rated of all.

Visit ConsumerReports.org for our latest information on Paper towels

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

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