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Old 09-28-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
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What About Those Dish Cloths?

Do you every wonder or think about how much you use and depend on your dish cloth? I am lost with out mine and can't function in the kitchen without one. Do you use it all day and save it for the next day, waiting for it to turn sour to signal that is time to send it to the laundry? Do you ever wonder if it could be the cause of "food poisoning" or "just another round of the stomach flu"? That could very well be the case. You wouldn't think of eating food that had been setting on the counter for hours or even days! Food particles that are collected in your dish cloths are living in a warm, humid environment that is perfect for breeding germs, mold and other unhealthy and undesirable creatures. Every time you wipe your counter or table tops, you are spreading those unwanted germs around even more. Changing your dish cloths often during your canning process is also very important.

After thinking about this I decided that a good rule of thumb would be to change "dish cloths" or "dish rags" with every meal if it has had a lot of use. Using a piece of paper towel to clean up milk, eggs, meat and other traces of food that can cause serious problems will help. I like to keep a spray bottle of vinegar or diluted chlorine bleach on hand to spray the counter top, cutting board, or table top during the clean-up process. Vinegar does a great job and won't cause a bleaching problem.

I have had a hard time finding just the right dish cloth that is easy to use and will wring out easily so that you don't leave behind a wet counter or table top. I prefer to use cotton wash cloths - the kind that is intended for facial use or bathing. You can purchase a bundle of inexpensive ones for around 4 - 5 dollars. Usually there are about 12 to a package. These are thinner and will be just the right size. If you get white ones it will be easier to remove the stains without having to worry about fading the colors. For those of you that don't like to use harsh chemicals, vinegar will keep them germ free. I like to soak my cloths in either chlorine bleach or vinegar in a small amount of water in my sink to kill any germs or other undesirables before I launder them. This soaking process will also help to clean your drain plug/sieve. When I pull the plug in the sink I wait for a little while before I run any water to allow the cleaning water to remove the trapped germs and grease in the p-trap in the drain. There is a lot of "Yuck" down there too!

Hope this helps,

Diane,
Chef - Montana

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Old 09-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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I use my dishcloth solely for washing dishes. I change it every few days. When I wipe the counter it's with paper towel. Same with drying my hands I don't like to reuse the same towel to dry my hands. So we go through rolls and rolls of papertowels. That's what I can't function in my kitchen without, lol.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:55 PM   #3
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I don't even use a dishcloth anymore. I've got a sponge scrubby thing, but whenever I use it I'm putting dishsoap on it, so hopefully the "kills 99.9% of bacteria" holds reasonably true.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusnikki View Post
I use my dishcloth solely for washing dishes. I change it every few days. When I wipe the counter it's with paper towel. Same with drying my hands I don't like to reuse the same towel to dry my hands. So we go through rolls and rolls of papertowels. That's what I can't function in my kitchen without, lol.

me too! lots of paper towels. i even have a roll in the bathroom. can't bare to think how yucky a cloth towel would be , with different people using the towel.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #5
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I use paper towels mostly for wiping down the counters. I will use the dishcloth to wipe down the glass stove top. I soak the dishcloth in a bleach solution when I am done with it, to help keep it from getting gross.

I have a towel that we use to wipe our hands on, but it isn't used to dry dishes. Most stuff goes through the dishwasher anyway, so I don't need to hand dry stuff.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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I buy washcloths by the bundle and keep one on each counter, replacing it when it is dirty. I have enough of them that I can easily make it to laundry day.

If I've gotten one wet wiping up a spill, I rinse it out and spread it on the floor for a quickie foot mop, then kick it in the corner to dry and put in the dirty laundry.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #7
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A couple years ago I had a similar thought so I knitted myself 7 cloths and found 7 matching towels. Each evening, after the kitchen is wiped down, they both go to the laundry basket and get washed on the hot, bleach cycle. There are times they stay for 2 days but that is typically when we aren't cooking. I have a nylon scrubby thing that goes into the dishwasher and then into the microwave at least 2x per week.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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A couple years ago I had a similar thought so I knitted myself 7 cloths and found 7 matching towels. Each evening, after the kitchen is wiped down, they both go to the laundry basket and get washed on the hot, bleach cycle. There are times they stay for 2 days but that is typically when we aren't cooking. I have a nylon scrubby thing that goes into the dishwasher and then into the microwave at least 2x per week.
I'm visiting my mom and she has some knit dish cloths, I had forgotten how much I like them!
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMediger View Post
A couple years ago I had a similar thought so I knitted myself 7 cloths and found 7 matching towels. Each evening, after the kitchen is wiped down, they both go to the laundry basket and get washed on the hot, bleach cycle. There are times they stay for 2 days but that is typically when we aren't cooking. I have a nylon scrubby thing that goes into the dishwasher and then into the microwave at least 2x per week.
Disinfection by microwave? That sounds promising, I'd like to know more! My first thought was, "wouldn't nylon melt?" How about my sponges? They are grosser than dishcloths. Why not your towels too in the microwave? hmmm... my t-shirts should probably be nuked, too...
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #10
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A friend and my MIL regularly knit me dishcloths. I can clean them in the dishwasher. I also like the nylon mesh bags that onions and shallots come in, they work as well as the purchased nylon scrubbers. I run them through the DW too.
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