Let’s Discuss Dishcloths And Sit Back And Watch As I Slowly Turn Into My Grandmother.

posted by on 06/12/2012 | 40 comments (leave one of your own)

I recently read Ellen Sandbeck’s book Organic Housekeeping. It is seriously the best book I’ve ever read regarding cleaning, well, the only book I’ve ever read on cleaning, but it was a total eye opener.

I have switched our cleaning supplies to vinegar, baking soda, and vodka (for cleaning, I swear, mostly) and I am now using dishcloths.


After washing the nightly dishes, I let the dishcloth dry overnight.  It actually dries out quicker than overnight, hooray for 7,000 feet elevation.  I can usually get a few days use before it gets tossed in the wash with the dishtowels.

Fun fact:  Your kitchen sponge can harbor millions of bacteria because it never dries out in between uses.  I’m not saying a dishcloth doesn’t have bacteria, but by washing and drying it I feel that maybe it has less.  Some folks microwave their sponges or toss them in the dishwasher, but the inside of a sponge must reach boiling temperature to kill any bacteria.  Your sponge will probably burst into flames in the microwave and your dishwasher probably doesn’t produce enough heat and the drying cycle won’t fully dry it out.

dish c

I purchased our handmade dishcloths from Wrens Nest Creations, they’ve held up very well. You can enter COLORADO20 for 20% off your purchase.

I don’t like housework, but shopping on Etsy for supplies seems to motivate me. Do any of you use dishcloths?

  • Jamie

    We use microfiber cloths for cleaning and dishwashing. I cut larger ones in half to use for dishcloths, and we use the larger ones in lieu of paper towels for cleaning counters and dusting the house. A pack of 20 was like, $10, and I just put them in with the towels to wash when I run out.

    We also use them in place of Swiffer cloths to clean the floors.

    I can’t tell you the last time I bought paper towels. It’s so much cheaper and less wasteful.
    Jamie recently posted..5K? Been there, done thatMy Profile

  • Jennifer Jo

    Only dishcloths. For as long as I can remember.

    Oh wait. That’s a lie. I also use handmade scrubies that I get at the Mennonite thrift store (but they’re new, not second-hand). My Grandma used to crochet them.
    Jennifer Jo recently posted..the quotidian (6.11.12)My Profile

  • caiona

    This is very Organic Nerdish…sounds like something I would do! I use baking soda and vinager for everything! I wash all my fruit in warm water, vinager, and baking soda (F that expensive fruit wash in the store)…and I use baking soda with essential oils for vaccume powder..makes you wonder why we spend money on anything else to clean..

  • koreen

    You’ve got me interested. I now embark on a new experiment: crochet my own.
    koreen recently posted..It’s Good To ExperimentMy Profile

  • Jill Stigs

    LOVE the look of the Etsy ones you have….but– I use microfiber because once you wring them out they are almost dry.

  • Lucy

    ZDub – after we were done cloth diapering/cloth wiping the kid, all our cloth wipes turned into cleaning wipes for the kitchen/bathroom etc etc. The microfiber ones are terrific for dusting, fake-swiffering etc… and the flannel ones are good for kid-face-hands wiping, counter wiping, blah de bloop.

    We had so many of the damn things that we never run out.

    We’ve also made the switch to always using cloth napkins at the dinner table. Mostly they get used a couple times over before needing to be washed because the adults are generally pretty tidy eaters, but the 4-year old is a slob, yo. They all get chucked in the wash together with the face washcloths, towels, dishtowels and kitchen wipes with the hippy laundry detergent… and all is well.

    I do still have a roll of paper towel in the kitchen, but honestly can’t remember the last time I used any for cleaning anything with. Mostly just for picking up goddamn cat puke. IF I use them for any kind of surface wiping, (I buy the hippy recycled paper stuff at Costco) it goes in the compost tumbler afterwards, instead of in the trash!

    Urban hippy, for the win!!

  • katy

    thank you for the discount! i ordered three sets of dishcloths. i am very impressionable. ick–sponges! whenever i have to touch one at my parents house it’s all sog sog sog and smelly.

    we use those harsh, flat green scrubbies, cut into 2″ squares. i learned that from maryjane at maryjane’s farm.
    katy recently posted..New ImpossiblesMy Profile

  • katy

    you know something really hard to wash out of a dishcloth? CHIA SEEDS. those mo fo’s can adhere.
    katy recently posted..New ImpossiblesMy Profile

  • Bean

    I use a sponge which I microwave occasionally, but you do have a point. I might have to get me some dishcloths.

  • Elaine

    Sometimes I use old baby washcloths. I had SO many around here leftover… 🙂
    Elaine recently posted..The OceanMy Profile

  • Jessica

    We just use regular washcloths, the kind you buy in a multipack at Wal-Mart. We go through at least one a day because they get stinky and hard pretty fast. I don’t know if that’s because of our water or what, but I hate it. I have tons of scrap yarn and making my own dishcloths has been on my list forever, but it’s just one of those things I never get around to.

    • Kristin

      We use the cheap Walmart mega pack washcloths too. I just bought four packages of them and I keep them in the cabinet in the kitchen. After it gets used, I toss it in the wash pile. If you throw some vinegar in with your wash, it will help soften them. As for cleaning, I found that Dawn dishsoap/Vinegar mixture and I now use it as a multi-purpose cleaning solution for everything! I even mop our floors with a little dawn and vinegar added to the water. 🙂

  • merlin513

    I’m a philistine, I use whatever rag is lying around as a washcloth, dishcloth, rag… Considering i’ve still got unused towels gifted me at a wedding shower 27 years ago. I think i’m good!

    The only reason I have paper towels at all is to clean up & toss the abstract art projects that having 3 cats entails…1 is a serious hairball artisté.

  • Deb

    You won’t be your grandmother until you crochet your own. Get to it.
    Deb recently posted..Oh Goody. A Project.My Profile

    • JNell

      My Grandmother crocheted EVERYTHING!

  • Tarable

    I love this idea. And the fact that I’m commenting as such means that I’m quickly turning into my grandmother.

    Let me know when you want to go flea-marketing together.
    Tarable recently posted..Fifteen going on ThirtyMy Profile

  • Clementine

    Those are the prettiest dishcloths!

  • Lori

    Is that a squirrel soap beside your scrubbies?

  • Mynde

    Girl, it’s ALL I’ve ever used.
    Mynde recently posted..Who doesn’t love a parade?My Profile

  • my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you

    duhh!!!! i ONLY use dishcloths!
    sponges are fucking wrong.

    also i keep a HUGE jar of baking soda on my counter right next to my sink to pre-soak my dishes bc it gets EVERYTHING off. it’s like dish lube.
    then when you put your dishes in the dishwasher they come out cleaner than clean.

    and i use vinegar to clean everything else. and rubbing alcohol.

    but i also keep bleach on hand bc there’s just some shit that only bleach can kill.

    (i have so many books on cleaning. i am a lunatic)
    my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you recently posted..new art y’all!My Profile

  • Jamie Thompson

    I love those rags.can’t wait till i get enough $$ to buy some. Just discovered this site and I LOVE it…Keep on blogging…and u could come over to my page and laugh at the mistakes i’m making!!! I’ve had a blog for at least 2 years, but have never kept up with it until now Funny how having lots of kids can be an distraction (we have 7 children 6 boys and 1 girl ages 17,16,15(girl) ,14,9,8,7,
    so I am new to this scene. Even if you don’t visit, i will still love reading your blog

  • brit

    I’ve never used sponges! Grew up with dishcloths and don’t know any other way. Yours are lovely, I will be doing some “supply” shopping today… thanks for the reminder 😉
    brit recently posted..new friendMy Profile

  • Susanne

    I’ve gotta read that book. I don’t believe in sponges but my husband uses them. So maybe this will convince him. Thanks!

  • Jennifer

    I have used cloth for a long time now, and I only use them for the dishes. I have a separate rag or sponge for my counters.

    I also use a rag to clean the toilets, and a sponge for the tubs/sinks. I never mix them up.

    I kind of have an OCD, but I like my OCD.

  • Lisa

    Ya know ZDub, I’m a sponge girl myself. To clean them, I heat water until boiling in a large, glass Pampered Chef measuring cup. I soak them for quite a while. I usually throw in a few drops of cleaner that contains bleach.

    Dish cloths seem like wash cloths and kind of sling the water around. I can understand cotton dishcloths, but can’t get with yarn. Yours are very pretty displayed in a basket, however.

    Love your blog and your sense of humor!

  • Ashley Taylor

    It’s like I want to be a dishcloth person. In my mind I am. Kind of like how in my mind I am totally a runner, but in reality it would take someone with a very large to actually get me to even jog. I have dishcloths and sometimes they are even wet, but for actual scrubbing I still find myself with a sponge. I know, right? There is no hope for me.
    Ashley Taylor recently posted..Wh(Y) Chromosomes?—Causing Trouble Since 2011My Profile

    • Ashley Taylor

      For the record, it would be a large gun. That was the word I left out. Someone with a large gun and I might take off running. In a zig zag pattern of course since bullets can only straight! 😉
      Ashley Taylor recently posted..Wh(Y) Chromosomes?—Causing Trouble Since 2011My Profile

  • Michelle Wren

    Thank you so much for the gorgeous feature! I’m so glad you like the cloths. My husband’s grandmother used to knit piles of them and hand them out at Christmas to all the grandkids and cousins every year. After she passed away, there was no one else in the family who made them. I had no luck learning to knit, but I can crochet some. So I started making them for my own family, and then just kept on going. I love making the bright, modern, fun color combinations. I think I may be addicted! ^_^

  • Kelley

    I spent last evening cutting up old tee shirts to use as reusable “Clorox” wipes. We have been making our own with paper towels, but then I thought “why use paper towels when we can use all these old tees”?? So, I now have a tupperware full of tee rags in vinegar, water & tea tree oil to use as wipes. I’m pretty excited about it. Also saw on Pinterest a link to make grocery bags out of old tees (the no-sew variety, I don’t sew), and did that last night too. I was feeling it. They turned out so cute, I may actually remember to take them to the store!

  • Diane Carol

    OK….I have now completed TWO dishcloths, and working on my third. I went out and bought the yarn….and sat crotcheting away….I’m so totally grossed out by the sponge thing, I have thrown mine away! Thanks for pushing me to finally do it!

  • Jill

    How do you keep the dishcloth from having that moldy ick smell that it gets from sitting out?

    • ZDub

      I rinse it very well and then I drape it over my faucet to dry. I change them out every few days, no smell!

    • Rose

      I love the dish cloths that my mother-in-law makes for me. She just took up knitting and crocheting a few years ago and her blankets and dishcloths are my favorite.

  • John Terry

    What is the secret to making dish clothes not to discolor?
    John Terry recently posted..Amazon booksMy Profile

  • Elyzabith

    I started following you about a year ago and recently started following you on both Pinterest (there is nothing better) and Instagram. Went back in the archives and learned about Mr. Toasty, etc. awesomeness. Now between this post and Pinterest, I have 5 new dish cloths and a gallon of cleaning vinegar from Walmart. And my new house is going to be a green machine of clean.
    Short backstory: I just moved into my new home with my new husband, thinking I was going to start my own “green movement.” Every. Single. Cabinet! was filled with cleaning supplies. Like the horrid kinds. I guess I’ll use them until they’re gone? I even got the dang spray bottles to make my potions. Aagh, long story short (too late) love this blog, love your ideas, love when people make you think…it’s rare these days. Prayers to Coloradans with the fires to contend with.

  • Gia

    I want your Le Creuset so badly, yellow is my favorite color. What came first, your dish cloths or the pot?

  • moz

    Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to know a lot about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or
    something. I feel that you could do with some percent to force the message home
    a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.
    An excellent read. I will definitely be back.
    moz recently posted..mozMy Profile

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Good Things II « Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes
    Friday, 2 November, 2012

    […] say this before. I also got that rad knitted dish cloth because Raising Colorado said so. There are just some people in the DOC…I do whatever they […]

leave a comment
Your email is never shared.
Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge