Dishcloths are a must-have when it comes to the kitchen. Not only are they great for drying dishes, but they come in handy for spills and messes. Place one somewhere convenient and you’ll be able to grab it whenever you need it. Simply rinse them out once you’re done and it’ll be ready for next time.
As wonderful as they might be, however, there’s one problem. Many are made from synthetic materials such as microfiber. The issue? They’re not ideal for the environment. You’ve probably heard this before, but it takes hundreds of years for plastic to degrade in the landfill. The fact that dishcloths have a relatively short lifespan doesn’t help either (i.e. they’re readily tossed into the trash).
Other Reasons Why Conventional Dishcloths are Not Good For the Environment:
- Washing microfiber dishcloths can introduce microplastics into the waterways
- Microfiber aka microplastics are seen as contaminants in recycling streams
- They generally require more frequent cleaning (i.e. more detergents are used)
That’s not the only issue either. Traditional dishcloths are also known for being a hotbed for bacteria. Why? The way they’re made, the fabric stays wet for a long time even after you’ve wrung and twisted out the excess water. As it is, germs love moist environments. Leave a wet dishcloth on the countertop and it will breed bacteria. By using the contaminated cloth, you’ll also be spreading it to different surfaces in the kitchen.
Fortunately, there’s something that solves both of these problems. Have you heard of Swedish Dishcloths? They’re a special type of dishcloth that is 100% biodegradable*. How does that work? Instead of being made from man-made fibers, they are made from cellulose, a substance that comes from plants, and recycled cotton. In other words, they are organic and all-natural. You won’t have to worry about filling the landfill with synthetic material.
*What does Biodegradable Mean?
Biodegradable products can be broken down into its components by microorganisms in the soil. For instance, paper and textile are biodegradable, whereas conventional plastics are not.
They’re also much more resistant to bacteria growth. The reason is simple—they dry quickly. Unlike regular dishcloths, which remain wet after being used, these dishcloths tend to dry within the hour. Ultimately, less moisture means fewer germs and bacteria. You also won’t have to worry about other icky things like mold or mildew—both of which are common problems with traditional cloths! Wouldn’t you want to minimize the spread of bacteria around the house?
Advantages of Biodegradable Swedish Dishcloths
Biodegradable dishcloths come with a number of advantages—some of which you might not have known about! Let’s go over some of them below.
Swedish dishcloths don’t go in the trash—they go into the compost. Once they’re at the end of their lifespan, you can put them in the compost like your vegetable peelings and grass cuttings. Given time, microorganisms in the soil will break down the cellulose and cotton into their simplest components. This will lead to the production of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. These compounds will then enrich the soil with nutrients, which are used by plants for healthy growth.
In other words, Swedish Dishcloths act as a type of fertilizer when you put them in the compost.
Swedish dishcloths also produce less pollution. Ultimately, this goes back to the fact that they’re biodegradable. This makes sense—since they break down into nontoxic components, they will not release any chemicals or gasses into the atmosphere.
The way that they’re made, unnecessary CO2 emissions are also minimized during production. Not only that, but they are produced with renewable sources of energy, which helps to reduce the product’s carbon footprint.
No Allergens or Toxins
Biodegradable products generally have one thing in common—they do not contain any allergens or toxins. Made from natural elements (in our case, cellulose and cotton), they will not release any poisonous wastes when breaking down in the compost. Everything will be fully absorbed and used by the soil.
Helps to Conserve Energy
Swedish dishcloths require far less energy to “recycle” than traditional dishcloths. Made from natural ingredients, they easily break down into the earth. Generally speaking, they also require less energy to make in the production stage. In fact, it’s not uncommon for them to be made with half the amount of energy!
Reduces Landfill Waste
Millions of tonnes of plastic are dumped into the landfill every year. As mentioned earlier, these products take hundreds of years to degrade. Even when they do, they leave behind toxic residues, which is harmful to both our health and the environment.
By using biodegradable dishcloths, you’ll be doing your part to reduce landfill waste. Instead of that, you’ll be able to enrichen the soil with micronutrients. It doesn’t take that much effort on your part either! All you have to do is toss the cloth into the compost when you’re done with it.
Imagine the positive impact that it’d have on the environment if each of us switched to using Swedish dishcloths.
Investing in a Compost Bin
Switching from traditional dishcloths to Swedish dishcloths? If so, you might want to invest in a good compost bin. After all, you’ll be needing a place to put them once they wear out (which isn’t that often)!
What is a Compost Bin?
Compost bins are used to store and make compost before they are used out in the garden. While it depends on the type, most are designed so that they quicken the decomposition of organic matter; this is done by providing proper aeration and moisture. This allows aerobic organisms to break down the ingredients into its component parts.
Choosing a Good Compost Bin
There are many different types of compost bins out there. For instance, you can get a large composter for your yard, or a small bin for your kitchen. It all depends on what you’ll be composting and how much.
Looking for something just for your Swedish dishcloths? If so, a small one might suffice. If, however, you plan on composting other things such as vegetable peels or fruit waste, you might want to go for something a little bigger.