The kitchen can get quite messy sometimes. From sauces to food crumbs, it’s not uncommon for the area to get dirty, especially if you’re cooking all the time. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to the spread of germs and bacteria; not to mention that it can attract pests, something that you definitely do not want in your house. For this reason, you always want to keep your kitchen clean. After all, it’s where you’ll be preparing your food—the same food that you’ll be eating come dinnertime.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to clean the kitchen. For instance, we can wipe the countertops and stove with a dishcloth. As a matter of fact, they play an important role when it comes to food safety and hygiene—that is, they can be used to eliminate food debris and bacteria from worktops. Of course, they can be used for other purposes as well such as drying dishes. If used improperly, however, they can easily harbor bacteria—perhaps even more so than other surfaces. Ultimately, the key is to wash them thoroughly after every use; in some cases, bleach might be necessary.
Aside from dishcloths, many people choose to use sponges and paper towels, both of which are commonly found in the kitchen. While they can be great for certain things, they do have their cons. For one thing, sponges tend to remain wet and moist (due to how absorbent they are); even if you were to wash them regularly, they will harbor a large number of bacteria. At the end of the day, all you can do is replace it every couple of weeks.
In contrast, paper towels are quite clean. In general, you won’t have to worry about them hosting bacteria; you’ll be throwing them away when you’re done cleaning after all. However, this leads to another issue—they’re not exactly sustainable. To give you a better idea, more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the United States every year—that’s a lot of trees! In the end, these types of paper products account for more than one-quarter of all landfill waste. But wait, that’s not all. On top of all that, they can get expensive; they’re probably not the best choice if you’re looking to save some money.
Now, you’re probably wondering, “so then, what should I use to clean my kitchen with?”. Ideally, you’d want something that’s reusable yet easy to clean. Perhaps an upgraded version of the regular dishcloth? Enter cellulose dishcloths, also known as Swedish dishcloths. Made from natural fibers, these products are incredibly easy to sanitize; not to mention that they last a long time!
What are Cellulose Dishcloths and Sponge Cloths?
Cellulose dishcloths are a great alternative to conventional dishcloths, sponges, and paper towels. Unlike the ones that you’re used to, these are made from cotton and cellulose fibers, the latter of which comes from natural wood pulp. What does this mean? They are 100% natural and biodegradable (more on that later). Sponge-like in that they are incredibly absorbent, they are wonderful for all types of cleaning tasks. Why use paper towels when you can use something like that?
How to Use Sponge Cloths
Generally speaking, you can use them like regular dishcloths. Before you do, however, you want to dampen them slightly; otherwise, they can be quite stiff. For this reason, they are usually used wet. That’s not to say that you can’t use them dry, though—they’re just not designed for that purpose.
Once you’ve wet it, the cloth should soften up considerably. From there, add a little bit of mild soap and you can use it to clean countertops and soak up spills. Either way, it’s a good idea to rinse it out with water after a while (just as you’d do with conventional dishcloths).
How to Wash Cellulose Dishcloths
As you can imagine, they can get quite dirty after a good cleaning session. Fortunately, they are super easy to wash. For instance, you can put them in your dishwasher along with your dishes. With just a little bit of detergent, they’ll come out looking as good as new. With this, you won’t have to worry about the build-up of bacteria and germs.
Alternatively, you can sanitize the sponge cloth by putting it in the microwave. More specifically, you want to microwave it for one to two minutes, depending on the strength of your machine; the high heat will kill off any bacteria. Make sure that the cloth is damp or wet, though, otherwise, there is a chance that it can catch on fire. Be careful when you take it out as it will be hot!
Some people also toss them into the washing machine. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the dishcloths can shrink a bit in the cycle. Avoid putting them in the dryer as that can break down the product.
Note: Bleach is generally not recommended for cellulose dishcloths.
History of Swedish Dishcloths
Cellulose dishcloths have been around for several decades. For those who are curious, yes—they were invented in Sweden. More specifically, they were invented by a Swedish engineer named Curt Lindquist in 1949. Allegedly, he had discovered that a mixture of cotton and cellulose can absorb up to 15 times its own weight in water.
Initially only available in Europe, these products eventually made their way to the United States, where they quickly gained a loyal following. Since then, the popularity of cellulose dishcloths has grown considerably—perhaps more so in recent years (due to various eco-friendly movements).
What Can You Use Sponge Cloths For?
Let’s face it, cellulose dishcloths were made for the kitchen. You can use them to wipe the stove, the sink, the countertops—even the fridge! Of course, you can also use them to clean your dishes, they’re dishcloths after all. With that said, they can pretty much be used to clean anything in the kitchen.
Pro-tip: It’s a good idea to buy multi-colored cloths—that way, you can use different ones for different purposes.
What’s so amazing about sponge dishcloths, however, is that they can also be used outside of the kitchen. That’s right, just because they’re called dishcloths doesn’t mean that they’re restricted to just one area of the house! Given how soft and absorbent they are (when wet), they can safely be used on a variety of surfaces. For instance, you can use them to clean the bathroom, the car, the walls, even furniture. Heck, you could even use it outside if you really wanted to!
Speaking of which, they can also be used to clean glass. The way that they’re made, they will not leave any streak marks. This makes them perfect for windows, glasses, fish tanks, and more.
7 Benefits of Cellulose Dishcloths
Let’s take a look at some of their highlights now that we’re more familiar with the product.
1. Cellulose Dishcloths are Eco-Friendly
In contrast to conventional dishcloths, many of which are made from synthetic material, these cloths are comprised of natural cellulose and cotton. Eventually, when the fibers are worn out (after many, many uses), you can put them in the compost; that way, they can be recycled as plant fertilizer—nothing will go into the landfill. Eco-friendly, they are much better for the environment compared to paper towels and sponges. Do your part by switching to Swedish dishcloths today!
2. Sponge Cloths are Affordable
These dishcloths are super cost-effective, especially when you take into consideration all that they’re capable of. Generally speaking, you can get several cloths for under $10. For instance, the ten-packs that we sell go for $19.99, which works out to be around $2 each. It even comes with free two-day shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member!
Still using paper towels? Consider making the switch to Swedish dishcloths. You’ll be surprised just how much money you’ll save in the long run! After all, they are super durable (more on that below)—in other words, you won’t have to constantly be buying refills.
3. Cellulose Dishcloths are Very Durable
Swedish dishcloths are built to last. Even with rigorous use, they will last a long time. Assuming that they’re properly taken care of, a pack of ten can easily last upwards of a year; all you have to do is give them a proper wash every once in a while. In contrast, conventional dishcloths should be replaced every few weeks (due to the buildup of bacteria).
4. Cellulose Dishcloths are Super Absorbent
Absorbency is huge when it comes to wiping different surfaces. After all, you want the cloth to be able to pick up a good amount of liquid—whether it’s soap for cleaning or spilt juice. Sure, cotton works, but wouldn’t you want something that is more effective? Anything to make the task easier, right?
Well, it just so happens that cellulose dishcloths are incredibly absorbent. Thanks to their unique composition, they are capable of absorbing more than 15 times their weight in water. What does this mean? This means that you’ll easily be able to clean up those messes around the house!
5. Sponge Dishcloths are Incredibly Versatile
As mentioned earlier, these dishcloths can pretty much be used for anything. While they’re technically meant for the kitchen, their soft, non-abrasive feel means that you can safely use them on various surfaces. Whether you plan on cleaning the stove or the car, these can come in quite handy! Remember, they will also not leave any streak marks—this means that you can use them on materials such as glass.
6. They are More Sanitary Than Conventional Dishcloths and Sponges
When it comes to the kitchen, you always want to maintain a good level of hygiene. As it is, though, conventional dishcloths and sponges tend to harbor an astonishing amount of bacteria. If we’re not careful, they can easily be transferred to food or even other areas of the house.
What makes Swedish dishcloths more sanitary than conventional dishcloths and sponges? They dry quickly. As you might be aware, bacteria tends to proliferate in wet, moist environments. Given that, it only makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to grow as much on these types of cloths—and less bacteria is always a good thing!
Note: While they might be more sanitary, you still have to do your part to keep them clean. As described above, you can sanitize the cloths by either boiling, microwaving, or machine washing the dishcloth.
7. Sponge Cloths are Not Prone to Developing Smells
Unlike regular dishcloths and sponges, these cloths rarely get funky (this has to do with the fact that they dry out quickly). By using them, your countertops will remain fresh and clean—you won’t have to worry about having to eliminate that musty smell from your kitchen! Trust me, it’s not fun.