Ew...wet rags on kitchen sink

kelcushApril 9, 2006

My husband prefers to use a wet rag to clean the kitchen counters and sink. Each time he uses one, he leaves it sitting on the sink. I know we should be able to use them more than once and I am grateful for his help, but does anyone have ideas about where to store wet rags so that we don't need to throw them in the wash after each use? Thanks!!!

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I have a plastic laundry basket around the side of the house and I put them there to dry. You could put them out on a clothesline too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 3:15PM
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I have a small plastic basket that I hang them over under the sink. I make sure I clean the rag with warm soapy water and wring it out really well before hanging it, otherwise they will drip or get stinky. I use a clean one every day, and hang it after doing the dinner dishes.

Then, when I do laundry, I just grab the 4-5 dishrags that are hanging out there.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 5:58AM
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I also prefer to use a washcloth/rag (as opposed to a spnge which is used strictly for washing dishes) to wipe down spills etc. from countertops. Mine hang over the faucet to dry. (Not the most attractive) or it hangs over the drying rack next to the sink. Neither are attractive solutions but it is better than finding them balled up in the sink.

They are actual washclothes for kitchen use and not cut up "rags" from old towels, though I do like to use these for heavier cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 2:37PM
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I have a double sink, so when I finish with the dishrag I rinse it really well with hot water, wring it out and drape it over the divider between the sinks. If expecting company I put it under the sink on the towel rack, I used to keep it there all the time, but noone but me could find it then, they just kept forgetting where to look (after 5 years!)


    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 5:56PM
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I use sponges and paper towels,,,,,hate that ooky wet rag!!
Sponges get washed and spend 2 minutesa in the microwave to kill the bugs, paper towels go into the trash!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 9:01PM
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I, too, hang them between the double sinks, but even that doesn't dry them out like I would prefer. Once every few months I take every one of the washcloths and towels and throw them in the laundry with bleach and let them all soak for a while before washing. Gets the lingering musty smells out from the dishcloths that got mildewy.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 10:57PM
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I got a hanging thingi fixed under the sink area. Got from IKEA. It has 3 roda that slide right out for ease of hanging.
And I hangmy platform and table wiping clothes there.
They dry up really well and yes before hanging them there I wash them with dishwashign soap and hot water.

They are going good...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 3:07AM
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DH & I use a dishrag. We also use bleach in the wash water once in a while - keeps the rag fresh. Do it more in the summer when the rag doesn't dry as fast as it does in the winter. Started doing that at the store to make sure we weren't sharing germs back and forth with the help. It was very easy for one of us to put our glass or cup down while helping a customer and find it a day or two later hidden in some out of the way spot.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 9:05AM
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It's rags and sponges vs. papertowels and Linda C., I'm with you...I'd rather use papertowels and clorox wipes. I do like the idea of sanitizing the sponges, but regardless, the rags are here to stay. I call my husband the "closer" and he's up late finishing what I don't get to, so I can't complain. I'm getting a container with water and a drop of bleach for him to throw the rags in, and then hanging them under the sink. Thanks for everyone's input!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Would HandiWipes work for you? I like them because they're thin and dry fast hanging from faucet our between sinks. Usually cut them in half (along the fold, like they are in pkg.) and thats big enough to wipe down table and counter spills and small enough to ignore if I don't put it under sink. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 4:06PM
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Thanks...I will definitely give the handiwipes a try!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2006 at 1:20AM
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My Ew factor must be pretty high. I just don't see wash rags as icky. Rinse them out, put over the middle of the sink and change daily. If I've needed to clean the counter after cutting meat or swiped at something on the floor, then a fresh one is order.

In the hamper they go and washed with towels, etc. on hot. I keep a stack under the sink, along with towels. I'm really trying to eliminate the throw away factor around here. At least with paper towels, we can put them in the compost pile.


Here is a link that might be useful: bacteria in sponges?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 12:07AM
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MIL was very clean but she used sponges in her kitchen. It grossed me out to see those wet things sitting by her sink. I use paper towels in the kitchen, always. I am fastidious about food. Don't ask me about dust bunnies in the bedroom.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 9:40AM
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I usually only lurk here and have gotten some awesome tips but I have a suggestion for you that I got from my grandmother. If you have cabinets under your sink with doors on them you can find a very small towel bar that would fit on one of the doors and not stick out too far and install it to hang your rag on to dry. I have also bought some wire mesh baskets that were long and skinny and supposed to be used as a drawer organizer but I screwed them to the inside of my doors and I put my sponge to dry and my scrubbies and also extra sponges and a drain stopper. I don't like anything laying on my counter or sink top so as soon as I am done under the counter they go and they dry very nicely. I have found the towels bars at like hardware stores and home improvement places. They are not like the big ones for the bath room. The best ones are just basically a rounded or square metal bar that is about 1/4 inch in diameter. I found a link to one that is similar on ebay for you to look at only it is a double one and sticks out over 3 inches. I have found some that only stick out an inch or two. Hope this helps!


Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen towel bar

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 2:11PM
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jcbyburn, if you really need something small, how about a TP holder? Cheap and readily available. I did that in one place we lived. Now I like those little self stick grabbers sold at dollar store. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:21PM
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Do you have a dishwasher next to the sink? Why not just lay it out flat on the top rack? (Assuming that your dishwasher isn't always in use, I don't use mine that much).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 8:54AM
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I use sponges to wipe down the sink and counter and they go right in the dishwasher after every use. I had those tip out storage bins installed over the under sink cabinets and the clean ones are always there.

I use Handi Wipes for major clean ups and then toss.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 11:19AM
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OK, folks. We use rags too. The problem is that ever since we've lived here they stink as soon as they get wet. Sometimes before they get wet. The towels also stink at times. I'm not sure if it's the water (we have a well) or what. As soon as we use one in the shower with soap - no more stink. Anybody got a clue as to why & what we can do about it?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 11:49PM
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Cloths are a much more sanitary way to clean dishes and surfaces than sponges for the reason mentioned in this article:


I think that disposable wipes are a marketing miracle to get lots of money from me. The big problem is that most people don't know how to clean. You need a large reservoir of water with detergent to clean the cloth (or ugh, sponge) between wipings!

A small, covered bleach bucket in the kitchen for dumb spouses to toss the cloth is a good idea, but teaching them to clean is better. Microwaving is a good idea. A little bleach in the sink with fresh water after the detergent is let out is a good idea (disinfects the sink and drain too). Swish out the dish cloth in it.

Other interesting pices. Most articles like this are are related to Chuck Gerba at the Univ of Arizona.



Noocha, I have lived in many places and sometimes had the problem you did. I wish I had the answer. The only thing you can do is use bleach to clean the cloths and change them every day or more. When you think about it, a few more cloths and an extra load of laundry don't cost you that much if you have in-home laundry.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 8:10PM
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I'm just at my wit's end! Like I said, it's been like this since we moved here! It's dish rags, wash cloths, dish towels, & bath towels. We've bleached the heck out of them, used tons of fabric softener, new detergent - nothing helps. They stink! More so after they're wet but even when dry they stink!! I've bought new ones & they stink within one use. It's awful to try to wash your face even tho with soap on them they're not too bad. But I keep thinking it must be some kind of bacteria or bug in my water. I just don't know.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:38PM
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noocha: You might have someone come check your well equipment. There might be something wrong with the filters in your system. Do you soften the water? That might help.

Do you have a carbon filter on your water? That might help.

And lastly, do you have a Zeolite filter (not the same as the resin in a water softener)? Try using one of those filtered water jugs (like the Pur filtered water jug). If those clean up the smell for you, then Zeolite and activated charcoal filters should help you. If you ever crack open the filter cartridge, you'll find it has about 90% Zeolite (the white stuff) and 10% activated carbon (black flecks) in it. You should be able to get a good filter for your well system.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Why are these articles always written by nutritionists and not chemists? My daughter is a chemist and according to what she's told me bacteria is everywhere and is a good thing. Any woman who has ever had a yeast infection knows this. A yeast infection is caused when the balance in your body is upset - bacteria actually keeps you from getting the infection. Then if you take medication that kills that bacteria, voila the balance is gone and you have an infection.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 4:41PM
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barbyblues, I think you've oversimplified and somewhat confused the statement. Yes, there are bacteria almost everywhere. Yes, some of them are good -- also some bacteria are harmless and some bacteria are very harmful to humans (surely you heard about E. Coli on spinach?). I think you need to discuss with your doctor both the causes and the cures of various types of yeast infections. Again, there are many types/forms of bacteria so it wouldn't be right just to say "bacteria", one must be very specific about *which* bacteria before one can say it is helpful or harmful.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 11:46AM
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noocha...could your laudry det. soap be bad? Have you tried washing the white stuff in bleach? Maybe it's the bleach that is the problem? I bet a vinegar wash and/or rinse may help?

Or, maybe there was a load that just sat too long once and all of it molded and your can't really get it clean with just a regular wash.

I had one microfiber towel that seemed to stink for no reason even when it was clean. I never could figure it out but I think I bleached it (even though it was dark green) and it seemed to help.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 11:26PM
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Wipe down your dryer with a clean, non-stinky rag that has been dipped in vinegar and water, then rung out. Rinse the rag out often. Then dry the inside of the dryer with with a clean non-stinky towel. You could also use clorox wipes instead of vinegar, dry it, and also let that air dry. Then wash all the towels with borax powder found in the laundry isle at the grocery store.

Always dry wet clothes promptly.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 6:11PM
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fwiw - ever since I bought my new FL washer I've noticed that my towels and washcloths have a musty smell, even after one use and using fabric softener. My daughter who just bought a different brand of FL has told me the same thing about hers. According to an article I just read this week, these new washers shouldn't be filled with the 22 towels that the mfrs claim we can wash at one time!! Seems that not enough water gets to the towels to remove all the mold spores that produce smells when the towels are damp. The article also suggested to wash all towels on hot and on the longest cycle. So that is what I will be doing from now on - fewer towels, longer cycle, hotter water - and maybe that will help. I've never ever had this problem with the agitator-type washer. Worth a try at least for all of us who have stinky towels.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:39AM
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I use washcloths as well and had the same musty smell the minhute I wet down one of my clean cloths. After doing some research about it I read many people who had the same problem realized they had great improvement when they changed two things. First, what grammabonnie said - Don't crowd your washer and use plenty of water and a few drops of bleach. Second - the smell was being compounded by the use of DAWN dish detergent. Sure enough, I switched from Dawn and changed how I washed them, and VOILA - a huge improvement!! HTH!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 10:23AM
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mo sgal - came from the dawn dish detergent? did you just assume this? i've been using dawn and usually wash my washcloths every couple of days. (they sit on the sink divider to dry.) i've noticed lately after a day they start to have a musty smell. Really gross. I just may be switching my dish soap as well!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 3:18PM
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I prefer to use J-Cloths. They dry more quickly than a traditional kitchen cloth and you can wash them! Then if they do get stinky, you can throw them out.
I've been using them for years and have never had any stinky problems.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 9:56PM
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