How I got my kitchen washcloths white again

jenicaNovember 25, 2008

Hi Everyone,

I haven't posted on this Forum before but I have been lurking. I thought you all might appreciate this tip if someone hasn't already thought of it. I already use dishwasher detergent to get tea and other stains from my sink and to clean my grout and love it but now I have yet another use for it. I use white washcloths for cleaning my kitchen counters and they inevitably get stained. I know they are clean because I wash them with bleach all the time but they looked anything but. Well I got to thinking how well dishwasher detergent got stains out of everything else so I decided to soak all my washcloths in water with a generous amount of dishwasher detergent. They came out bright white and look like new! This is great for me because before I kept buying new ones and relegating the stained ones to the cleaning rags. I ended up with a ton of cleaning rags. I like using the washcloths because it is so much better for the environment than using paper towels. I change out the washcloths daily or more so I don't worry about spreading germs.

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I gotta try this! Thanks for posting!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:52AM
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I've also tried boiling kitchen cloths in a pot with lots of water water and about a tablespoon of dishwasher detergent. They get clean and sanitized. And I'm not wasting paper towels.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Thank you.
I also use dishwasher detergent to remove food stains on some of my clothing before I wash them.[check for colorfast]

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 2:11PM
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Great idea!!!! I saw something similar to that on the today show a few month's back, i use the dishwasher detergent, my laundry soap (about half of what i normally use) and hot water cycle close the cover and put it on soak. My kid's socks are always so nasty that this gets them sparkling clean again. I let them soak for about 20 minutes. great tip!!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Thanks for the idea about socks. My 3 sons play a lot of sports and their white socks are always ground in dirty. If I bleach them (socks that is, not kids :) ), they fall apart in no time. I will try soaking in dishwashing liquid before washing.

Also on the dish cloths - when mine get gross I just head to Dollar Tree. I can usually find nice ones for 2/$1. Then the gross ones go into the rag bag & I use them to clean the floor.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 11:39AM
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So what's in the dishwasher soap that cleans white things so well? If it's not bleach, what is it?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 2:06PM
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What type of detergent are you using? Liquid or powder? And you are talking about the stuff that goes in the dishwasher, right?
I have got to try this. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 5:37PM
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I have to see if this works. In addition to kitchen towels that no longer get clean even though I wash them in hot water/detergent/bleach, I have white washcloths that won't come clean. I buy tons of cheap white washcloths for removing makeup and doing face masks, etc. The face masks are green or brown, and I remove them with warm water and these cheap washcloths. Even though they are repeatedly washed, the stains still remain.
I use Electrosol tabs. Should I smash these up in a bag first before adding tot he not water soak? I really hope this works as I have some favorite old tea towels that are too stained to be seen by the public!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 12:47PM
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I used the cascade liquid. I don't even have a dishwasher I bought it just for cleaning and the liquid is easier for that purpose. Before this I used it to clean grout and to get the tea stains out of my sink. I love it for both of those tasks too, works great.

I guess if you use the tabs you probably would want to crush them and get them to dissolve in the water. I think the reason it works so well is the detergent has enzymes to break down stuck on food. I think the enzymes get rid of the stains.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 4:59PM
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I have Coscto brand dishwasher detergent that I hate so I may put that in the laundy room for soaking whites and then I can move on to better detergent for the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 5:11PM
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A lady who sells vintage linens gave me a 'recipe' she uses for soaking her vintage linens.

She used 1 cup each of Biz, Cascade diswasher detergent (not liquid), and Borax or Borateem.

She used 1 cup of this mixture to a washer of hottest water, and let the linens soak, she said all day. She would turn the machine on for a few seconds, just to agitate, every time she thought about it. Then rinsed a couple of times, and hung them outside.

I've never tried it on anything else, but this has me thinking. My cup towels and dishcloths get to looking very yucky, as well.

My husband wears 100% cotton T shirts and they just don't stay white like they should, may give it a try as well.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 9:39AM
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I've used an enzyme dishwashing detergent as a laundry booster for years with great success. Borax will whiten/bleach too. Also, hanging things in the sun will bleach them white, or whiter anyway.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:27AM
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I forgot to add she put in a cup of color safe bleach as well. I was doing that from memory - which fails me from time to time.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 4:18AM
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Hi jenica. That is a great idea. When I had a dishwasher I used to just throw a rag in with the dishes. Worked well if done regularly, that is before the rag dries and stains set.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 10:25PM
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