Dish cloth or sponge? And where do you store it between uses?

natalNovember 8, 2007

I know some of you use the tilt out tray and some have little cages that attach to the sink for sponges. What about if you use cloths ... I'm talking about for washing, not drying. Where do you keep the cloth between uses?

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I'm a sponger user (microwave it every so often) and store it in the Forma suction holder from the Container Store. However, I saw this there and thought that it might be helpful for dish cloth users (see link below):

Here is a link that might be useful: Wash Towel Caddy

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 7:02PM
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That's a possibility. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:20PM
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In the dirty clothes hamper...I am so freaked out about used towels (I don't use sponges) that I use it once then toss in the hamper. I have a kitchen hamper however since I go through so many towels a day.

I have seen little towel racks that mount to the inside or cabinet doors.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:36PM
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Dish cloth - usually hung on the divider between the two sinks. When it smells (2 or 3 days) it gets tossed into the laundry area in the garage!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:42PM
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fightingoverfinishes- YES! Sponges are horribly filthy- they hold bacteria even if you put them in the micro/dishwasher. Maybe being a nurse in surgery/ICU/Open Heart makes me more aware of 'bugs'. Use a clean washing cloth every day- new towels too. I sometimes go through2-3-4 towels a day, and it is only me living here! It isn't any work- the clothes washer/dryer does all the work.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 2:34AM
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I'm with donnar - mine dishrag usually hangs on the sink divider and the dishtowl hangs over on the counter. I do have a towel bar on my dishwasher, but I'm not use to using it yet. After a couple of days, I toss it in the laundry room to get washed with the other towels in the house. I do have a sponge scruby thing and a regular sponge that stays in a holder that hangs on the divider, not sure if it will stay or not. Still changing things around.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 9:42AM
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I'm many people responding to this thread are males? Do men even care about this issue? I can't store sponges or clothes unless I hide them from DH who will wipe counter tops and dog and cat food bowls...whatever...with the first sponge or cloth he puts his hands on (if he's in the mood to clean anything, that is.)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:13AM
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Carol, some do if you take the time to train 'em, lol! I used to keep a little pottery bowl with a small loofah in it just for cleaning the kitty bowls. When the kitchen was gutted and we were relegated to using the bathroom sink, dh wanted to know what happened to the loofah. I had to re-train him. ;)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:59AM
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I have that exact rack posted in the link above- I got it as kind of an interim gift to myself to get by until we really redo the kitchen, and it works great! We use microfiber towels mainly for wiping down the sink, a brush for dishes. No sponges.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:05AM
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carol: LOL! The inability of DH to remember which cloth is for which purpose leads me to change them all each morning. Then check them for telltale signs of wetness or inappropriate smears before I use them during that day.

I like all my kitchen linens to dry out between uses. In this climate they will not do that if they're under a sink, folded over, or even hung on a hook. So, each gets its own towel bar here and there in the kitchen and is spread out full width to dry between uses.

The cloth for washing dishes hangs off a handsome solid brass swing arm towel holder that's mounted on the side of the upper cabinet to one side of the sink. It has 2 arms; the other has wet rubber gloves hanging off it. The 2 arms are spread apart so nothing touches. But, then, my kitchen is treated more like a work space, or commercial kitchen, than a display/live-in room. Most people don't like all this functional stuff hanging around in clear sight. Whenever House Beautiful shows up for a photo-shoot I take it all down.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:07PM
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Sponges are horribly filthy- they hold bacteria even if you put them in the micro/dishwasher.

I thought so too! But then I read a USDA report on putting sponges in the dishwasher with a hot dry cycle, and it said that it sterilized the sponge. I didn't believe it. So I let a sponge get stinky, brought home agar plates and sterile swabs from work (I teach physics and my lab is right next to the bio lab) and I streaked a plate. I put the sponge in the dishwasher with the heated drying cycle, and then streaked another plate. The first one was covered with colonies as you'd expect; the second was clean. Nothing was growing. It looked untouched.

I had to change my tune. The dishwasher does a good job when you use the heated drying cycle.

In fact, here's the USDA paper's conclusion:

"Thus microwave heating and dishwashing with a drying cycle proved to be the most effective methods for inactivating bacteria, yeasts and molds on sponges. These simple and convenient treatments can help ensure that contaminated sponges don't spread foodborne pathogens around household kitchens of today's busy families."

Here is a link that might be useful: The entire article

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:17PM
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That's good to know, vjrnts! I have always used a sponge and mine goes in the dishwasher (heated dry) every night. I always have several so if one is used to wipe up chicken juice or something, it gets rinsed and put into the dishwasher immediately and I grab a fresh one as needed. My Mom used to use a dishcloth and I never knew where to put it, a sponge is easier to tuck away IMO.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 8:31PM
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DH is a dyed in the wool sponge person and I am a dish cloth user. Luckily or not, a few years ago, he stopped helping in the kitchen. So, it's less squabbles about what to use. I think sponges are icky. I don't think I have a heated dry setting on my dw, I've never noticed it if I did. I do, if I ever on rare occasion use a sponge put bleach on it. We still have a sponge available if DH ever starts to help clean the kitchen again.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 8:23AM
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I use both but use a dishcloth alot more. The sponge is more of a scrubby for scrubbing rather than wiping counters, etc. I store both under the sink in here.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 11:55AM
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I hate sponges. My solution is to buy two dozen white washcloths (inexpensive at Costco or Target), use a fresh one for every cleanup, and launder them in batches.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 12:05PM
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My sister did the white washcloth thing too. I use a combination of microfiber cloths that I bought in a 25-pack at Sam's Club*, a scrubby sponge that goes into every dishwasher load and paper towels. Oh, and a cotton hand towel, but I use that almost exclusively just to dry my hands on. I split the bag of microfiber clothes half to my rag bag for dusting and other household cleaning, and half to my kitchen drawer. I launder them separately because I don't want the possibility of remnants of some of the harsher chemicals I use around the house getting into the kitchen cloths.

I need a dish by the sink for my scrubby and a towel pig I think. Then I'll be perfectly equipped.

*Look in the automotive section. The colors tend to be mostly, um, not-wonderful (although I love my canary yellow cloths), but the price is far FAR cheaper than the prettier cloths sold at places like Solutions.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 1:26PM
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We use dish cloths exclusively. I find dish cloths do a much better job of wiping things off than sponges. Plus, you can fold over a dish cloth and keep wiping w/o having to rinse after every swipe! I have also found that sponges don't last that long, especially if you put them in the DW every day; when they start to "go", they disintegrate and leave stuff all over the place!

We have about 1 dozen dish cloths. We get at least one clean one out each day. During the day, in-between uses, it hangs on the divider b/w the sinks. Ditto w/dish towels--although they hang on the oven handle b/w uses. Once a week or so I wash a small load of dish cloths & dishtowels in hot water + bleach and over-dry them using the hot setting in the dryer.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 1:57PM
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