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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Move over paper towels we have dishcloths to save our planet ...

I raise my hand and say "I, Cheale, am a paper towel addict", but I had to look at my vice closely and find ways to reduce the amount I use. Continually using paper towels and those "oh so" convenient disposable cloths, that have been filling our markets for the last several years, are obviously not eco-friendly. You can switch to eco-friendly paper towels (I do keep them around for occasional use), but that will still fill our landfills. We have lovely dishcloths to replace that are very eco-friendly or you can also go with rags or sponges, but how do we insure that our dishcloths or sponges stay sanitary for our health.

To properly disinfect your dishcloths or sponges, you should toss them in your washing machine with bleach and hot water. You can dry them in your clothes dryer. However, if you want to sanitize your dishcloths even more, hang them in strong sunshine. You can do the same with your shaggy mop.

But of course you don't want to have to throw them in the washing machine with every use, that isn't being very green either. The best way to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that's present on the dish cloths is to disinfect them in your microwave oven. To do this, according to a 2007 study from the Journal of Environmental Health, dampen the cleaning tools. Then, place it in your microwave oven on "High" power for 2 minutes.

Do you have any other methods to sanitize your dishcloths or sponges?


  1. Just a note on paper-towels:

    I agree, I want to reduce my usage as much as possible. But I do use them occasionally in the kitchen to gather veggie peels, that sort of mess.

    Here's what I do with my paper-towels that haven't touched anything toxic...I compost them! They break down quickly in the compost and go back into the soil to enrich the veggies I grow.

  2. Awesome suggestion ... thank you for posting! I will soon have a composting area after I move ... I am very excited to have that finally!

  3. great tips ! we also use a Rain Barrel for watering our garden and only use Clothbags for shopping :) @cdmtx65

  4. Thank you ... I so want a rain barrel ... that is such an awesome way to reuse natures resources. Thanks for the comment :)