All About Cotton Dish Cloths (aka dishcloths or dish rags)
Cotton dish cloths are used around the world with the simple purpose of cleaning kitchen surfaces.
What are cotton dish cloths made of?
Cotton of course, but more specifically standard length cotton or microfiber. They measure 11″ to 13″ square but as you’ll see in this article 13″ square is the most widely recognized standard.
How are cotton dish cloths both soft and durable?
While typically soft to the touch, dish cloths are made to be both durable enough and abrasive enough to scrub tough kitchen messes without disintegrating. Manufacturers have spent years and years perfecting the balance between soft and tough and, generally speaking, they now have it nailed. Just another reason to love cotton!
Should you be concerned about the sanitary nature of dishcloths or dish rags?
Scientists are quick to point out that a used dishcloth may become a breeding ground for bacteria and/or viruses; specifically salmonella and E. coli. While studies have found that putting dishcloths in the microwave for 2 minutes kills 99% of the living pathogens, due to the fact that this is a fire hazard, the best recommendation is to use one per meal and then wash them in a washing machine in very hot water and anti-bacterial laundry detergent.
Dishcloths or Sponges?
There has been a never ending debate on the sanitary nature of the dish rag vs the sponge. Recent scientific studies indicate that neither one is better than the other when it comes to sanitation. The key is not the material itself, but the owner’s diligence in caring for the material. As mentioned above, the dish rag is most safely disinfected in the washing machine. Sponges are most easily disinfected by running them through the dishwasher – mo muss, no fuss.
Whichever material you use, be that cotton dish cloths or sponges, your very best bet is to sanitize them on a VERY regular basis lest you find yourself simply pushing germs an bacteria from one part of your kitchen to the other.