Welcome to HuffPost’s Simple Pleasures, where I’m writing about the one purchase that made me happiest recently, producing a much-needed hit of shopping serotonin. Today, we’re talking about the humble-yet-mighty Swedish dishcloth.
Despite being someone who enjoys a very clean, sparse and tidy home, I don’t enjoy the actual physical act of cleaning. I’m not your typical type-A soul who finds joy in scrubbing the oven or vacuuming floors. And despite a profound love of shopping, I’ve never amassed a large collection of cleaning products or tools. I am, however, both a sucker for a great deal and a lover of lower-waste home alternatives. Knowing this, my sister recommended a paper towel proxy I had never heard of: reusable Swedish dishcloths.
I admit to feeling skeptical at first and figured it was no different than using a regular dish towel or sponge (the latter of which grosses me out). But upon further inspection, it’s become clear that these are not your everyday dishcloths, and incorporating them into my home has been — dare I say — a delight?
My sister’s initial Swedish dishcloth pitch included some intriguing details including, but not limited to the following:
They can be cleaned in the dishwasher immediately after use.
They’re cheap and come in large packs that last a long time.
Ever since she started using them she uses significantly fewer paper towels, making them an easy and affordable eco-friendly swap.
Upon getting a pack for myself, I had to admit that she was, in fact, correct. (Ugh.) They’re wildly absorbent — significantly more so than a paper towel or other piece of cloth. Cleanup that would usually require multiple paper towels is easily mopped up with just a single reusable Swedish dishcloth. They are made from cellulose and cotton, making them soft and gentle for hands and surfaces while wet, but are gritty enough to really scrub and scour a particularly grimly spot when dry.
I also adore that they’re so multifunctional. I primarily use them to wipe down counters and kitchen appliances, but they’re also great for drying dishes and are safe to use on a variety of surfaces, from marble and tile to stainless steel and wood surfaces. There’s no room in the house that they can’t clean, from kitchen to bathrooms, windows and mirrors, banisters and more.
Swedish dishcloths are washing machine-safe, but once my sister told me they also hold up great in the dishwasher I never looked back. It just doesn’t get much more convenient than that! There’s nothing better than items that reduce waste without requiring a big lifestyle adjustment. When the cloths have run their course, simply add them to the compost bin.
I bought a ten-pack and found that at most I go through one cloth a month. (Real cleaning fanatics might go through two). That means that I’ve used ten compostable dishcloths in the same amount of time I would have used approximately 24 paper towel rolls.
These particular packs from Swedish Wholesale include ten dishcloths and are available in eight different colors or an assorted color pack if you prefer a bit of variety. I asked my sister if she had any other parting thoughts she’d like to share about Swedish dishcloths with the HuffPost audience, to which she responded with this pearl of wisdom: “The white dishcloths get gray and dingy, so I recommend the colorful ones.”
And there you have it! Keep reading to check out other people’s glowing reviews and pick up a pack for yourself.
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Promising reviews: “Excellent! Love these! Much better than all-cotton dishcloths because they are VERY absorbent, yet easy to wring out completely (and I mean completely!) after use; when using them to wash dishes, things like jar garlic “seeds”, tomato “seeds,” etc., are easily rinsed out, unlike all-cotton cloths; and because you can wring them out completely, they work really well to dry the sink after washing dishes, clean counters off, etc. And as advertised, they don’t stink! Today I threw several of them in the washing machine and hung them up to air dry, but discovered too late that I’d put one in the dryer. It shrank by at least an inch all around. My husband said, “Maybe if you run water on it, it will get big again!” He was joking, but it DID return to its normal size when I ran water over it! So, they can be put in the dryer if you want! VERY happy with this purchase, and highly recommend these.” — JTD
”BEST cleaning cloth/sponge/rag EVER! I’ve been on the hunt for kitchen cleaning rags and tried MANY. This may seem pricey but it’s a great value because it’s so easy to clean at the sink (or sterile with boiling water), unlike cloths, you don’t need a large supply to always have a clean cloth.
It’s sturdy like a sponge and absorbs TONS of water and it squeezes almost dry, then dries in no time, even when it’s pouring rain. It’s flexible like a cloth when wet/damp and can clean any surface or tight spot. Great for wiping shower/bathroom fixtures dry. Because it’s so easy to clean with soap and water in the sink or boil to sterilize, there’s no need for a dozen to have a clean sponge/cloth all the time, or to do dirty rag laundry regularly. Great product!!” — Gilbert Agaran