Washing cloth kitchen wipes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 12-30-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Those of you with paperless kitchens...  how do you launder your cloth?  Do you have separate wipes for hands/faces, counters, etc?  Or can you just have a big basket of multipurpose cloths that all gets washed together?  That would certainly be more convenient than having separate cloths for different purposes, but I'm wondering if it's sanitary.

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#2 of 18 Old 12-30-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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In the kitchen I have dish cloths for washing dishing and tea towels for drying.  Most of the dish cloths are hand crocheted. The knobby, thick weave is excellent for soft scrubbing without scratching. 

 

In the bathroom, we have face cloths, hand towels and bath towels. I don't keep any face cloths in the kitchen, but I don't have young children who would need to wash their faces at the kitchen sink. 

 

I launder the kitchen and bath towels in a single load in hot water and laundry soap with a vinegar rinse. Sometimes the kitchen towels get a little stale or mildew-y smelling. I will soak them in diluted vinegar or diluted borax for a few hours or a day before tossing them in the washing machine. After a while, I find that the smell lingers, so I will "retire" those cloths and use them for scrubbing floors etc. and replace them. I just replaced a bunch of kitchen towels and most of them were about 5 years' old. 

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#3 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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I have seperate wipes for different things, but for function. My dish cloths have scrubby mesh backs. kids wipes are smaller, tea towels for drying, bag o'rags and box of big spill rags. Microfiber cloths for washing the table because they do a better job.

They all go into the laundry under my sink and I wash them all together. On hot or sanitize.


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#4 of 18 Old 12-31-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Guess I live dangerously.
While I have different type of cloth wipes based on function. They all get washed with the normal household laundry on warm.

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#5 of 18 Old 01-02-2013, 09:24 AM
 
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Kitchen laundry, towels, and sheets are all washed together. Cloth wipes and cloth diapers are separate.
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#6 of 18 Old 01-05-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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I wash kitchen towels, washcloths, bath towels, diapers and cloth wipes all together with a half a cup of good old fashioned Clorox!

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#7 of 18 Old 01-05-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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We have a basket in the kitchen for dish cloths, dish towels and cloth napkins.  With 6 of us we go through them fast enough that it works well for them to have their own basket.  Upstairs, cloth diapers and wipes get their own dedicated containers.  We have a big basket of cloth tissues in the kids' bathroom and they just get tossed in whatever laundry basket is closest after they are used.


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#8 of 18 Old 01-07-2013, 04:46 PM
 
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I throw all my towels whether they are cleaning or body towels in together.. I don't really use harsh chemicals, and figure it'll all wash the same :P


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#9 of 18 Old 01-07-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post

I wash kitchen towels, washcloths, bath towels, diapers and cloth wipes all together with a half a cup of good old fashioned Clorox!

 

Just curious about the life of your towels. Do you mind saying how often you have to replace them? Do you find that the bleach weakens the fibres and causes fraying and holes?  

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#10 of 18 Old 01-08-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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I use Bleach all the time and I can't remember ever replacing my hand towels in the kitchen...  I guess some are starting to get frayed, but I think it's from normal wear, not necessarily how they're washed.


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#11 of 18 Old 01-08-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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The last time I bought new dishcloths was two years ago. They are pink and yellow striped on a white background. Of course the washing instructions say Do Not Bleach, lol. They have faded just a wee bit, but otherwise still look great. I usually put out a clean hand towel in the kitchen every day.

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#12 of 18 Old 01-09-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies. That's interesting about the longevity. One of the reasons that I avoid bleach is a concern that it will shorten the lifespan of my towels. I find that over time, I have to replace them anyway. Not because they are worn out but because the mildew smell is too strong. It lingers even after soaking in vinegar or borax solutions. It sounds like the lifespan may be fairly even between bleaching and not.   

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#13 of 18 Old 01-09-2013, 12:08 PM
 
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Perhaps drying them in the sun would help with any lingering smell? 


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#14 of 18 Old 01-09-2013, 01:39 PM
 
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What is your wash routine? I've never has issues with towel smelling bad.

I still used dd1 baby wipes as cleaning rags(24 count). This is after 2yrs of diaper duty then 9 yrs of shower wash cloths. Then 2 more years of diaper duty. They are now worn thin, but no smell.

My napkins are 14+ yrs old. Combination of bandanas and actual cloth napkins.

The worst for wear is a set of bath wash cloths ~4yrs old. When I bought them I could tell the edges weren't as well made as my kids diaper wipes, but I needed more bath wash cloths. Lots of fraying, but still no smell

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#15 of 18 Old 01-10-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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I suspect I have a problem with towels because I tend to wait until I have a full load before I launder them all. That may take several days.  

 

The bath towels aren't the problem. It's the dish towels. We don't have an automatic dishwasher. We wash all our dishes by hand. We also don't have a dish drying rack. We have a small kitchen with no counter space and no place to put a drying rack when it's not on the counter. The sink is oddly tucked into a corner, so there is not much room below the sink and it is one of the few spots I have to store other household stuff. 

 

We put dishtowels on the counter and then place our cleaned, rinsed dishes on top. The towels get soaked. They then get hung up to dry, however since we also have the thermostat turned down pretty low that can take awhile. I've done the dishes after dinner and found the towels still damp the next morning. If they aren't laundered soon after, I find they start to smell. I have tried to remember to toss them in a bucket of diluted vinegar or borax solution while they are waiting for laundry day, but I find that can be hit or miss. 

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#16 of 18 Old 01-13-2013, 07:11 AM
 
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I throw my towels in with sheets, bath towels, etc, rather than wait till I have a full load of just kitchen towels. If I waited that long, they would definitely start to smell! I wash with a mild detergent on warm, no bleach, and never have any problems.

 

Almost all of our sheets/towels/rags are white or ivory, which makes it easy.


 

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#17 of 18 Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, what's your "ick" factor?  Is it gross to wash kitchen towels with diapers?  Would you wipe your mouth on a napkin that had been washed with diapers?  Will the kitchen grease and cleaners ruin the cloth dipes?

 

And...  to take it a step further, is it gross to have one giant set of "wipes" that (after laundering in hot water) may get used for hands, faces, counters, dishes, or butts, then all thrown in a pail and washed together?

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#18 of 18 Old 01-14-2013, 05:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyssaneala View Post

I throw my towels in with sheets, bath towels, etc, rather than wait till I have a full load of just kitchen towels. If I waited that long, they would definitely start to smell! I wash with a mild detergent on warm, no bleach, and never have any problems.

 

Almost all of our sheets/towels/rags are white or ivory, which makes it easy.

 

Same here. I don't launder sheets or bath towels every day though - more like once a week. I do use my dishtowels every day. I'll almost always have damp kitchen towels waiting to be washed. I try to remember to toss them into a bucket of diluted vinegar or borax while they wait, but I seem to miss that step too often.  

 

And yes to using whites! I've noticed that my white hand towels and bath towels have started to get a little grey and dingy looking (another reason why bleach is tempting) but they are over 5 years' old now. My white sheets are a little older and still look good. 

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