Every time I wash my kitchen cloth (napkins, dish towels, wash cloths, random rags, etc.), there is a layer of grease left in the washing machine. The grease is generally at the water line, and around the agitator.
Quite a few years ago, I used to wipe greasy cast iron with rags that went in this wash. I thought that might be the culprit, so I started buying paper towels again, just for my pans. While it decreased the amount of grease left in the washer, it didn't eliminate it.
My kitchen cloth sometimes also has a feel or smell that makes it seem like it just isn't quite clean enough.
I have tried washing like diapers- cold prewash, hot bulky wash with soap, two hot rinses. I've tried adding baking soda and vinegar to the rinses. Both helped a bit with the smell/feel, but honestly, so has doing one hot wash w/soap, followed by one hot rinse. Neither has helped with the leftover grease.
What am I doing wrong? Is this just what I'm doomed to with using kitchen cloth, or can I change something? I asked a good friend who also uses all-cloth in the kitchen; she said she just leaves the grease and washes the rest of her laundry. I'm not interested in grease marks on my clothes, so that's not an option (in the beginning, I didn't really realize that it wasn't just dirt, and I kept wondering why our clean clothes were coming out with huge grease stains on them. Ugh!).
Any suggestions? I'm really tired of scrubbing my washing machine three times each week!
ETA: I CAN spell! I realized that I misspelled "residue" after submitting, and I can't figure out how to edit the title. :/
Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12), and three babies in Heaven.
Since nobody else has jumped in...
Try a squirt of liquid dish soap in the water or directly onto the cloth. I've used that to pretreat oily stains on clothes.
"...cold prewash, hot bulky wash with soap, two hot rinses."
Also, that's how I wash my diapers as well, but I don't see the cold water being helpful in the case of oils. So, maybe just stick with hot water.