June 22, 2012

Cleaning Rags

Cleaning rags are a part of my cleaning routine – it saves money on paper towels, is more environmentally friendly and if you use the right ones, you don’t leave lint behind when you are cleaning. But without the ‘proper’ care, they become a gross, smelly mess. So today, I’m going to do a little chit chat about the type I use, where I use them, and how I launder them.

Kitchen rags – I use these in lieu of the beloved paper towel – these are from Target – REstyle brand in the kitchen section. They are small ‘bar mop towels’. I have had the same 2 packages for a couple years. I love keeping them on the counter because they are handy and I can grab one instead of paper towels. (Want to read about my obsession and how I switched from paper to cloth?)

I use one or two a day for wiping down counters and the kitchen table, NOT for washing dishes. I hang the one I’m using that day from the faucet or under the kitchen sink on a hook until it’s dry (no musty/moldy smell) and then it goes to the laundry room to be washed with other kitchen towels (I wait until I have a week’s worth or so before washing them all). I wash kitchen towels and rags together – I don’t mix the rags up with other cleaning rags. It’s probably not necessary, but I don’t like them to be cross-contaminated (even though I am washing them). I wash them on the ‘sanitize’ cycle of my washing machine, occasionally splashing in some bleach with the laundry detergent, but you could also splash in a little white vinegar instead of the bleach.

Bathroom rags – I use microfiber cloths (from the automotive aisle – they’re cheaper) for bathroom cleaning the bathrooms. I also use a microfiber mirror/window cleaning cloth for the mirrors and glass in the bathrooms. I use two or three cloths for each bathroom (one or two for counters, one for toilets, one for tubs and showers). When I’m done with each rag and bathroom, I toss them in a blue bucket in the laundry room just for rags. At the end of the week or when the bucket is full, the bucket is dumped into the washing machine and the rags are washed on the sanitize cycle with detergent and the occasional splash of bleach.
When I am done washing all the rags in the house for the week, I run the ‘clean washer’ cycle with bleach (per my washing machine instructions). This cleans the washer and gets any ‘rag germs’ out of the washing machine as well.
So tell me….any cleaning rag tips that work for you? Only use wipes so you don’t have to deal with the laundry aspect of cleaning? Love using cut up old t-shirts? What’s your method?

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Cleaning