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Dishcloths and teatowels??

12 replies

Madwelshwoman · 14/05/2007 10:56


I used to save all my dishcloths/tea towels/mopping up cloths etc and wash them at 60 degrees every few days, but lately after becoming more environmentally conscious I am loathe to save these things up and now just bung them in with my whites at a 40 wash. Question is, is this hygienic? I mean is it better to wash them regularly at 40 or occasionally at 60? What do you do???

Cripes I must lead a sad existence if this is bothering me first thing on a Monday morning!!!


OP posts:
Lilymaid · 14/05/2007 11:05

Wash them and then whilst still wet microwave them for 2 minutes on high. Apparently this zaps the bugs but the cloths must still be wet - otherwise they may catch fire!

hana · 14/05/2007 11:09

I never do a 60 wash, and put them in the washing machine at 40 - they are fine. I use a clean cloth at least each day, sometimes 2. You can also put in the dishwasher too

MrsBadger · 14/05/2007 11:17

I sling that day's one in the normal 40C wash every night and get out a clean one every morning - if I left them festering longer I might want to wash them hotter.

If I'm bleaching the sink (bloody white plastic one, never looks clean otherwise, grr) I'll often sling the sponges in at the same time. (Also works a treat on aged greying muslins)

ScottishThistle · 14/05/2007 11:21

I change dishcloth & teatowel every day, so just a normal 40oC wash here!

warthog · 14/05/2007 12:37

i never do higher than 40deg wash. i also just sling them in with the normal wash.

there is research that shows that living in too sterile an environment means our immune system isn't challenged enough. and consequently that may be the cause of the increase in allergies. so i don't believe in sterilising everything to the nth degree. i don't live in squalor either! i just do reasonable cleaning.

so, imo, washing your tea towels every couple of days in a normal wash is just fine.

hayes · 14/05/2007 12:38

i do normal 40 wash too

if you have a dishwasher put the cloths in there the heat will kill anything off

clumsymum · 14/05/2007 12:45

I just sling dishcloths and teatowels in a wash, which will go on at either 30 or 40 degrees (trying to wean myself off 40 degrees, but it's an old habit).

Teatowels often get tumble dried with towels, so a good heat there, but generally I think an ordinary wash gets rid of nasties. I do use biological detergent, which helps I think.

I throw out dishcloths fairly often (use the vileda yellow ones), and if one seemed especially nasty, I'd either sling it out or soak overnight in bleach. Trouble is that dh NEVER rinses out the cloth if he does the kitchen at night, so I find them skulking in the corner of the sink, smelly and yuk!!

Agree with warthog about encouraging natural resistance, and won't have those 'anti-bacterial' cleaning fluids in the house.

portonovo · 14/05/2007 14:18

I wash mine at 40 deg. But I think the most important thing is not so much how they're washed but how regularly they're changed.

We change ours a couple of times a day.

clumsymum · 14/05/2007 14:44

Good heavens Portonovo, twice a day ???

I change mine if it's been skulking wet and smelly all night (per my previous post), or when I remember as I'm putting the load of washing in. Probably about every couple of days.

It does get well rinsed out and hung over the taps to dry whenever it's been used tho'

I can't remember at time when any of us (or visiting friends) have had a tummy bug or somesuch.

clumsymum · 14/05/2007 14:47

Honestly, you don't need to microwave them. All you are doing is using electricity unneccessarily.

How the hell do you get a boiling cloth out of the microwave? Doesn't it fill your kitchen with steam?

portonovo · 14/05/2007 14:55

Teatowels twice a day or more if we've had a lot of washing up to do by hand - I really really hate using damp teatowels and don't like the idea of continuously letting them dry and then re-using them for days.

Dishcloths once a day unless they start to look or smell yucky, then it's twice.

I don't think that's excessive - the washing machine is on every day, so it's just a case of chucking in a couple of cloths and teatowels with a coloured wash.

Lilymaid · 14/05/2007 15:20

Clumsymum - microwaving dshcloths is generally aspirational for me (see the state of my house) but I have done it a couple of times. I use "toast tongs" to get them out of microwave - wooden tongs sold in Lakeland that I gave my DH in his Christmas stocking (traditionally this contains one strange kitchen implement per year!)

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