What Do You Use to Wash Your Dishes?

Updated on September 28, 2011
N.N. asks from Ecorse, MI
23 answers

My dish rags will stink after a few days and the sponge after a while looks gross and I remember hearing about the germs a sponge will hold. So I am curious as to what do you use in your household to wash the dishes a sponge, dish rag or brush?

How do you disinfect your kitchen after cooking meat?


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So What Happened?

I am asking because we do not have a dish washer or micowave and I am not going to wash my dish rags every other day. I am gonna hold you to that Rachel!!

My plan is to stock up on dish rags and to use the vinergar solution. Thanks Ladies

To Mum4ever: Why is our bill still High! and my hubby is still mad about not having a microwave. We use a nice size counter oven/broiler. The girls wash the dishes after dinner, that is their chore

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answers from Los Angeles on

I was raised by the cloth and still use the cloth. Have about 20 clean ones in the drawer at all times ready for the daily battle.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I change out my dish rags EVERY DAY.

I use paper towel and Method brand Grapefruit spray cleaner to clean before and after handling meat... But my meats NEVER touch the countertops. I will use a glass baking dish while I prep it. Glass is washed by hand and then put into dishwasher for extra precaution and disinfecting.

People might call me anal, but guess what? I've yet to give anyone food poisoning.

ETA- I meant to mention... Using sponges all the time is nasty. When someone goes to start cleaning my dishes with a sponge from under my counter... I tell them that it was used to clean up dog pee. That makes them stop REALLY FAST! *it wasn't used for that, but I only use sponges as a PRE-WASH to get the crusties off and I don't particularly want them using the "crusty" sponge to wash my dishes!* ☺

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Richmond on

I use the dishwasher, but I have a scrub brush with soap inside to get the tough stuff off first... you can put sponges in the dishwasher to get that funky smell out, and wash dishrags with bleach in the laundry machine.

I use clorox kitchen spray and paper towels to wipe down the counters.

If you come over, I'll be more than happy to let you try it, HAHA! ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I use a brush. Food particles get rinsed out thoroughly from the bristles and the brush goes in the dishwasher every time I run it. I have never had a problem with it being smelly or gross. I replace the brush maybe once every year and a half. I'm totally anti sponges and rags on dishes :)

For counter tops, I use a kitchen cleaner... whichever happens to be on sale. But lately, I have been using a good mix of vinegar/water, it's cheaper, not as harsh and still effective.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I have the green scotch brite scrubbys (several..and I wash them in the washing machine). I also use regular wash cloths and go thru many a day as I use them to wash kids faces, tables, high chair trays, etc (face ones are seperate). I can't believe anyone would use the same one for several days. Sorry, to me that is nasty. I don't use any kitchen towels a second day. Ever.

I have so many bibs and washrags and small and large towels to wash that I easily do a load a day, so its no big deal to have these things washed each day (and spares if I don't get a load in, but I prefer they don't sit around collecting germs, whether in my laundry room or my kitchen).

As far as cleaning after meat. Did you mean after cutting it? Like on a board? Well I have plastic flexible (cheap!) boards for just doing meat, but I also have a stainless top on my small center island, like a restaurant would. I clean it with soap and water then with a bleach/water solution, then a hot water rinse. I use Clorox wipes for general cleaning thru my house, but just an FYI for anyone...Clorox wipes DO NOT contain bleach, so if you think you are actually bleaching surfaces clean with them, you are not. Read the label. I wish they did , as it would make my life way easier with home daycare and cleaning the diaper changing surface (I have a commercial changing table...one of those pull down wall unit types you see at stores and restaurants. I LOVE it!). In my county, we are required ot use a bleach/water solution...and clorox wipes do not qualify. Ugh. Any-who..just an FYI there in case you didn't know...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

Do you crochet? Because you can crochet dishcloths for next to nothing. ALSo hand wash your cloth, then rinse then hang up to dry. No stink that way. And sponges are filthy, especially if you can't sanitize it. I'm not sure what you mean by clean the kitchen after meat? You cut your meat on the same board every time. Ours is red and used only for meat. You then wash it immediately, same goes for the knives used.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I use a dishcloth. After I do the dishes and cleanser the sink and bleach the counter with it, I usually just rinse it real well and hang it over the faucet to dry and get several uses out of it. If I even feel the urge to sniff it I know it's time to just grab a new one out of the drawer.... and thats usually every 3 days anyway. Sponges are not for me, I hate cold, clammy, stinky sponges, have smelled way too many ransid ones at other peoples homes and it would gross me out to think they were washing dishes with it. You have more control with a dishcloth I think.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I use a dishrag, but change it daily. A sponge can be microwaved to disinfect it.

I use Clorox wipes on the countertop and scrub my sink with sink cleaner.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When I was in college I never had the luxury of a dishwasher or microwave - i used the bristle brushes and the green scotch brite pads.
like you, I heard of the issues with sponges and wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole - even then, I had my 'issues' haha.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, I use a sponge which is replaced often and put in the dishwasher every day or at least every other day.

If I did not have a dishwasher or microwave to disinfect the sponge, I would probably use something like Handiwipes which dry quickly (that's the key to them not smelling) and I wouldn't use O. longer than 2 days.

As for disinfecting my kitchen after preparing raw meat, I use Clorox Natural Spray and paper towels. You could also use the handiwipes for this if you're concerned about the paper waste...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I use hand-crocheted washcloths made by my grandmother and I change them every day. No smell. I used to get that funky smell before I started changing them every day. I've also heard it helps to wash them in vinegar. I just wipe down my kitchen with a clean cloth and hot, soapy water because I can't use harsh chemicals on my quartz countertops. I sometimes use vinegar on the faucets, which was recommended by the faucet manufacturer. Since my grandmother makes them I have the luxury of owning A LOT of dishcloths. However, they are pretty cheap. Maybe you can buy extras so you don't have to wash them every day or every other day? I've seen the crocheted ones at craft fairs too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

I had the same problem with our dish rags (even after bleaching them). So, now I use a sponge scrubber that you can put the dish soap into the handle for washing dishes. The sponge part is removable and I change that every week (or more frequently if it begins to smell). For cleaning the countertops, I use an antibacterial spray with paper towel. This works great for us! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I use one of those sponge thingys with the soap in the tube attached for hand washable dishes. I feel like the soap is always going through the sponge and keeping it un-germy. For wiping things down I use a sponge that I pour hydrogen peroxide on every couple of days. For my cutting board, I also pour hydorgen peroxide on that and run it through the dishwasher about once a week. No one has died LOL! I just read your "so what happened". Hooray for you that you DO NOT have a microwave! Microwaves change the food sometimes to an unhealthy level.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I keep trying to switch to dish rags intending to use a new one every day, but I can't let go of my sponge. I microwave it each day for 2 minutes and replace it about once a month. My husband prefers the brush, but I can't stand it. He never cleans it properly so it always has gunk in it, and I don't like digging food bits out of it. Lysol wipes for cleaning up after meat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I use Handi Wipes re-usable wipes. They are blue and white striped. I love them. They are pretty thin but last a long time. I wring out all the water and hang it over the faucet or the divider between the two sides of the sink daily, so that it can completely dry. I think that helps with the funk smell.

Several friends of mine use wash rags (similar to those for the bathroom) and I think they are disgusting. I read or heard that sponges don't hold as many germs as those do.

I use Lysol Anti-bacterial wipes or spray with paper towels after cooking with raw meat.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

We use green pads, the big ones from home depot cut in half (or maybe 4 squares?).
As for meat I have a cutting board that I use for meat only and when done I spray with lysol rinse off and throw it in the dishwasher.

We lived without a dishwasher for a looong time too, I guess you just get used to it. When I did do all the dishes manually I remember I would get into like mediation mode, LOL. I guess I didn't mind it all that much but now I feel spoiled with a dishwasher!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I shared my tool with three of my friends and each of them have told me they loved it. I use green scotch brite heavy duty scour pads
They are fantastic!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Providence on

For a disinfectant I use Chlorox Wipes and Lysol. Can't go much better then those two. I use sponges for my dishes. Soak them in vinegar and that helps alot with the smell and germs/bacteria.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I much prefer dish rags, so I keep a small container of bleach under the sink and every few days, I soak them in bleach water and squish them out with a utensil so my hands don't get so irritated, then rinse the rag really well and is good way to clean out and disinfect the sink. Be careful not to splash the bleach on your clothing or you will have faded spots or dots.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We use a sponge. Antibacterial 409 for kitchen clean-up with paper towels and we spray it on boards and knives after cutting mainly chicken until they go in the dishawasher. You could try boiling your sponge and rag in between washes with a squeeze of lemon in the water and see if that helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Wow, great tips already....but I don't believe I have ever been in a home that does NOT have either a dishwasher or a microwave...even our RV has a microwave...I have a girlfriend, a professional chef, who does not own a microwave....I have a girlfriend, who raised 5 kids, who turned her stove into planter because she was not cooking another meal....I know retired folks who don't use their dishwasher...You are truly one of a trend setting kind...I'm more curious about your utility bills then your dish rags.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I use vinegar and water in a spray bottle to clean my bathroom countertops (kills germs) and use plain soap and water on my granite counter because vinegar cannot be used on granite. I use dishrags and old washclothes to wipe down the countertops and change to a clean one whenever I need a clean one (usually daily).

I have read that vinegar disinfects and have read that vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide kills 99% of germs. I believe in natural cleaners and use vinegar all the time, including cleaning the windows.

You can google natural cleaners and make most of your own cleaners for not much money and some disinfect as well as the commercial cleaners (and are better for your family)

As for dishes, I, too, do not have a dishwasher and hand wash my dishes. I use a brush that gets rinsed well after each use.

For cutting meat, I use a cutting board that I can disinfect afterwards. I use a small amount of bleach and water to wash it after use.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I use one of those no-scratch sponges to do my dishes (I cut them in half so they are smaller and last longer). When I'm done using it for dishes (when it starts looking grody or old) I use it for scrubbing the bathtub for a couple of weeks before throwing it out so each sponge I buy gets the use of 4 sponges. I was going to say you can microwave them or put them in the dishwasher but I see you don't have those... maybe washcloths/rags would work better for you and just replace them every day or so. Throw them in with your whites and use bleach and you won't have to worry about germs. And you won't have to wash them every day if you just buy 10-15 of them. Just replace them once or twice a day and do them with your regular wash (I assume everyone has at least once a week laundry but maybe I'm wrong...)

As far as what I use on my counter, I usually use an anti-bacterial cleaner after meat. Your rag will work for basic wiping of the counter, but you want some sort of anti-bacterial or vinegar to get the chicken goop, etc. off the counter.

1 mom found this helpful
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