Tuesday, March 16, 2010

{Dish Clothes}

Long hail the reuseable dish cloth, I say!

I switched from sponges to knitted dish clothes in May 2008 and have been loving
the change ever since. There's four main reasons for my commitment to them:

(First three images borrowed from Google images)

1) Sponges are cesspools of gross. (And there's
evidence of that to back me up.) There's been
studies done that say your toilet has less nasty
bacteria then the average kitchen sponge. UGH!
It's not to say that a dishcloth can't harbor the
same bacteria, but they dry out faster. (Bacteria
loves moisture.) Even better, they can be thrown
into the laundry for proper cleaning.

2) They're tough on the environment. They're made of
plastic (yet another household item that's derived from
oil). Since they're not reuseable, they just end up in the
trash. And all that trash has to be landfilled, a process
that's expensive and consumes precious land. When we
used sponges, we changed ours out once or twice a week.
Now, imagine that multiplied by households across the
country, and think about the garbage that generates.
Once there, they're slow to break down because they're made with synthetic materials.
It's not a sustainable way to live!

3) Sponges are loaded up with a chemical called
Triclosan. It's an antibacterial and antifungal
agent, but it's registered with the EPA as a
pesticide. (And it's in an alarming number of
everyday use products.) Water waste treatment
programs can't get it out of the water, meaning
that it stays stable in our water for quite some
time. It's damaging to aquatic systems, breaking
down algae that some species depend on for survival.
It's a chemical that's also been attributed to some

4) It's way more cost efficient to use dish clothes! You're not going out for sponges in bulk.
Pretty obvious benefit, right?

Of course, you can buy perfectly good dish clothes at the store ...
But I have fallen in love with hand knitted ones made of 100% cotton!

They don't cost anymore then the ones you get at the store, but you can buy them
locally (cutting out pollution from manufacturing and transportation) and they work
like a charm. They're tough enough to scrub stubborn, crusty food off your pans,
but they're also gentle enough for everything in your kitchen. They wash up great
and look good over time. Plus, they're REUSEABLE!! (Have I mentioned that?)

I bought several over a year and a half ago at a craft sale here in town. I'm still using
them, but they're starting to show some wear-n-tear. I tried to call the woman who
made them so I could get more, but sadly she passed away in November. So, I was
happy as a clam to pick up three new ones, knitted by my local blog buddy, Sara.
(She still has a set available, if you're interested.)

And as if her hours of work on these weren't plenty -- she threw in a mini homemade
zucchini bread for us. It was absolutely delicious and super cute! (It made me smile.)

See, when you do the right thing and use reuseable dishclothes -- especially local ones --
karma acts kindly on you. :)


Olivia said...

Love this idea. When my Nana taught me to knit when I was a little girl, this was my first project. I made tons of these! I think I need to make some. I don't use sponges, but I really didn't know they were this disgusting. It's so scary the things that are passed off as "okay".

Kristi said...

yep, sponges are NASTY!!!

Sue Thomas said...

I love, love, love using dishclothes I knitted and they are pretty enough to leave a set of them out (unlike a sponge). Enjoy your new ones, Sam!!!

elizabeth said...

Sponges skeeve me the hell out! LOL

Knitted dishclothes are the best. So easy to knit up too - even for a beginner.

The Frugal Designer said...

Thanks for stopping by my site! Very kind of you, now Im following you! I was just hearing about that Triclosan and its pretty frightening to me...eek

The Frugal Designer said...

And you're in Chandler...I just moved back to CA from Tucson in Nov...missing the weather :(

Miss M! said...

I'm glad you're enjoying them! I picked up some more yarn this week, so hopefully I can get off my behind and make more. :)