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Boiling dish cloths is an effective way to release and remove the “icky stuff” — which includes built-up grease, food particles, bacteria, and mold that can thrive in the moist environment of a dishcloth.

The high temperature of boiling water kills most bacteria and loosens grime, making it easier to wash the cloths thoroughly in the laundry afterwards. This method also helps remove stubborn stains and can deodorize the cloths, leaving them cleaner and fresher.

❤️ Why You’ll Love Boiling Dish Cloths

Baking soda is a mild alkali, which helps to dissolve dirt and grease more effectively. It is known for its ability to neutralize odors, so it can help remove any musty or sour smells from the dishcloths.

While the boiling water helps to kill bacteria, baking soda can further assist by disrupting the growth of microbes. Baking soda is not harsh, so it can help clean without damaging the cloth fibers.

🧽 Ingredients for Boiling Dish Cloths

Why baking soda for boiling dish cloths?

Overall, baking soda’s abrasive action, ability to neutralize acids, deodorizing properties, gentleness, versatility, and cost-effectiveness make it a powerful and popular choice for cleaning a wide variety of surfaces and materials in the home.

🫧 How to Do a Dish Cloth Boil

Why boiling water for boiling dish cloths?

Overall, boiling water is an effective and efficient method for cleaning dishcloths, as it helps to sanitize, deodorize, and remove grease and grime effectively. Incorporating regular boiling water treatments into your dishcloth cleaning routine can help to ensure that your dishcloths remain clean, hygienic, and odor-free.

Watch me boil my dish cloths here on Instagram for tips and tricks!

🪄 Tips and Tricks for Boiling Dish Cloths

When boiling dish cloths, consider the following:

  1. Use Enough Water: Make sure to use enough water to fully submerge the dishcloths in the pot. This ensures that all parts of the cloth are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
  2. Pre-Soak: For heavily soiled or odorous dishcloths, consider pre-soaking them in a mixture of water and baking soda for a few hours before boiling. This can help to loosen stubborn stains and odors.
  3. Add Vinegar: Adding white vinegar to the boiling water along with baking soda can enhance the cleaning power. Vinegar helps to break down grease and disinfect the cloths, leaving them fresh and sanitized.
  4. Stir Occasionally: While boiling the dishcloths, stir them occasionally with a spoon or tongs to ensure that all parts of the cloths come into contact with the baking soda solution. This helps to loosen dirt and debris more effectively.
  5. Monitor Heat: Keep an eye on the pot while boiling the dishcloths and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil. Boiling too vigorously may cause damage to delicate fabrics or cause the water to overflow.
  6. Cool Before Handling: After boiling, allow the dishcloths to cool slightly before handling them to avoid burns. Use tongs or a spoon to remove them from the pot and transfer them to a sink or basin for rinsing.
  7. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the dishcloths thoroughly under running water after boiling to remove any remaining baking soda residue and loosened debris. This helps to prevent the cloths from feeling gritty or abrasive when dry.
  8. Dry Completely: Ensure that the dishcloths are completely dry before using or storing them. Hang them on a clothesline or drying rack to air dry, or tumble dry them in the dryer on a high heat setting. This helps to prevent mold and mildew growth.

🗒 Variations

When boiling dish cloths, consider the following:

Add Lemon Juice: Along with baking soda, add freshly squeezed lemon juice to the boiling water. Lemon juice acts as a natural disinfectant and can help to brighten and whiten the dishcloths while imparting a fresh citrus scent.

Essential Oils: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eucalyptus oil, to the boiling water. Essential oils have antibacterial properties and can add a pleasant fragrance to the dishcloths.

🤔 Common Questions for Boiling Dish Cloths

Can I reuse the boiling water for multiple batches of dishcloths?

It’s best to use fresh boiling water for each batch of dishcloths to ensure effective cleaning and sanitation. Reusing the same water may diminish its cleaning power and effectiveness.

Do I need to rinse the dishcloths after boiling?

Yes, it’s essential to rinse the dishcloths thoroughly under running water after boiling to remove any remaining baking soda residue and loosened debris. This helps to prevent the cloths from feeling gritty or abrasive when dry

How often should I boil my dishcloths?

It’s a good idea to boil dishcloths regularly to keep them clean and sanitary, especially if they are used frequently or come into contact with raw meat or other potentially harmful substances. Aim to boil dishcloths at least once a week or as needed based on their condition.

How much baking soda should I use when boiling dish cloths?

The amount of baking soda you use can vary depending on personal preference and the number of dishcloths you’re cleaning. As a general guideline, you can use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda per gallon of water.

Deep Cleaning Dish Cloths

Boiling dishcloths is an effective way to release and remove the “icky stuff” — which includes built-up grease, food particles, bacteria, and mold that can thrive in the moist environment of a dishcloth.
The high temperature of boiling water kills most bacteria and loosens grime, making it easier to wash the cloths thoroughly in the laundry afterwards.
This method also helps remove stubborn stains and can deodorize the cloths, leaving them cleaner and fresher.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • water, boiling
  • dish cloths

Instructions 

  • Boil Water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil on the stove.
  • Add Baking Soda: Once the water is boiling, add baking soda to the pot. You can use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda per gallon of water, depending on how many dishcloths you’re cleaning and how strong you want the solution to be.
  • Add Dishcloths: Carefully add the dishcloths to the pot of boiling water and baking soda solution. Use tongs or a spoon to ensure they are fully submerged.
  • Boil: Allow the dishcloths to boil in the baking soda solution for about 10-15 minutes. Boiling helps to loosen dirt, grease, and bacteria from the fibers of the cloths.
  • Remove and Rinse: After boiling, turn off the heat and carefully remove the dishcloths from the pot using tongs or a spoon. Rinse them thoroughly under running water to remove any remaining baking soda residue and loosened debris.
  • Machine Wash (Optional): If desired, you can then wash the dishcloths in the washing machine with laundry detergent to further clean and freshen them. Use the hottest water setting recommended for the fabric.
  • Dry: After washing, air dry the dishcloths by hanging them on a clothesline or drying rack, or tumble dry them in the dryer on a high heat setting. Make sure the dishcloths are completely dry before using them again.
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About Nicole Jaques

I’m a wife, mom of two, home cook, and avid entertainer. I have developed my own DIY cleaners that are low tox and take pride in having a home that is clean and organized. However, I am human! I like to see dirt under my nails from my garden and my children’s handprints on my windows, and I’m one of the messiest cooks you’ll ever meet!

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