I hate dishes. Well, I actually hate doing dishes. The dishes themselves are fine, and even pretty on occasion.
Part of my reluctance is the icky dishrag. (Or dishcloth for those of you too good to use a rag.) I grew up with dishrags and never liked them. They flopped and dripped and were just icky. But, they were washable and lasted a long time. Still, didn’t counter the ick part.. SO – when I grew up, I became a kitchen sponge girl.
Couple of negatives with sponges. First, you have to buy them. Not good on a student budget. They also tend to stink after a while, which can mean nothing good as far as bacteria in the kitchen go. Recent brianiac scientific news reports educated the masses with the stunning information that heating a wet sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes will kill all of the nasties… Some people obviously think that this is too laborious, and just throw out the sponges and start over. Having issues with throwing out things that are otherwise fine, this wasn’t working for me.
In an effort to combine washability with cheap with environmentally friendly with sponge… I came up with the following idea. It’s easy to make and takes only pennies of supplies – so cheap in fact, I plan on having lots of these so that I can use several in a week. Then, when laundry day hits – throw them all in the wash with some borax powder and laundry soap! The result will be clean, bacteria free kitchen sponge rags! (Though, due to their thickness, I would suggest drying them in the dryer unless you live where hanging them out to dry goes really quickly…)
old washcloth or towel, terry cloth type
heavy weight sew in interfacing, 1/8 inch thick
afghan fabric, or other open weave heavy type fabric***
*** I got this for about $3/yard at Hobby Lobby on a bolt in the fabric section. It is nylon and has about 6 holes to the linear inch. They told me it was afghan fabric, but I have not been able to find anything like it on line. If you know what this is really called, please let me know!
*** You could also use the net plastic bags from around oranges and onions or thin rug hooking canvas. I also found this needlepoint canvas which would probably work, though you might need to sew down the middle each way to stabilize it.
1) Cut towel into a 9×10 inch size. If your wash cloth is that size already, perfect. Zig-zag the edges if using a towel (or serge the edges if you are lucky enough to have a machine!)
2) Cut a 3×4 1/4 inch piece of the heavy interfacing. Center this in the middle, on the lower edge of the 10 inch wide part, of the washcloth, placing about 1/4 inch above the edge. Pin.
3) Zig-zag around the edge of the interfacing.
4) Fold the washcloth over the interfacing as shown in the picture.
5) Fold one side over the top of the interfacing section, the other under the bottom, creating an “s” around the interfacing.
6) Cut a 3 1/2 x 5 inch piece of the mesh. Place over one side of the cloth. Pin.
7) Slowly zig-zag around the edge of the mesh, making sure to catch all of the edges of the cloth as you go. It will be very thick, so take it slow. If you don’t get all of the edges, sew another line down to catch them all.
8) Go do your dishes!
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