And the fact that the dishes never seem to get really clean in the dishwasher doesn’t help either. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined a happy morning by having to re-wash dishes that went through that stupid thing. It probably doesn’t help that we have hard water, but is it expecting that much to want clean dishes after they’ve gone through both the “High Temp” and “Heavy Wash” cycles?
Having said that, I will confess that I broke down after a particulary busy morning today and started another load. After I pre-washed them, of course. Once again bringing up the question as to why I even bother with the damned thing.
So now that I’ve finished with this part of my Dishwasher “Rag” (or rant), let’s move on, shall we?
As mentioned earlier, I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in front of the kitchen sink, scrubbing dishes. And for years, there have been three types of dish-cleaning items I keep; the long-handled brush, the copper scrubby thing, and a sponge. I like the sponges that have the plastic scrubby on one side. And I would have to buy them in bulk as I was constantly going through them. I bought the cheap ones. I bought the expensive ones. I bought the ones they sell at restaurant supply stores marked “commercial strength”. And it didn’t matter one bit. I would totally destroy a sponge in less than two weeks. Is it because we have a lot of dried up food items left on the plates, because I scrub knives a lot, or am I just an overzealous washer of dinnerware?
I finally gave up on the sponges in order to go back to the “old fashioned” dish rag. You know. That small cloth used for washing plates. Does anyone even use these things anymore? I couldn’t tell you the last time I used one. In fact, I thought that the scrubby-sponge had all but eliminated the need for the dish cloth and they had gone the way of the dish pan.
There was a blog (which I cannot now recall of course) where she made her own dishcloths. Like started spinning the wool (or was it cotton?) and knitting it into a dishcloth. A-frekking-mazing. Although I have no sheep nor cotton fields, nor easy access to either, I can buy some cotton yarn and crochet! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before seeing the blog post, because I had recently been on a washcloth crocheting kick, and I just didn’t put two and two together to get a dishcloth out of it. Duh.
I have been happily (or at least as happy as one can possible be scrubbing dried egg yolk off a plate) washing our dishes using my homemade dishcloths for about a month now. The first few I made are a bit too large, so I’ve been making them different sizes to see which I like best. I’m thinking the ones “sponge” sized are my favorites so far. The cloths don’t suds up the soap as much, but I can scrub to my heart’s content and they haven’t fallen apart. No little pieces of yellow sponge clogging up the sink, no more smelly sponges and no more buying them in bulk at the store. I’m also able to keep them cleaner than the sponges as I toss them in the laundry every few days. I know you can microwave sponges to get them “clean” again, but I always forgot to do that.
So go ahead, pull those old dishcloths out of your cedar chest. Dig out the ones you got for housewarming gifts fifteen years ago. Give ‘em another try!