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What do you wipe your counters with?

One kitchen problem that I have never really solved is "wipes". I currently use J Cloths but i find that wasteful - so I end up using them past the best before date and have a tiny quasi-rag that barely does anything. The benefit is that they do not go mildew.

The synthetic sponge seems to do a lousy job of wiping - just when you need it most you push on it and oozes water onto your or table.

Bottled sprays and paper towels are a non starter for me - you still need to wipe down surfaces with some of rag/towel.

Dishrags seem to go mildew very fast unless strategically hung over the sink - a process that interferes with the sink's constant use and cannot be reliably implemented by all family members.

Some people talk about boiling and bleaching these things daily etc etc. that is just not going to happen in my world.

What is the best, most practical solution? Some type of kitchen rag - that gets thrown in the laundry at day's end? What brand? Does that work?

What do you do?

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  1. We use whatever we're using to clean the crockery. Might be a J Cloth, might be something else.

    Is that hygienic? Nope, it isn't - but we've not come to any harm in the 40 years we've been doing it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      What is a J cloth? Dn't believe i'v ever seen one.

      1. re: josephnl

        It's a handiwipe. I asked, too. They answered it down thread.

    2. Paper towels for me. If the counters need to be disinfected I will use some 409 spray. I will frequently just spray with a little of the water I keep in my baking mister and wipe down.

      Curious why you think the counters still need to be wiped with a rag after the paper towel. I've never noted a problem.

      1. A small short pile terrycloth towel, folded as necessary, dampened (not soaked) with white vinegar. Works like a charm and, at day's end, goes into the laundry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          Same here. I have a bunch of old/retired wash clothes in a simple human grocery bag dispenser. My laundry room is conveniently right off the kitchen, so I just toss the cloth in the washer when I'm done.

        2. I zap my sponges and dish cloths in the microwave.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wyogal

            Ours go in the dishwasher. We do a sponge, towel and rag load once a week...and air dry.
            I stopped buying paper towels years ago and took to using paper napkins as both table use and quick clean up when paper is the solution. I much prefer reuseable stuff tho so the dishwasher trick works for us.

            1. re: wyogal

              So do I. Wet, and one minute kills all the microbes, and doesn't make them all crumbly the way the dishwasher does.

              I wipe down with paper towels and bleach solution after all raw anything prep work. The sink, too, if meat is involved.

            2. Straight bleach is what I use to disinfect in my kitchen & bath; sometimes I use a dishcloth, sometimes a papertowel. Cloth goes in the washer.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Cherylptw

                A capful of bleach in a quart of water is way plenty to disinfect.

                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  As is baking soda without the chemical smell.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Even peroxide is good. I use a commercial surface disinfectant, like they use in nursing homes, when I have concerns about germs. Otherwise just whatever water has accumulated is usually enough, or I keep a bottle of water with a little vinegar and a tiny bit of dish soap, instead of Windex.

                    Have gotten in the habit of using a dedicated dish towel to wipe during each meal period, then tossing in the laundry. Just being cheap, with the price of paper towels.

                    1. re: coll

                      Just being cheap, with the price of paper towels.
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Yep, me too. DH can go through a shocking amount of paper towels so they are stored in an area where I know he is too lazy to go and retrive them.

                  2. re: Hank Hanover

                    I keep a spray bottle with bleach/water on the sink, and I use it for everything. I always wash with soap and water first, then spray with bleach water, and let it air dry.....

                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      That's what Alton Brown advises in "Just Here For The Food."

                      1. re: racer x

                        I think it's a fairly standard servsafe recommendation. I have little bleach strips to test that the solution is not too strong. A 22oz bottle last me a couple of months - hardest thing about it is remembering I put the test strips. It's a lot less bleach than you would think, 1/2 teaspoon to that bottle is too strong, I always have to dump some and add more water.....

                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          I tried using the bleach spray bottle regularly for a few months at one point, but since I never wear an apron in the kitchen, I found myself ruining too many pieces of clothing (it just takes one little drop!). And I realized that I had done just fine without it for years and years before that. So now it's just brought out occasionally, for really stubborn stains or when I want to be especially sure that surfaces have been decontaminated.

                          1. re: racer x

                            I've done the same... that is a drawback. But it's the only thing I'm comfortable using after raw meat/fish handling. :-/

                  3. re: Cherylptw

                    I know what can be used but, frankly, I often use "409" or a drop of dishwashing liquid on a damp sponge, especially if it is pretty dirty or greasy. I usually have to rinse the sponge out and wipe again then dry with a flour sack dishtowel.