As people look for more hygienic alternatives to the traditional kitchen sponge, Swedish dishcloths have become quite popular. Originating from Sweden, these dishcloths are made of durable and absorbent material.
But to ensure they last long, it is important to learn how to use and sanitize them when need be.
Fortunately, that is where we come in. In today’s post, we are going to talk about all things Swedish dishcloth sanitation.
Should and can you sanitize Swedish dishcloths?
While Swedish dishcloths are not prone to bacteria accumulation, it is important to sanitize them from time to time, especially when they come into contact with raw meat.
In fact, it’s best to sanitize them every so often. And fortunately, there are several ways to do so.
How do you sanitize Swedish dishcloths?
Some of the ways you can sanitize your Swedish dishcloths include:
Boiling your Swedish dishcloths is one of the most efficient and easiest ways to kill the bacteria in them.
All you have to do is boil some water, place the dishcloths inside, and let them boil for a few minutes.
Afterward, you can let the water cool and wring out the dishcloths.
Bleaching them is yet another effective way to sanitize your Swedish dishcloths. Some manufacturers even suggest soaking them for a few minutes in a mixture of 10% bleach and 90% water.
You shouldn’t do this for a prolonged period though – it can make the dishcloths’ fibers start breaking down.
Microwaving your Swedish dishcloths on high for 1 minute is enough to sanitize them.
Just ensure they are wet before doing so though – otherwise, they may burn.
Soaking in sterile water or lemon juice
For quick sanitization, soak your Swedish dishcloths in sterile water or lemon juice for a minute.
Use the dishwasher and expose the dishcloths to the drying cycle
Ideally, you shouldn’t expose your Swedish dishcloths to the drying cycle of your dishwasher – it makes them shrink. But if you don’t have any other option, this is a great way to sanitize them as well.
Just wash them on the top rack of your machine as usual and leave them there to dry – the bacteria will be dead in no time.
Is it worth it sanitizing Swedish dishcloths?
Yes, sanitizing Swedish dishcloths is worth it – it is highly effective in eradicating not only bacteria but also yeast and mold.
In fact, an experiment by Agriculture Research Service (ARS) food safety experts found that:
- Microwaving and dishwashing were found to be more effective sanitization methods than bleaching and using lemon juice/sterile water.
- Microwaving and dishwashing killed almost 100% of bacteria. The former was only 0.0001% more effective than the latter.
- Microwaving and dishwashing killed almost 100% of yeast and mold – only 0.0001% survived.
Mind you, this experiment was carried out on dishcloths that had been soaked for 48 hours in a mixture of raw beef and other substances that attract bacteria, yeast, and mold.
Sanitize according to your use
While it is advisable to sanitize your Swedish dishcloths every couple of days, how often it’s needed is ultimately dependent on how you use them. So feel free to adjust your schedule accordingly.