What is a Swedish dishcloth?

From bestreviews.com
Steph Coelho

A Swedish dishcloth can help out in all kinds of situations in the kitchen. We love them and would recommend you replace your sponges with them.

Whether due to involved Sunday meal prep or inattentive pre-work breakfast, your kitchen needs a daily wipe to keep away grime and dirt. Spills and splashes can leave countertops stained, but having the right tool to sop up messes makes cleanup jobs much easier. 

Why should you consider a Swedish dishcloth and throw away those overused sponges and rags? In our testing, we found a Swedish dishcloth to be one of the most sanitary ways of cleaning up your kitchen. We especially loved their durability considering how wasteful it can be to constantly throw away and replace sponges.

Every few years or so, this gadget grows in popularity as people seek new ways to keep things clean. We've put together this guide to help you get started.

(And right now, one of our favorite Swedish dishcloths is on sale -- you can get a 10-pack for $25.91 on Amazon.)


What is a Swedish dishcloth?

The material used to make Swedish dishcloths was invented in Sweden in the late 1940s. These hybrid cloths are made of wood cellulose and cotton, so they dry hard and soften when wet. Imagine what a combination rag and sponge would look and feel like and you'll get the idea. 

Sometimes called a Swedish sponge or sponge cloth, they're useful for cleaning up the kitchen and for tidying up surfaces around the home. 


Best Swedish dishcloths

DII sells a pack of three Swedish Dishcloths with a lemon design perfect for the kitchen. We also love the variety of other whimsical, machine-washable styles sold by the company. 

Wet-It! Swedish Dishcloths are slightly pricier than the DII cloths, but there are five per pack. The vegetable designs are the ideal match for a farmhouse-style kitchen. 

A lower-cost option is the sponge cloths from Siver Kleen. Distribute the 10-pack of sponges all over your house and don't worry about replacing them for months at a time. 

The scented dishcloths from Citrus - the best for you add pleasant odor to the air as you wipe down surfaces around your home. 



We consulted with Alberto Navarrete, the general manager of Frisco Maids house cleaning service in Dallas, who said that the company switched to Swedish dishcloths and has never looked back. 

Convinced of their superiority, Navarrete insisted that "[t]hey are truly so much better than sponges."

Here are the main advantages Navarrete ran down for us:

They're an eco-friendly alternative to disposable cleaning tools like short-lived sponges and paper towels. They're also inexpensive and can be reused over and over again without disintegrating.

They're absorbent and capable of picking up nearly any type of spill. 

They're more hygienic than sponges and rags since they're quick-drying and less likely to support bacterial growth. 

They won't smell up your kitchen or cleaning supply cupboard. 

They can clean multiple surfaces -- glass included. You won't have to worry about leaving behind streaks when wiping down furniture or windows. 

They're also easy to clean and sanitize since most are machine-washable. You can also toss them in the top rack of your dishwasher or boil them to rid them of germs.

At the end of their lifespan, the biodegradable cloths can be composted.


Where do they lack?

To which job is a Swedish dishcloth poorly suited? It's not our tool of choice for scrubbing off stuck-on bits of food on pots and pans. Invest in a quality kitchen brush for the task instead. 


Cleaning supplies to pair with your Swedish dishcloth

Swedish dishcloths can be softened with a bit of water, but you'll likely want an eco-friendly cleaner to disinfect dirty areas in your home. Here are a few of our top earth-friendly picks:

The TriNova Natural All-Purpose Cleaner melts away grimy residue with ease and is surprisingly powerful for a naturally formulated product. It's safe to use anywhere you plan to swipe your Swedish dishcloth and smells great.
Greenworks Natural All-Purpose Cleaner is our favorite low-cost natural cleaner option thanks to its gentle multi-surface formula and subtle scent. 
The Frosch Fresh Natural All-Purpose Cleaner is a concentrated solution so you'll need to dilute it before washing with your dishcloth. Use it to fill up your spray mop for floor cleaning jobs, too.


Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.