For the last few days, we’ve been sorting through linens (partially because I’m working on preparing for overnight guests in a few weeks). A couple of days ago, I suggested cleaning out your towels, hand towels, and wash cloths. Then I suggested sorting through and possibly throwing out some throw pillows. Today, I suggest sorting through your kitchen linens. Consider discarding any stained kitchen towels, cloth napkins, or sponges. If your budget allows, replace any that are worn out or that have holes in them.
Some thoughts and tips:
- Dish washing sponges: We have a dishwasher, but I have a few items that must be washed by hand, including steak knives (I love these inexpensive Amazon Basics knives!), wooden spoons and other utensils, and wooden cutting boards. I keep seven Simoniz washable microfiber sponges in my kitchen linens drawer and I wash them regularly in the washing machine and dry them in the dryer. I have been using these for over two years with no issues. On occasion, I douse them with hydrogen peroxide and then drench them with boiling water before throwing them into the laundry machine just to ensure they are clean and smell fresh.
- Cloth napkins: I know that we are in the minority, but five years ago we successfully made the transition from paper towels to cloth napkins. I started by buying four black cloth napkins at Walmart. (I have found that black is the best color for cloth napkins because the dark color hides stains.) I ensured that I pulled them out each time my husband and I ate at home. After about a week or so of getting used to them, I moved the paper towels into a high cabinet. My husband is rather tall and could still reach them, but having to reach for them in an awkward place made both of us more conscientious about using the cloth napkins rather than the paper towels. Within a month, we had gone from using one roll of paper towels a week to using one roll a month. Today, five years later, we very rarely use paper towels in our kitchen; in fact, I haven’t bought any paper towels since 2014. (Calculate that savings!) My husband bought me another set of paper towels for Christmas in 2014, but they were white, shiny, and thin, and they were thrown out recently, stained, ragged, and hole-y. Also, they were not very absorbent, a quality I find preferable. I purchased another set of 12 cloth napkins just this week and will review them when I have more experience with them. One more thing: Because our daughter was born after we transitioned to cloth napkins, she was raised without paper towels and uses solely cloth napkins herself.
Time required: Around 45 minutes for me, but only because I researched and bought a new set of cloth napkins, washed them, and discarded several old ones.