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These $18 Swedish Dishcloths Are the Last Sponge You'll Ever Need

They might not look like much, but they make washing dishes easy.

Close up of multicolored Swedish dishcloths
Amazon

Washing the dishes is a daily chore that not a lot of people like completing, myself included. But in order to cook and eat food at home, it's a necessary evil we all have to do. Sure, I tend to clean while I cook, or I soak pots and pans overnight, but it's not always easy when I'm busy. And so when it's my turn to get in the kitchen and clean, instead of grabbing my trusty sponges, I reach for these unassuming Swedish dishcloths. Not only do they wipe away the grime, they're better than any sponge (name brand and generic) I've used thus far. 

There are a ton of dishwashing tools available online -- from scrubbers to traditional dish towels -- and they all have pros and cons. Scrubbers, both plastic and copper, have a tendency to scratch up certain cookware. SOS steel wool pads have a lifespan of one to two uses. Some sponges aren't abrasive enough for tougher grime, and traditional dish towels can't keep soap in them for very long. But these dishcloths are the real deal, combining the best parts of each cleaning tool so you can tackle your dishes head-on.  

Close up of multiple white and green Swedish dishcloths overlapping with each other
Robin Mosley/CNET

These Swedish dishcloths come in packs of 10 in a number of colors, including blue, yellow and green, and each one is 8-by-7 inches and 0.25-inches thick, giving them enough heft and surface area to wipe away debris. Like a sponge, this dishcloth is solid, but melts into a pliable cloth that soaks in dish soap. It's just as fast-drying as you'd expect because within an hour or two (after you squeeze it), it's dry. And with intricate texture grips, it can scrub food off easily.

While it won't get food off that's been stuck on dishes as well as a SOS steel wool pad, with proper soaking, it does within a few wipes. And what makes it better than an SOS pad is that it's reusable. I've used just one dishcloth for the whole week and once I was done, I moved on to a new one. The old one never had foul odors coming from it as you'd expect from a sponge, and no food stayed trapped in it either. Plus, these Swedish dishcloths are washable. Any other sponge would be tossed, but these can go right in the washing machine and back into the kitchen. 

A woman holding a SOS steel wool pad, Scotch Brite sponge and Swedish dishcloth
Robin Mosley/CNET

I've used these cloths on my counter, dishes and other surfaces such as my stove with no issues. You can use them the way you would a paper towel to clean up messes, and they can do it better while helping you reduce waste. The only thing to keep in mind is that these aren't indestructible. Using them roughly can cause them to not last as long.

Although $18 for Swedish dishcloths seems steep, the quality, function and bulk you get is well worth the price. If you don't already have dishcloths you like that can clean, scrub and wipe away grime, I'd grab these now. And though I'd like to see two-sided functionality (with one side a bit more rough), even without this feature, washing your dishes will be easier than before.


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