Deodorizing Dishcloths

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 20, 2009)


Use the following ideas you will shortly have clean, fresh-smelling dishcloths again. A word of advice about a couple of these options, as they do fade or bleach the color from those cleaning rags that are any color other than white. If that is not a concern of yours, then use any of these offerings. If you are concerned about keeping your colored dishrags their original color, then pay attention to any warnings listed with each tip.

  • Pre-soak any smelly dishcloths and scrubbies in a bucket filled with a mixture of water and one cup of white vinegar. Make sure that the water is at a minimum warm. The stinky items should be left to soak for at least twenty to thirty minutes before being removed. After removing, wash the cloths as you would normally.
  • Wash the offending pieces of cloth with bleach and hot water as normal. This will remove the smell from the cloth, but will also remove the color from any cloth that is not white. Be careful that this is only used on items that are either white or that you do not care if they retain their original color.
  • Boil a solution made from fifty percent water and fifty percent bleach. After the mixture has reached a boil, pour it into a large tub or bucket. Soak the offending dishrags in this bucket for about thirty minutes, or until the water has cooled. Once they have been brought back down to room temperature, remove the items from the water, and place into the dryer for drying as normal. It should be noted that as this is an option that relies on bleach as the deodorizing agent, be sure that this is only used on items that are either white, or that you do not care if they become faded.
  • Easiest of all, be sure that you are removing your linens from the washer as soon as possible when finished. This action will avoid giving mildew a chance to grow or form on the fabric due to the nature of the moist, hot and dark place that is a washing machine after washing. When drying be sure that you are also using the highest temperature possible to kill off any remaining spores on the linens.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2016-08-31 11:36:28


My new microfiber dish drying mat smells awful & no matter what I try, like washing it in hot water, spraying it with vinegar & letting it air dry, or soaking it in borax....the stinky odor returns. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

2012-03-17 19:07:32


I just tried a dischloth that doesn't get stinky. We bought it for camping but now we use it at home. It's called Scrubr and made by Lunatec. It dries so fast it doesn't have time to get smelly. Here is the link to a review where we read about it,

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