Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

Recipe Search

Saturday in Anneliese's Kitchen

I'll tell you a secret. You can call it a kitchen quirk if you like . . .
 I'm a happy girl with a shiny sink and a clean dishcloth!
But, as we all know, sinks that are used don't stay shiny and
dishcloths get so that you want to wrinkle your nose.
So what are we going to do about that?

  1. Gather up our stained dishcloths. . .  and tea towels, if necessary.
  2. Let very hot water run into the kitchen sink . . . about 2 - 3 inches.
  3. Carefully pour in about 1/2 - 1 cup of chlorine bleach, depending on how soiled the dishcloths are. (You should be aware that colors will most likely fade. This is not a big deal for everyday cloths, but use bleach only when necessary and sparingly with patterned tea towels.)
  4. Add dishcloths and let them soak about a minute or two.
  5. Using rubber gloves, wring out the cloths and put them into a bowl or on a cutting board.
  6. Leave the water in the sink for about 5 - 10 minutes and then drain.
  7. Let fresh warm water into the sink, add dishsoap and dishcloths to rinse before throwing them into the wash with other whites.


And guess what will be left as a bonus? A shiny, clean sink.
I love it!

This really is such a simple pleasure . . .

Considering what our sink and dishcloths all get used for, it may
not be such a bad quirk after all.

Concerns about chlorine bleach  use? I found this helpful


  1. me too! this is what I do.

  2. I find that when I rinse my dishcloth in vinegar water everyday,it stays clean a lot longer.Just a thought.

  3. This post made me smile, Anneliese. A sparkling sink and clean dishtowel completes me, haha. I won't mention the tea towels...

    Blessings to All,
    Anna (Toronto)

  4. It always feels so good to have the kitchen sink shiny clean and the dish clothes bleached and fresh. Good tip to do it all at once!! I love using the Natura cloths from Home Hardware - however, they need a good bleach on occasion as well.

  5. I agree with Ruth...I soak my dark and colored cloths in cheap white vinegar and then wash and even stinky ones smell fresh again and they don't fade. I wish I had know that years ago. It won't remove stains, however.

  6. Just a word of caution for those who have a septic system and use a lot of bleach.

    I use bleach and hot water to bleach my tea towels too but I use a lot less bleach and I let it soak a little longer because we have a septic system and too much bleach kills the bacterias that makes the septic system work. Once the bacterias are not working, the septic systems stops working and we need to call a septic cleaning company and that is very costly. You can find more information on this if you google The effects of bleach on Septic systems.

    I love to have a shiny sink and clean bright tea towels.


  7. Yes! This is what I do too! It works SO well. I do use more water, but it still is the same thing! I love the shine and super clean cloths! It's funny how the little things make us happy!

  8. Must be a Menno thing. The smell of bleached linens is heavenly!

  9. I use norwex dish cloths and they do get stinky after a time. I boil them in water with a few tbsp of vinegar to releaes the odors. Voila!
    No bonus extra clean sink though ;(

  10. I love clean dishcloths and sinks. I do have to add a warning that most know but it is a health hazard. Do not let your dish detergent (Dawn, Joy, Polmolive..etc.) mix with your bleach - it is toxic and the fumes can make you ill. I have friends that did not know this so thought I would pass it along...

    1. I don't believe bleach and normal washing up detergent react. Bleach reacts badly with ammonia-based detergents.

  11. Thank you for this post, and for the good discussion it raised. I use the same method and use less bleach, but I appreciated the other suggestions.

  12. I would like to echo melissa bartel's warning about not mixing the bleach with the dish detergent (nor mix it with vinegar nor other household cleaners) -- toxic, toxic, toxic. Please be safe, ladies

    My mother cleans her dishcloths with bleach, too.

    b. knox

  13. Thanks Anneleise for sharing this today...You shared this hint with me a few years ago..and I I always love my clean dish rags and shiny sinks...and it truly smells heavenly to me.

  14. Hmmm, we're talking about dish cloths, not dish towels, right? I'm a little surprised that more people haven't replaced dish cloths with sponges. I find dish cloths get bad-smelling pretty quick and there's really no good place to keep them at the sink. (Surely not draped over the faucet!!!) Just my 2 cents.


  15. This was my pregnancy quirk as everything seemed "stinky" at that time and I was happy with the smell of bleach?! Seems I have stopped this practice now that my youngest is 2 but I think maybe i should revisit it as that shiny sink looks lovely :)

  16. I also LOVE a shiny sink and stinkLESS dish cloths but for me the health implications of using bleach prevent me from using it regularly - it can create toxic and extremely harmful byproducts, carcinogens, respiratory problems and skin irritations!
    My solution is to soak my dish cloths in Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry detergent for a couple of hours and then chuck them in the machine. My sink shines when I drain it and it's a completely unscented detergent with amazing cleaning power! I also use the Norwex cleaning paste to shine my sink once in a while. A great solution for the health of our home AND the environment!

  17. What a beautiful blog you have. I think I'll be hanging around here a lot. So you have one new follower now - me!

  18. One of the household tips my mother taught me was to always rinse my dishcloth after doing dishes. It does not take all the stains out, but I haven't had a problem with smelly dishcloths. I do bleach my dishcloths from time to time and love how it cleans my white sink from those hard-to-get-off stains. I like the new look on your blog, but miss the pictures in the header :)

  19. Just a added tip grew up with parents who lived through the dirty 30.s on the prairies ,, so know mom always used what they had ,, to make it work I remember the lye soap they made ,, for most uses (cannot recall sickness from it must of used wisely as all they had )
    yes unheard of today with all that.s out their ,, I truly think the days of old which we lived so much healthier and lived as they now call the "new" word orgainc ,, we lived all our youth ,, with mixed farming and huge garden 's supplied all we needed have been blessed to truly lived the good hardship life as I know it was back then but no complaint.s we had food and clothing I,m sure a lot can relate to this..
    if only we could turn back the clock to some of this ,,

    Now my tip I use as my husband a retired water operating ... just vinger for removing oder's
    a dish etc with vinegar placed around the house does better and work,s then any store bought scents .
    Sorry I'm off the topic a bit .. just brought back memories
    you may post or not ,,
    sask menn

  20. After using your dishcloth, rinse and wring the cloth well, throw into the microwave for 1 minute on high, remove cloth and hang to dry. Kills odor causing bacteria and drys much faster!

  21. I squirt a bit of bleach in my dishwater with dish soap for wiping up after a meal. My dishes go into the dishwasher and I wipe the counters and cutting board (the wood one) with my dishcloth.

  22. I wish I'd known this months ago! My grandmother always kept her kitchen clean with a dishcloth, so when I ventured out on my own last fall, I bought a pack of them for my kitchen. Unfortunately, even with washing them weekly, eventually they got so gross looking (and smelling) that I had to toss them out. With this in mind, I might try again.

  23. A tip I came across just a few days ago for your sponge (I use sponges) is to put a couple drops of dishwashing liquid on it, to make weak, watery suds. Wring it out just only until it won't drip. Place in microwave 2 minutes to kill odor-causing bacteria. I was surprised at how effective this is.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.