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The Ultimate Guide to Swedish Dishcloths

What is a Swedish Dishcloth (Swedish Sponge Cloth)?

We’re glad you asked! Welcome to the ultimate guide to Swedish dishcloths: in the sections below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these ultra-absorbent, ultra-versatile cleaning tools. But first, let’s cover the basics. What is a Swedish dishcloth?

A Swedish Sponge Cloth is a reusable, compostable cloth that can be used to clean in replacement of paper towel and plastic sponges. They are an established must-have in Scandinavia – and for good reason! Swedish Sponge Cloths are the perfect solution to decreasing waste and embracing an environmentally friendly home. Best of all, you can do it all without sacrificing an ounce of cleaning power.

But why would you need a Swedish dishcloth when you already have a fully stocked kitchen of paper towels and sponges? Whether you are looking for sustainability, affordability, or just plain old efficiency, a Swedish dishcloth may be exactly what you are looking for. Keep reading for some pretty compelling reasons to make the switch to a Swedish Sponge Cloth.

Swedish dishcloth with a Watermelon design cleaning up the counter

What’s the big deal about paper towels?

A roll of paper towels might do the trick for cleaning up daily messes, but they certainly aren’t the most efficient. 

Let’s face it: by nature, paper towels are designed for one-time use, creating a never-ending line item on your shopping list. They’re thin, fragile, and most cleaning tasks require more than one sheet. Because they are meant for quick use and disposal, they’re also meant to populate landfills. Try these statistics on for size:

• The U.S. alone contributes to more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste in a year.

• Across the globe, paper towels account for as much as 254 million tons of trash.

And it doesn’t stop there. The U.S. spends almost as much on paper towels each year as every other country in the world combined. (That’s $5.7 billion!) We buy paper towels without fail, every week, every month, of every year. Not only does that spending drain our collective pockets, but it also creates a significant drain on our waste management.

There’s a better, cleaner, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly way to clean up household messes: Swedish Sponge Cloths.

Swedish dishcloths are 100% Compostable

What’s in a name?

Why do we call them sponge cloths? The secret is in their texture and their absorbency: think of Swedish dishcloths as a thick, soft, ultra-absorbent combination of sponge and cloth. In fact, sponge cloths can absorb 15 times their weight in water, making them capable of handling a wide array of messes. Instead of unraveling sheet upon sheet of paper towels to clean up a spill, simply use one Swedish dishcloth to absorb it all.

Decreasing waste is a key piece of what sets Swedish dishcloths apart. These powerful sponge cloths are a uniquely sustainable alternative to traditional paper towels. The first and most obvious benefit is that switching to reusable sponge cloths helps conserve paper usage and decrease packaging waste.

Even better, they’re designed to last much longer than traditional sponges and towels. That’s good news for both your budget and for the environment! Swedish dishcloths can permanently eliminate paper towels from your shopping list, saving you money over time. Think of it this way: two Swedish dishcloths equal a whopping 80 paper towel rolls!

Swedish Dishcloths vs. regular sponges

Kitchen sponges trap moisture, dirt, and debris, creating a potential breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, your kitchen sponge contains more active bacteria than anywhere in the house – and yes, that includes your toilet.

Have you ever thrown away a sponge because it started to smell “old” or musty? That smell comes from bacteria thriving within the sponge – and part of the problem is that sponges take much longer to dry. With regular use, it’s much more likely that your kitchen sponge never gets the chance to dry fully, creating a prolonged period of bacterial growth (and decreasing its useful life in the process).

Instead of microwaving your sponge, putting it through the dishwasher, or getting stuck in a constant loop of buying sponges every two weeks, why not opt for a Swedish dishcloth? Each Swedish dishcloth can absorb 15 times its own weight, turning clean-up into a breeze. Better yet, Swedish dishcloths dry quickly, discouraging bacterial growth and keeping your kitchen cleaner than ever.

Just two Swedish dishcloths equal an estimated 10 kitchen sponges. When comparing Swedish dishcloths vs. regular sponges, dishcloths are the clear winner for efficient, sanitized, and environmentally friendly clean-up.

Swedish dishcloths cleans your dishes in style

How to use Swedish Dishcloths

Using Swedish dishcloths is easier than you think! First, dampen the cloth in water to soften the material. (Your Swedish dishcloth is designed to be ultra-absorbent, so this should only take a few seconds.) Once wet, use your dishcloth to clean just as you normally would when using a paper towel, sponge, or standard dishcloth.

You can use your Swedish dishcloth to clean with water, soap, or your favorite household cleaners. (Psst. If you’re looking to break free from chemicals, look no further! Our dishcloths are so effective that many customers choose to use water or natural-based soap for a more environmentally friendly cleaning routine.)No matter how you use them, our Swedish dishcloths:

• Don’t attract lint

• Keep surfaces streak-free

• Easily sweep away dirt and dust

• Stay super absorbent to mop up drips and spills

• Are safe for countertops, granite, stainless steel, and glass

• Give polish and shine to windows, stainless steel appliances, faucets, and more!

After you’ve polished, wiped, mopped, and washed to your heart’s content, it’s time to rinse your Swedish dishcloth. Hold your dishcloth under running water for five to ten seconds to get rid of any lingering dust, dirt, or food particles. Then, let your dishcloth air dry before next use. You can hang your Swedish dishcloth on your kitchen sink, over the faucet, or on a drying rack.

Our Swedish Sponge Cloths dry quickly and are odor resistant, making it easy to reuse each dishcloth multiple times without worrying about lingering dampness or odor. Of course, even the sturdiest of dishcloths will need to be washed eventually. That’s why we’ve made our Swedish dishcloths washing-machine and dishwasher friendly! You can safely put your Swedish dishcloths in the washing machine or dishwasher more than 200 times.

That means you’ll get 9 months of use (or more!) out of your dishcloths, making one-time use cleaning products – and their waste – a thing of the past.

Additional uses for Swedish Dishcloths

You can use Swedish dishcloths to clean anything in your home! From polishing to wiping to mopping, Swedish Sponge Cloths are incredibly versatile. Need some inspiration on how to put your Swedish dishcloths to the test? Here are a few of our favorite uses for Ecologie Swedish Sponge Cloths:

• Washing and scrubbing dishes

• Polishing silverware

• Mopping up spills

• Cleaning dirt off of vegetables like lettuce, mushrooms, green peppers, and more

• Wiping off your dog’s coat and paws after a trip outside in the rain, dirt, or snow Giving your child a brightly patterned, fun way to wash off in the tub

• Scrubbing built-up grime and dirt from your tub and shower

• Giving your windows a streak-free shine during your next spring cleaning session

• Polishing fingerprints and streaks off of your stainless steel appliances

• Washing dust, cobwebs, and dirt off of your household walls

• Detailing the inside or outside of your car (don’t forget the windows!)

• Wiping up spills from countertops, floors, and cupboards

• Wiping dust, dirt, and grime off of kitchen and household surfaces

• Dusting off your shelves, overhead fan blades, and countertops

Once you’re done cleaning (no matter what type of surface you are cleaning), simply rinse your Swedish dishcloth and hang it up to dry. Cleaning a larger mess? No problem! Throw your Swedish dishcloth in the washing machine or dishwasher to reset your cleaning power. Swedish dishcloths are super absorbent, highly efficient, long-lasting, and strong enough to tackle a wide variety of cleaning jobs.

Say goodbye to thin, flimsy paper towels and damp, bacteria-laden sponges with your new favorite cleaning tool: Swedish dishcloths.

Clean your Swedish dishcloth in top rack of dishwasher

How to care for Swedish Dishcloths

Caring for Swedish dishcloths is a breeze! Here’s a step-by-step overview:

1. Use your Swedish dishcloths to wipe, mop, scrub, polish, and clean.

2. Hang or lay your Swedish dishcloth out to dry. (Expert tip: hanging your dishcloth on a hook, rack, or over your faucet will ensure it dries faster.)

3. Once you’re ready to wash your Swedish dishcloth, simply throw in the washing machine or place in the top rack of the dishwasher.

4. Lay flat to dry. Once dry, use your Swedish dishcloth again and again!

Each Swedish dishcloth can be washed up to 200+ times, equaling nine months (or more) of total use.

What is a Swedish Dishcloth made of?

Each Swedish dishcloth is made of 70 percent sustainably-sourced cellulose and 30 percent cotton. The cotton comes from “waste cotton,” meaning it’s made from the cotton fibers that are too short for the textile industry and would otherwise just become waste. Because each Swedish dishcloth is 100 percent compostable, this allows us to recycle cotton in a safe, unique, and environmentally friendly way.

Where are your Swedish Dishcloths made?

Swedish dishcloths from Ecologie are authentically made in Sweden (after all, it is the birthplace of the Swedish dishcloths). Our screen printing process ensures that all of our designs are expertly placed for long-lasting, beautiful, and always-vibrant color.

Swedish dishcloths are made of a cellulose and cotton mix

What inks do you use for your Swedish Dishcloths?

We take great care to ensure that the inks used in our Swedish dishcloths provide high-quality, long-lasting results. That’s why we use water-soluble inks to print our patterns.

Water-soluble ink creates a smoother surface, ensuring that the printed portions of your swedish dishcloth feel just as touchable and soft as the unprinted sections. This also provides a deeper ink penetration in the material, keeping your Swedish dishcloths vibrant for nine months – or more!

More importantly, using water-based inks ensures that your Swedish dishcloths can safely be composted without harming the environment. Zero landfill waste and 100 percent biodegradable, our Swedish dishcloths are eco-friendly from start to finish!

Swedish dishcloth with a cactus design

How long does a Swedish Dishcloth last?

On average, a cloth lasts 9+ months – but we've seen them last much longer than that, too! With proper care for your Swedish dishcloths, there’s no telling how long your collection will last. Eventually, of course, the cotton fibers and wood cellulose will start to break down. We’ve designed them that way; because each Swedish dishcloth is 100 percent compostable, they are not meant to last forever (though you’ll want them to!).

How do Swedish Dishcloths come packaged?

Your Swedish dishcloths are packaged with care from our production center in Sweden. Each dishcloth comes with a sticker on the back. A small selection of our Swedish dishcloths come with a plastic j-hook and paper tag.

What makes for an environmentally friendly Swedish Dishcloth?

There are three key characteristics of Swedish Sponge Cloths that make them environmentally friendly and sustainable. These three characteristics are:

• Their materials

• Their usability

• Their disposal

First, let’s take a closer look at their materials. Swedish Sponge Cloths from Ecologie are made from “waste cotton” and sustainably sourced cellulose. But what does “sustainably sourced cellulose” even mean?

Cellulose is a basic building block of plants. It’s also a part of any paper product that you use, as cellulose fibers contribute to the pulp that is spread and pressed to create paper. As paper is recycled, that cellulose fiber is given new life through sustainable production of biodegradable Swedish dishcloths.

Now, let’s talk about usability. What is it about their use that makes Swedish Sponge Cloths environmentally friendly? Swedish Sponge Cloths are designed to replace the waste from paper towels and plastic sponge products.

Don’t forget that one Swedish Sponge Cloth is enough to replace an average of 40 paper towel rolls – and that adds up! Swedish Sponge Cloths help support a better, cleaner environment by reducing single-use products and cutting back on millions of tons in landfill waste each year.

Finally, Swedish Sponge Cloths are 100 percent biodegradable, meaning they can be tossed in the compost – not the trash – when their useful life has ended. All cloths are printed with non-toxic dyes, making them fully safe for soil, water, plants, and animals as they are disposed of and composted.

See Our Selection of Environmentally Friendly Swedish Dishcloths!