My Favorite Cleaning Cloths


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In the last post I shared my favorite homemade all purpose cleaner. As promised in that post, I thought I would also share my favorite type of cleaning cloths which I think work especially well with homemade cleaning mixtures. What are they? **drumroll please **

Cloth Diapers!

Yes, good old fashioned cloth diapers are by far my favorite cleaning cloth. I know that microfiber cloths are enjoying popularity right now and I use them sometimes too, but have you noticed that after several washings the microfiber cloths seem to lose their absorbency? I spent a few hours one day googling around the internet trying to find out if microfiber cloths were even washable in the first place. (who would want a cleaning rag that’s not washable??). I didn’t find much helpful information on that subject but I did find a few things that said microfiber cloths should be washed separately or hand washed as they pick up lint and that the fibers can be compromised after several washings.

Well, pardon me, but that is just too high maintenance for a cleaning rag. I want to be able to toss those suckers in the washing machine and not baby them along like I would an expensive wool sweater or something.

Using cloth diapers as cleaning cloths

I first learned about using cloth diapers in the book Speed Cleaning. The author (who did professional cleaning) said cloth diapers were the best and most absorbent cleaning cloth he had found. So I went out and bought a package and found out he was right! The cloth diapers are soft and won’t scratch, are made to absorb a lot of liquid, and are easy to launder, and are of a nice sturdy size for cleaning jobs.

That was almost 20 years ago and I have been happily using cloth diapers for cleaning ever since. AND – only just this year did I finally throw out some of the old ones and buy a new package of diapers for cleaning so a package will last you a long, long time. The picture below shows that after washing they shrink up a little bit and they will not be bright white anymore, especially after a particularly heavy cleaning job, but hey, they’re a cleaning rag! I promise you’ll be able to get lots and lots of cleaning use from a package of cloth diapers.

Using cloth diapers as cleaning cloths
Sure, they get dirty but they still work great!

Most homemade cleaning mixtures are water based which is why I think the cloth diapers are an especially helpful type of rag to use for absorbency. (Most store bought cleaners are water based too which is why it I prefer to make my own . . . why pay all that money for mostly water?).

At first glance it might not seem like a very frugal solution. But that initial purchase of $10 to $15 will last for many many years, and you might also find that you stop using paper towels as much which eliminates that cost too.

Cloth diapers are my absolute favorite cleaning cloth and if you give them a try, I think you’ll love them too!

If you can’t find cloth cloth diapers at your local store, you can order something like this 10 pack of cloth diapers from Amazon.

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  1. Thank you. I’m going to order a package, but I would appreciate hearing all the ways you use diaper cloths to clean, and how you wash them. For instance, do you use them for dusting with oil-based furniture cleaners? If so, how do you clean them?

    1. Because I use my homemade cleaners for so much of my cleaning, this type of cleaning cloth could always just be tossed in my washer and dryer. If I was ever using some questionable/oily cleaner, I would usually then just use paper toweling.

  2. Hi Bev,
    My favorite cleaning cloths are my husband’s worn t-shirts (white undershirts). I cut them up into smaller pieces–sleeves each in one piece; front and back sections into 2 each–and use them over and over. They wash well and are very soft. The sleeve sections make great applicator cloths. No problems with unraveling or fraying. Love ’em!

    1. I’ve used worn t-shirts too, and you’re right! They’re soft and can be used on almost any surface – and they’re free!

    1. I don’t know if you are near a Walmart (most of us are nowdays), but you should be able to buy them there. They are not on the aisle with the disposable diapers however. They are usually on the aisle with the baby receiving blankets and onsies and things like that. Gerber makes a 10 pack of cloth diapers which Walmart sells for about $12. Some of the other stores like Target might have them too. You usually have to keep looking around the baby department by some of the other baby products.

      You should also be able to buy cloth diapers on Amazon if you can’t locate them at any stores near you.

  3. As a "professional" who runs a cleaning service I agree! Diapers are the cloth of choice for MANY jobs.I do use microfiber and yes, they require special care and detergent. Since it is how I make a living I think they are worth the trouble but for a single family home…not so much.As always, love your post!