Quick Tip: Color-Coded Rags


Last week I shared my favorite tips for sanitizing kitchen sponges, and several of you commented that you avoid sponges altogether and just use rags. While I happen to love my kitchen sponges and feel okay about using them since we change them out at least once a day — more often if we’re dealing with meat, etc. — I also use a lot of rags.

In fact, the only time we’ve bought paper towels in the last two years is when my mom came to stay with us after our youngest was born. We don’t mind using rags instead of paper towels, but I didn’t think it was very fair to force her to use them when she was already sacrificing time and sleep to help us with our other kids!

Storing Rags

As you can imagine, we go through a lot of rags, which leads me to today’s quick tip: color-coding and organizing rags.

To sort our rags, we use a plastic drawer organizer with three drawers. In it, we keep:

  • rags for cleaning hands and faces after meals
  • towels for drying dishes
  • sponges
  • old rags for cleaning
  • no-pill towels for food

On top of the drawers, we keep larger towels for spills and other needs.

To make the process of sorting towels simpler, we buy a new pack of hand/face rags every six months or so for $3 or $4. We go for bright-colored rags, and as they’re used and bleached over the months, they fade to a dull color. When we’re ready to replace them, we move them down to the bottom drawer to be used as cleaning rags and get a new pack of rags in different colors to use for wiping up the girls.

Do you use cloth rags in place of sponges or paper towels? How do you sort, store and organize them?