Swedish Dishcloths Are the Sustainable Paper Towel Solution You've Been Waiting For

We tested out Swish Cloths for three weeks and seriously reduced our paper towel use.

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August 22, 2022

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Photo by: Cloud Paper

Cloud Paper

Tested by Lambeth Hochwald for Food Network Kitchen

We all know how detrimental single-use products including paper towels can be for the environment, but it’s also easy to discount a reusable dishcloth thinking there’s no way it could be durable enough to actually mop up a myriad of messes. After testing Cloud Paper’s Swish Cloths for several weeks, we found that these spongy, reusable towels give paper towels a run for their money. These multi-use plant-based towels, commonly known as “Swedish dishcloths,” are composed of 30% cotton fibers and 70% cellulose, which means they’re 100% biodegradable — and eco-win.

We tested them out for three weeks on a variety of tasks including wiping down countertops, cleaning a garbage can (yes, really), and even removing pen marks from a tabletop. The results were thoroughly impressive. Read on to find out why the reusable Swish Cloths deserve a spot in your cleaning cabinet.

You’ll save serious $$$ on paper towels.

While testing these cloths, we noticed we really weren’t using that many paper towels. It was, frankly, more efficient to use a Swish Cloth. While we can’t say for sure whether these cloths would replace 17 rolls of paper towels or whether they absorb 20 times their weight (as promised in marketing materials), we found when it came to daily cleaning tasks, a Swish Cloth did the trick just as well, if not better, than a disposable paper towel. The money we saved from not using paper towels as regularly is a win in our book.

Swish Cloths are super-durable and multi-functional.

We put these clothes through the cleaning paces and all emerged from the testing as durable as they were at the start. Paper towels can rip while you use them, especially once they’re fully saturated. Swish Cloths stood up to so many diverse tasks, we were shocked at their durability. From scrubbing countertops and removing fingerprints from fridge and dishwasher doors (with zero scratches or streaks) to removing pen marks from a tabletop and wiping grime from fridge shelves, these cloths did the trick to clean up all kinds of messes. Swish Cloths can last for four to six months, at which point you can dispose of them in the compost.

Photo by: Cloud Paper

Cloud Paper

They dry super-fast.

At first we wondered how quickly these cloths would dry after use, and even left them by a window to speed the drying process — but there was no need to do so. Within minutes of wringing them out, the Swish Cloths were dry and ready for another use. One thing to keep in mind is that the cloths curl a bit at the edges and stiffen up when completely dry, which is totally normal and can help reduce bacterial growth, according to the company.

There’s no lingering smell.

Unlike sponges that hold onto odors, these cloths had zero odor even after use on the inside of a garbage can.

They’re easy to clean.

During their life cycle, Swish Cloths just need to be rinsed, wrung and air-dried in between uses. For a more intense clean, you can toss them in the dishwasher or laundry and, even, sanitize them in your microwave or in a bowl of boiling water.

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