Ditch the kitchen washcloths. It seems like no matter how good I am at wringing them out and hanging them up when I am done, dishcloths get stinky fast. Sometimes it seems like they're only good for a day or two before they smell too gross to use. And if you let them sit too long before washing them, that mildewy stink lingers, and they smell bad again the first time you use them.
Instead, get yourself some Handi Wipes (USA) or J Cloths (Canada). Imagine a halfway point between a paper towel and a washcloth, and there you have these (which don't seem to have an easy shorthand other than brand name, so I just call them "blue cloths"). Handi Wipes are $2 for a six-pack, which is about what you would pay for one or two washcloths.
But they're not just cheaper. Here are some of the many things I love about blue cloths:
-When you wring them out after using them, they get almost completely dry. You don't even need to hang them up; if you squeeze all the water out and leave them in a blob on the counter, when you come back a few hours later, the blob will be completely dry. And, if you recall your middle school science lessons, bacteria need moisture to thrive, so a dry cloth is a non-bacteria-y cloth. (Non-bacteria-y is totally the scientific term.)
-You can wash them in the washing machine. So, when they do get gross (usually because I let them sit inside a gross sink or something), you can just toss them in the wash. They only survive a handful of washings, because they are not designed to last forever, but they can go longer between washings because they dry out completely and don't get stinky. (I recommend air-drying them, though, the dryer makes them break down faster.)
-I don't feel bad throwing them out. So, if I have to clean up something really gross (I will spare you the examples), then I can just toss them, guilt-free. Their disposableness also makes them an awesome choice for outings and camping trips. In fact, they would also be an awesome thing to keep in the diaper bag. (Why didn't I think of that before? I'm going to go put one in there right now.)
-Because they come in multi-packs, I always have a bunch of them on hand. So when I am doing a big job, like cleaning all the kitchen counters, I can use several of them to soak more sections of counter at one time. I keep one on the high chair to use on faces, another by the sink to use on dishes, and another under the sink for cleaning.
Sorry, I didn't mean to make that sound so much like a commercial. I assure you that neither Handi Wipes nor J Cloths are paying me any money to say this stuff, I'm just a satisfied consumer/zealot. These things are awesome. Try them sometime.