A Product That Is Just Peachy
I've probably read a hundred articles lately telling me how nasty and unsanitary the old traditional hand dishwashing methods are. The very thought of gazillions of bacteria lurking in sponges and dishcloths is enough to give anybody the willies. Statements like “your dish sponge is dirtier than your toilet bowl” are certainly evocative if not downright disgusting.
I've never been much of a sponge user. My mother and my grandmother took me down the dishcloth route at a young age and I've always followed that path. Sponges just seemed nasty to me: a sponge is great fresh out of the package, but after a couple of uses......yuck. Proper use of a dishcloth always seemed preferable. Cleaner, somehow. “Proper” being the operative word.
I know people who wad up their dishcloths and leave them in a damp, smelly heap on the counter beside the sink. That's not exactly “proper use.” That's a cabana for a bacterial pool party. If you wring out your dishcloth and place it on a rack of some sort to thoroughly dry between uses, it'll be good for a few days. Then you toss it into the laundry to be washed in hot water and bleach and you put out a fresh one. Pretty simple.
But even if you follow such a regimen, eventually you're going to wind up with a stinky dishcloth. It seems like the older mine get, the more quickly I have to replace them and there are a few that even bleach doesn't seem to help anymore. Those are the ones that get turned into floor rags. After several decades, I had pretty much resigned myself to that cycle of use. Then I discovered something new.
I came across an article touting silicone dish scrubbers as the latest and greatest thing. They're non-porous, so they don't collect bacteria. They're easy enough to clean when you do have to clean them, and they're durable, so you don't have to toss and replace every week. I'm not really one to jump on a bandwagon every time one passes by, but I figured, “what the heck,” and ordered one of the newfangled gizmos online.
I'm impressed. What's more, my mother and my grandmother would be impressed. These things are great.
There are several varieties of silicone scrubbers on the market. The particular one I initially saw reviewed was the Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Silicone Scrubber. Here's the product description: “Say goodbye to your smelly sponge. Over 5,000 Silicone bristles clean dishes and multiple surfaces. Cleaner than your typical sponge. Non-porous Silicone dries faster and won t harbor bacteria. Better for the environment, this fun and flexible scrubber will stand the test of time. Collect them all. Use dry to remove lint and hair.”
The most common complaint among people who tried this eight or nine-dollar gadget was that it didn't create a lot of suds, causing more soap use, and that, due to the soft, flexible nature of those “5,000 Silicone bristles,” it was practically useless for actual scrubbing. But I liked the concept, so I kept looking.
What I found was really peachy. In fact, it's called “Peachy Clean.” It was developed and is manufactured in Georgia, the “Peach State,” and comes peach-scented. All well and good from a marketing standpoint, but does it work? In a word, yes.
Here's the company's spiel: “Peachy Clean® is the world’s only silicone dish scrubber, perfect for everyday kitchen use. It is designed to provide long lasting antimicrobial resistance to odors caused by bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is fast drying to prevent a moist environment that may facilitate bacteria, mold, and mildew growth. Peachy Clean® is designed to stay cleaner and be easier to clean than traditional products. Simply put, it’s just not as gross.”
The “Peachy Clean” scrubber is shaped and textured like an actual sponge. Because it is made of silicone, of course, it is not absorbent in any fashion as a regular sponge would be. You can't use it to wipe up spills or whatever. But it is fantastic for washing dishes. It's got just enough texture to get most jobs done. Is it going to scrub burned-on cheese out of the bottom of your pan? No. You'll still need a heavy-duty scrubber for that. (Better yet; stop burning cheese to the bottom of your pan.) But for general dish duty, it's pretty darn effective.
The “Peachy Clean” should last for three or four months. It actually comes with a three-month warranty. The manufacturer guarantees it won't stink for three months. I've been using mine every day for about a month and so far, so good. Clean up is a snap: just run it under some hot water and shake it dry.
Best of all, it's cheap. I got a three-pack on Amazon for about ten bucks. Walmart has them online for about the same price. They're available in select stores, but mostly stores in the Southeast, so Amazon or Walmart are your best bets.
Like I said, I'm about a month into using mine and I'm very happy with it. It does what it's supposed to do – clean the dishes – without doing what it's not supposed to do – stink. I've still got a dishcloth next to the sink for wiping down countertops or sopping up spills. And I keep heavy-duty scrubbers under the sink for use as needed. But for everyday dish washing, the new Peachy Clean® is just peachy.