Amy Clark

Green Spring Cleaning Craft: Knitted Dishcloths & Homemade Cleaning Recipes

It is that time of year again, as we move into the beautiful season of Spring. Around this time of year, I usually start working on a batch of fresh new dishcloths to do the dishes with. If you could see how pitiful the rags I have been using are, you would understand why this is not only a hobby, but also a necessity!

As I mentioned last month, I get to share fun DIY projects as part of the Walmart Moms team, and when I was challenged with making something from the store for the spring cleaning season, I knew that I couldn’t wait to tackle some new dishcloth patterns made from the inexpensive Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn that you can pick up over in the craft section of the store. These balls of cotton yarn (in the knitting/crochet supplies) only run $1.57 per ball and you can usually get two generous sized washcloths out of them.

If you are new to knitting, dishcloths are the perfect project because they are like swatches of pattern rather than tackling a larger project piece. On top of that, it can make you feel braver doing patterns with more complexity and learning new knitting techniques. For the first few months after I learned how to knit, I knit a lot of dishcloths.

All of these patterns can be found on Ravelry, and you can find me there too! If you are a knitter, I would love for you to be my friend on Ravelry. My username is momadvice and I try to keep my little notebook updated with the current projects.

Here are four free fun new patterns to try to add an element of beauty and fun to your spring cleaning:

double bump dishcloths

Pattern: Double Bump Dishcloth Pattern by Missy Angus

Needle Size: US 7 Needles

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn- Pictured above is Country Red with Robin’s Egg Blue (accenting) &  Hot Blue with Summer Splash (accenting)

Notes: My girlfriend, Renee, alerted me to this pattern and I am so glad she did! This pattern makes the most perfect dishcloth and can be whipped up in an hour or so. If you know how to knit and you know how to purl, those are the only stitches that you need to know to create this.

While some patterns curl up on the edges or require a little blocking, this pattern knits up evenly without any curled corners, thanks to the slipping of the first stitch in each row.

These are highly addictive to make and I am already working on another one because it is an easy pattern to memorize and to knit while watching a few of your favorite television shows! I would highly recommend this pattern!

cottage ballband dishcloth

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth by Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing

Needle Size: US 7 Needles

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn- Pictured above is Country Red & Cottage Twists (Twists Chalet)

Notes: This is the free website link to the original pattern for Ballband Dishcloths, featured in the Mason Dixon Knitting Book by Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne, the founders of MasonDixonKnitting.com

This pattern is beautiful worked in solids and variegated. Endless combinations of colors and variegated can be created using this pattern. Since you are using two different yarns for this cloth, it is a great one to use when stash-busting your yarn collection or for using different colors of yarn scraps you might have on hand that you can’t really make anything out of on their own.

When doing this pattern, I have found that knotting in the different yarns is the best way to go instead of just weaving in the new color because of the endless amount of abuse and washes that these dishcloths get in our house. I have lovingly weaved in many washcloths with no knots and the stitches have ended up falling out on these patterns. Live and learn!

sunshine & stars dishcloth

Pattern: Open Star Dishcloth by Dishcloth Boutique

Needle Size: US 7 Needles

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn in Sunshine & Warm Brown

Notes: I really loved this pattern because of how the simple yarn overs create a nubby pattern to this dishcloth and give it such a beautiful look and feel to the yarn. This pattern does not look as nicely when it is held open, but could be corrected if  it is blocked. The only time I would do that though is if it was a gift for someone.

This pattern is easy enough for a beginner and is a great beginning pattern for understanding yarn overs. I can’t wait to make more of these in other colors from my leftover yarn!

lavender squidge

Pattern: The Squidge Cloth by Sasha

Needle Size: US 7 Needles

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn in Soft Violet & Warm Brown

Notes: The alternating rectangles of knit and purl give the ultimate squidge factor for a fabulously fondle-able cloth. The pattern is easy since you only need know how to knit and purl. It gives you a thickness to the pattern and would be perfect, not only for your dishes, but perfect as a face cloth too!

Not enough dishcloth patterns for you? Be sure to check out my Circle Cloth & Chinese Waves patterns or the Wedding Washcloth patterns that I have created in past entries!

Pair these with a few of these homemade cleaner recipes or a little of the fun Mrs. Meyers Cleaners (available at Walmart too) and you are ready to do a little spring cleaning of your own!

My Favorite Homemade Cleaner Recipes

All-Purpose Cleaner

Mix together two tablespoons of mild dishwashing soap and two cups of water in a spray bottle and give it a shake. Use these anywhere that you would use a commercial all-purpose spray. This cleaner is particularly great for countertops, bathroom surfaces, and high chairs.

Glass Cleaner

Mix together one part white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on your mirrors and windows and dry your windows with newspaper.  The newspaper is great for lint-free drying and is a great way to repurpose some of those old papers you have laying around.

Homemade Oven Cleaner/ Deep Kitchen Cleaner

Mix a paste of three parts warm water to one part baking soda to clean away kitchen stains or to clean your oven.

Bathroom Cleaner

Mix dishwashing liquid with baking soda until you have a thick paste and use this throughout your bathroom.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

No measuring is required with this recipe. Sprinkle a little baking soda into your toilet bowl and then pour a little vinegar in and watch it fizz it up. Give it a swish with your toilet brush and then flush.

Floor Cleaner

Add ½ cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.  The scent of the vinegar will fade in approximately an hour, but you can also add a couple of drops of essential oil to help with the scent. I like the smell of Tea Tree Oil, but you can buy any essential oil that smells best to you. Essential oils can be picked up at stores offering nutritional supplements or can be purchased online.

Furniture Polish

Mix ¼ cup olive oil with four tablespoons of vinegar and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well before using.  If you do not use all of it in one cleaning session, store the remainder in the fridge, as the lemon juice can go sour. You can also substitute the lemon juice with twenty to thirty drops of lemon essential oil and then you won’t have to refrigerate it. Using the essential oils though will up the price a bit on your homemade product.

Silver Cleaner

Although I don’t polish silver very frequently, this is a great to have in your bag of tricks. This will clean all of those nooks and crannies that are hard to reach in more detailed pieces and is great if you have a big batch of silver that needs cleaning. In a large bowl (or you can use your kitchen sink) place strips of aluminum foil in and place the silver pieces on top. Cover the silver with boiling water and then add three tablespoons of baking soda and soak for ten minutes.

Do you have any fun green spring cleaning recipes or knitted patterns you are loving? Do you spring clean your home? Feel free to share those ideas here!

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

Published March 29, 2011 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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