Have you ever wondered which cleaning cloth was the best? Well, wonder no more! I’ve arranged the ultimate match-up of kitchen counter messes vs. cleaning supplies. I smeared peanut butter, jelly and bread dough on my countertops to test which cleaning cloth performed the best! If you want to see this battle of the cleaning cloths for yourself, click below.
There is an endless number of cleaning cloth brands and design options to choose from and it can feel almost impossible to know if the one you’re using is really the best fit for you. If you’re like me, you asked the questions: Do I need an intricate microfiber cloth? Is an intense Norwex cloth worth it? Will a simple paper towel do the trick?
I wanted to figure out those answers for myself so I ordered a Magic Eraser, some paper towels from Sam’s Club, a standard dish rag from Target, a microfiber cloth from the Dollar Tree, and a Norwex cleaning cloth and put them to the ultimate test!
I smeared my counter with stubborn peanut butter, sticky jelly, and crusted bread dough (my least favorite mess to clean up) to make this test as real as possible. The peanut butter and jelly were there to test everyday messes of varying consistencies, while the bread dough was there to imitate the hardest messes these cloths would ever have to handle. These messes sat for a couple hours, got my counters nice and crusty and sticky (ew!), and then I tested out each cloth to see how much of the mess they could handle.
I’ll be ranking these on a scale of 1-5, with one being the lowest score and five being the highest, in the following categories:
Durability: How long will the product last?
Grip: How well does it grab hold of the messes and how easy is it to scrub?
Affordability: Is this cost effective?
First up, the Magic Eraser
The Magic Eraser is a product I’ve been using for years. It’s always worked wonders for me which has kept me coming back for more. The only downside to the Magic Eraser is that as you use it, it starts to deteriorate. So, if you use the Magic Eraser, it’s only good for a use or two before you need a new one.
The Magic Eraser was the product I expected to work the best. It tackled the peanut butter and jelly with no issue. The dough, however, was a different story. An important note here is that dough is tough to clean no matter what you use. This smeared mess is in the test to imitate the toughest of kitchen messes. After about a minute of steady pressure and scrubbing, all the dough came up off the counter. The Magic Eraser was pretty much destroyed after the job was done, so, like I said before, you would want a couple of these on hand when cleaning.
Magic Eraser Score:
Overall ranking: 3/5
A note with the Magic Eraser is that it is designed for those tough messes, not so much cleaning the whole countertop. Keep that in mind when you’re shopping for your perfect cloth!
A Paper Towel
When creating my lineup I thought, why not use a regular paper towel?! A paper towel isn’t the most environmentally friendly, but it is something most everyone at least has in their home, so it deserved a seat at the table.
I didn’t have high hopes for the paper towel and, unfortunately, it didn’t exceed my expectations. It smeared the peanut butter and jelly and didn’t really absorb it. It did get the job done and would do in a pinch. And, as far as the dough, I wasn’t even able to get all of it off my counter even after several minutes of scrubbing! Paper towels are designed more for those smaller liquid spills, and that’s where they shine. I definitely wouldn’t use a paper towel for those tougher kitchen messes.
Paper Towel Score:
Overall ranking: 2/5
Standard Dish Cloth
We all have dish cloths, whether we use them for cleaning up messes or not, so I figured they were a shoe in for a spot in this race. Personally, my dish cloths mop up a lot of spills so I wanted to see how they compared!
My dish cloths are well-loved and the main way I clean messes in my own home, so I wasn’t surprised when it mopped up the peanut butter and jelly with no issue. However, the dough did take quite a bit of scrubbing and force. It eventually came up with about a minute and a half of work. My hand started to get tired from all the scrubbing! But the grip was good and much better than the paper towel.
Standard Dish Cloth Score:
Overall ranking: 3/5
Dollar Tree Microfiber Cloth
I actually have never used a microfiber cloth for tackling countertop messes. Can you believe it?! I picked up a pack of four from the Dollar Tree – that’s just .25 cents per cloth! I simply had to see if this cost effective solution was up to the task.
I was immediately impressed by this cloth! The microfiber cloth really held onto the messes – even better than the dish cloth. It handled the peanut butter and jelly like a pro, however I had to apply quite a bit of force to get the dough off the counter. An extra few seconds of scrubbing for that price? I’ll take it!
Dollar Tree Microfiber Cloth Score:
Overall ranking: 4.5/5
Norwex Cleaning Cloth
If you aren’t aware of Norwex, they are the premiere in cleaning cloths. They have a higher price point but are supposed to sanitize with just water and have silver embedded in the cloth to really grip those messes. I’d never invested in a Norwex cloth before, but this was the perfect time to see if it lived up to the hype.
The Norwex cleaning cloth definitely had a stronger grip on the messes, though it was pretty comparable to the microfiber cloth. It knocked out the peanut butter and jelly no problem and the dough did come off the counter quicker than any other option – only :45 seconds! It definitely passed this test with flying colors – I didn’t have to press quite as hard and it was faster. but the price point is still a decent deterrent for this cloth.
Norwex Cleaning Cloth:
Overall ranking: 4.5/5
A note with Norwex: they say that these cloths don’t need to be washed after every use and that they are self-sanitizing. I would want to wash them after a big mess like this, but there is potential they are less work than a standard dish cloth. However, there are special washing instructions for them, so be sure to pay attention when washing!
And the Winner Is…
First Place: Norwex Cleaning Cloth
Final thought: The Norwex cleaning cloth was overall more durable and quicker at getting the messes up. Just going on performance, this won hands down! But take into account the price point before really deciding this cloth is the right one for you.
Second Place: Dollar Tree Microfiber Cloth
Final thought: By far, this is the most affordable option with the most grip and practical use. The microfiber gave it more grip than the average dish towel and, while it wasn’t as quick to pick up the messes as the Norwex, a pack of 4 for $1 is hard to beat!
Third Place: Magic Eraser
Final Thought: The Magic Eraser was decent at picking up the messes, however the rubbing and water began to break down the Magic Eraser. Not hard to clean up with, but more of a one-and-done kind of cloth.
Fourth Place: Standard Dish Towel
Final Thought: The dish towel works perfectly fine to pick up messes, just as long as you’re prepared for a minute of extra scrubbing for those particularly stubborn spots!
Fifth Place: Paper Towel
Final Thought: The paper towel can easily handle small, everyday messes like the peanut butter and jelly. However, you’ll want to look elsewhere for your harder messes – it wasn’t able to get all the dough up off the counter! Also, any of the other cleaning cloth options are more eco-friendly.
Best Bang for your Buck:
Dollar Tree Microfiber Cloth – You simply can’t beat that price point for the quality you get! If Norwex is a little more than you’d like to spend, this is a completely valid substitute.
And there you have it!
Each cloth option has their own pros and cons. The most important thing is choosing the option that works best for you and your needs. Keep in mind that these cleaning cloths are great for mixing and matching – you don’t have to stick with just one option! Let me know in comments which cloth you’re ready to try or if there’s another type of cloth that has changed the way you clean.