MIL’s multifunctional kitchen rag

I think the title is already giving you all the .needed information. Today I will focus on my crazy Chinese mother-in-law’s favorite kitchen rag. This kitchen rag is so great that she uses it for nearly everything. Where “normal” people use a kitchen rag to do some basic drying of their kitchen stuff or to clean few things. Of course these things MIL is doing as well with her kitchen rag but it can do so much more:

  • cleaning apples
  • cleaning the cooking platform
  • cleaning the floor
  • covering any dough for rising
  • drying her hands
  • cleaning and drying the sink
  • cleaning the frying pan
  • cleaning the frying machine
  • and and and

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out more uses of this great multifunctional kitchen rag. And do you know the best thing about this rag? Apparently it does not require any washing! You know, ever since I realized she is doing this all with one kitchen rag I do not feel particularly hungry anymore when she is cooking…

Right now the kitchen developes more and more into a battle zone

How the rag looks now
When it was still new a month ago…







Do you have also a multifunctional kitchen rag or do you know somebody doing this very insane thing?

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71 thoughts on “MIL’s multifunctional kitchen rag”

  1. Ok, I am DYING! Seriously, it must be a Chinese MIL thing to wash your hands and then dry them on a dirty rag that you just used to wipe fish guts off the counter with. Or polish apples. I. Cannot. Wait. To. Move. I bet you’re counting down the days until she goes back to China, huh? Hang in there!

  2. my stomach feels weird πŸ˜€
    Momzilla has her favorite rag too, but it’s only used for her face (too bad it’s like 10 years old). she likes to recycle the socks she wears – before putting them to wash she wipes her shoes with them …….

      1. I’m afraid you’ll be right… please don’t post a picture of the still not washed rag when MIL leaves again. I’m sure just the Imagination will give me food poisoning…XD

  3. Oh dear…..that is not hygenic at all. For wiping everywhere, wet or dry…or is it mostly dry? My mum has this kitchen rag in the kitchen, it’s usually wet and she wipes everything with it – tables, dishes, wok etc…. *shudder*

  4. wait.. the floor too?? that’s where i drag the line. i have several kitchen rags but that’s because i wash them when they become dirty. and i don’t mix them up like this.. i never kneaded dough [though i kinda wanna try it out…] but i would make sure to cover with some plastic or the cleanest towel/ rag.

    1. We also have multple rags but she ignores the others and just focus on this poor victim.
      My wife always uses a clean towel for the dough or plastic but my mother-in-law…well she is kind of crazy and weird and must be possesed by some demon!

      1. Poor you :c ;-; [i was sure you have more rags, and i previously read other blog entries about your MIL. i really like your blog and i don’t know why i didn’t follow it sooner.. ] I hope you’ll survive ❀

      2. Oh thank you for the follow. I hope I will still manage the next 2!!months with her living here however it is also great that her crazyness is well received by others when I wrote about it πŸ™‚

  5. Well…. I wouldn’t use the same rag to clean the floor, but the rest I don’t know. I keep reading all those news about people getting seriously sick and dying from illnesses that here down South (Argentina) aren’t more eventful than a strong cold. It can be icky, sure, but exposure to germs builds resistance. And using just one rag until it is more holes than fabric and so thin you can see through it, is ecologically sound.

    1. Haha, don’t worry I am not so much concerned about getting as germ free as possible but yeah…latest when cleaning with it also parts of the floor thats when it gets too much even for me πŸ™‚
      The funny thing is, her husband (my father-in-law) even got an OCD when it comes to cleaning and he really focus on germs and and and so his wife is the exact opposite..

  6. We were a bit tentative to ‘like’ this post as we don’t want to be encouraging that behaviour πŸ˜‰
    And we ended up liking it because it was an intriguing post for us to read. Feeling a little nauseated that the one cloth can be so multi-purpose and unhygienic at the same time. Hope no one falls ill.

  7. Oh no, that’s just gross! I wouldn’t want to bite that apple. Btw. I really like your post about your MIL. They’re so funny and I almost feel like I know her by now:)

  8. She doesn’t exactly help with breaking the typical stereotypes people have on China women, does she??

    I have three different rags in my kitchen, one for plates, one for other kitchen utensils, and one for the surfaces. And I change them every month because by the end of one month I always get the feeling that those rags will be dirty even if I wash them thoroughly :/

  9. We have only two rags in our kitchen: one for the floor and one for the counter. The floor one gets tossed when it’s past it’s prime and the counter one is demoted to floor duty afterward and a new one takes it’s place for counters.

  10. She is only trying to transform you into a germ-resistant superhero!! You will have superpowers after eating food that has been touched with that rag πŸ˜€

      1. Well my Chinese nana was fine with washing everything with oily soup so I guess I shouldn’t be so grossed out ,right?

  11. As soon as I saw your title, I knew what you were going to say. Yuk.

    My husband had a story about rags. He was staying in a hotel in Dacca, Bangladesh. After spending a few days in the hotel, he happened to be in his room when the maid came in to clean. She had one rag. First she cleaned the toilet with it, then the bathtub, then the sink, and last of all his water glass. After she left, he scrubbed the water glass and locked it in his suitcase.

  12. It’s funny to read this about the “kitchen rag”, as I lately was thinking about writing a post about this phenomenon as well. Ha. My lovely Taiwanese husband using the kitchen drying cloth (to dry the dishes) for all kind of things. πŸ™‚

  13. Oh my mom does that all the time. And I’m Indian. Initially I was shocked but just got used to it. Also my Korean friends share the same sentiments. I think it is an Asian thing.

    1. Must be! And only with own mothers or mother in laws! My own mother was shocked when she saw this, she got like 5 different raga around which get washed or changed every week πŸ˜€

  14. my parents have a kitchen rag but I think it is so gross and stinky! I use one rag per day, and then immediately put it in the wash. I also use a different one for food and one for cleaning.

    1. My mother in law just cleaned with this rag the other day Nathan’s hands :p there is just no hope for her… I also started renewing the rags now every other week but somehow she picks up sometimes the old rag from the trash bin and starts using it again.
      She got a weird sense of value. For example she doesn’t want to throw these rags away as they cost money but she happily spends hundreds of euros on shoes several times a year and throws some older ones away(which are still perfectly fine!)

      1. OMG that is so funny….my MIL is a bit similar in that way in that she won’t like to throw away plastic straws, she will want to re-use them, even though they come in a pack of 100 for only $2!

  15. I also only use one cloth a day and have separate cloths for the sink and counters (a wet one ), one for drying dishes, and one for hands. And of course, the bathroom hand towel is not to mix with the kitchen hand towel! And then there’s the separate dishwashing sponge that I microwave every other day to sanitize it. πŸ˜€ I think your mil and I are polar opposites in the kitchen.

      1. I had friends growing up where their mothers and themselves were also pretty lax in the hygiene department from using dish cloths to clean floors to chewing on their toenails to having moldy towels in the bathroom. I don’t think it’s that uncommon.

      2. Even my wife was shocked when she noticed her mom doing these things πŸ˜€
        Back in China my wife usually ate at the school and her mother barely ever made food and thus she never noticed these things

      3. My wife also turned on the hygiene switch when Nathan was born πŸ™‚
        These days I actually have to cook often as my wife is just too busy with her new business, let’s just say that my cooking is each time an adventure but I leave the kitchen cleaner than before cooking πŸ™‚

      4. Not yet really but today one dish was either okayish called “farmers pot” it includes plenty of potatoes, paprika, carrots,tomatoes and stuff….if interest how something like this looks like just check for ‘bauern topf’ (the German name)

      5. That looks really good! I would love to try it. I’ve only used paprika as a spice a few times and didn’t notice much flavor. I thought it might have been old. I also don’t cook a lot with potatoes but I would like to try more. Our little one isn’t a big fan but I’m hoping if I keep offering, things will change.

      6. Potatoes are staple food here in Germany so they are in many many dishes. Paprika itself is not really spicy, at least the normal ones, but has a refreshing taste and tons of vitamins

  16. The kitchen rag… My personal nightmare.
    I sometimes secretly washed my MIL’s one 90Β°C with the towels.
    Some things for the list:
    – Cleaning the grandchildren’s faces (this is the worst if you ask me)
    – Cleaning the table before we eat
    – Cleaning the table after we ate
    – Cleaning the dishes we used to eat
    … and many other things I already pushed to the back of my mind.

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