Chocolate and cleaning products make for great souvenirs.
What are your favorite souvenirs to pick up during your travels? If you're like us, I'm going to guess that edible snacks and pantry staples rank pretty high on your list (and maybe some cult French pharmacy products for good measure, if your itinerary happens to include a stop through Paris).
Being married to a Swedish guy, I have the great fortune of visiting Stockholm at least once a year. We usually return from these journeys with suitcases filled to the brim with chocolate bars, fiber-rich crispbreads, and a jar of pickled herring or two. To me, roaming the aisles of a supermarket in a foreign land is one of life's greatest pleasures, but I've come to fall in love with a section usually far removed from the snacks and condiments: the home goods aisle.
These super absorbent, affordable cloths come in a pack of three or four, and are in constant use in our home, especially in the kitchen. They act like sponges, but have the surface area of a larger cloth to tackle bigger cleaning projects. You can use them, lightly wetted with water and wrung out, to wipe up all manner of spills, or to scrub up the fronts of your drawers, cabinets, and refrigerator; you can also use them in conjunction with your favorite cleaning spray to really get into grubby corners and polish up scuzzy faucet hardware. Bonus: When wet, they act as excellent non-skid mats for your cutting boards, mixing bowls, and anything else you'd like a bit more grippy support for.
They are so durable that they take a good while to wear down (one lasts at least a couple of months), but when they finally do, I just relegate them to the floor as rags for the kitchen and bathroom. I also like to use the more spent ones to clean especially dirt-ridden areas, like windowsills, the inner frames of my windows, and the outdoor furniture on our little balcony, all of which are prone to New York City grime.
I've tried many similar products and while they're all good enough, the Wettex ones are the most plush and "grabbiest" with the best suction. As for their maintenance, I just throw them into the dishwasher and squeeze them dry when the load is done. I can't tell you how many paper towels we've probably saved over the years with these little kitchen helpers. Because they take up very little space and are extremely light, they are excellent additions to near-full suitcases and care packages (where they double as padding!).
Next time you find yourself abroad or in the market for a new cleaning cloth, consider popping into the home cleaning section of the neighborhood supermarket—you never know what workhorse gems await!
Have you ever picked up a great cleaning souvenir on your travels? Please share them with us below!