A washing mitt is any sort of glove-like product designed to aid in bathing or washing. Mitts are most commonly used for washing other people, particularly children, dogs and other animals, and cars. Most are shaped like a mitten, with one space for fingers and another for the thumb, or as a simple pod without any finger compartments at all. Wearing a washing mitt allows a person to cover a wider area with soapy suds than he or she could with a sponge, dishcloth, or washcloth.
The composition and material of a washing mitt is usually determined by its main use. A washing mitt intended to be used in baby baths is typically very soft, often made of terrycloth or plush microfiber. Baby bath mitts are often decorated with playful colors, or designed to look like animals, smiling fruits, or other child-friendly shapes. They often more closely resemble a terry hand puppet than a bath-time tool.
Mitts can also be used as personal hygiene products by adults. Adults may use a washing mitt in the bath or shower as a gentle way to wash the day away. Mitts help bath gels form a better lather than washcloths, and often hold suds longer than a sponge.
Washing mitts are also frequently used to promote hygiene in dogs and other animals, particularly horses. These kinds of mitts are typically made of chunkier fibers. The idea is to work up a good lather and scrub debris out of fur; gentleness is a concern, but it is not usually the top priority.
Many car owners also use a washing mitt to more efficiently and effectively spread soap while washing their vehicles. Car mitts are usually made of sheepskin, good quality wool, or any other thick, porous fiber. Wearing a washing mitt can help a car washer cover more area in less time, and ensures an even distribution of soap suds. Suds stay on the mitt for a long period of time, which eliminates the need to continue going back to the wash bucket.
Efficiency is a major selling point of washing mitts in all categories. The majority are designed to help wash more with less. A washglove is typically quite durable, and often lasts far longer than a sponge or washcloth used in a comparable way. The fibers do not break down as easily, and the ability to retain suds prevents the need for forceful scrubbing.
Washing mitts are sold in different places, depending on their intended use. Bathing mitts are usually displayed near towels and other bath linens, or in a store’s baby department. Animal cleansing mitts are often found in pet supply stores, and car wash gloves are typically sold alongside other automotive supplies.