I hate sponges – they suck up as much money as they do water! They barely last a month and cost a pretty penny, even when I buy them using a subscription discount. Sometimes it seems as if they are made specifically to break down after just a few washes. And don’t get me started on that disgusting smell that clings to my fingers after I’ve done the dishes. True, kitchen sponges are not a huge part of our household budget, but I bear a special grudge against them because they break down so quickly. (I’ve tried running them through the dishwasher, soaking them in vinegar, but nothing seems to restore them.)
9 alternatives to sponges that save money
1. Quick dry cloths. I like the ones at Trader Joe’s but a lot of grocery stores sell them now. A two-pack is about $3 and they last fffffffffforever. Unlike sponges, which tend to get moldy because they are so good at holding onto water, these quick dry towels dry out in an hour or so. When they do get stinky, throw them in the wash and dry cycle. They’ll come out looking and smelling brand new! My last set lasted me more than a year.
2. Scrub brush. Squirt a dab of soap on the bristles and go to work. Your hands don’t get as messy or wet (which is nice for those of us with ecezma or dry skin). And the tough plastic bristles last longer than sponges. I like this long handle scrub brush.
3. Steel wool. A little pad digs through the grittiest pots and pans. Be careful they don’t scratch your non-stick surfaces.
4. Wash cloths. I have a huge pile of wash cloths about the size of my hand that I use to clean up the kiddos. They work just as well on the counter tops!
5. Scrub pads. Similar to steel wool, but they are made of natural fibers, not steel. These are less expensive per unit than spongers and last much longer. They pair well with a soft cloth.
6. Old fashioned cloth diapers. Once they’ve been decommissioned, give them a deep wash and then put them back to work soaking up spills. These can be bleached and last forever. They are tough and super absorbent! I use Gerber’s old fashioned cloth diapers.
7. Old clothes. Cut up scraps of jeans and tee-shirts and upcycle them into kitchen rags.
8. Ratty towels. I recently discovered we’ve had our towels for 18 years. These towels are ready for college! I dislike their bachelor colors, but they are sturdy, soft, and have many more years in them. So I can only dream of the day I’ll cut them into sponge cloths and get to buy fresh, white towels.
9. Food scrapers. I’ve used these before and they work fabulously! Whether you’re scraping off burned cheese or a stubborn pie crust, these food scrapers do the hard work that your fingernails would otherwise do. A set of two nylon food scrapers is $8 on Amazon.
Do you hate sponges as much as I do?