Dinner’s done and it’s time to clean up. Whether it’s to wipe up grease, spills and bits of food from the counter and appliances or you need to scrub the dishes, pots and pans, using a kitchen sponge will help get the job done quickly and easily.
Even if you have a dishwasher, a kitchen sponge will come in handy for cleaning baked on food on your pots and pans or that delicate dinnerware that can’t be put into the dishwasher. Kitchen sponges are designed to handle multiple cleaning and wiping tasks while withstanding repeated use.
Finding a kitchen sponge is not a problem; choosing one that works best for you is a different story. Below we list a variety of sponges to suit a range of needs. Read on to find the one that best reflects your cleaning style.
1. Editor’s Choice: Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges
When it comes to choosing a kitchen sponge, a lot depends on what you intend to use it for. For example, you’re not going clean a non-stick pan with a sponge that has a tough surface, just like it would be pretty useless to try and scrub off baked-on food with a soft sponge. That’s why we chose Scotch-Brite as the best overall choice for anyone who wants a sponge that performs in various ways.
This heavy-duty scrub sponge offers up the best of both worlds; on one side is a soft, porous sponge for the times you want to soap up your dishes or clean the kitchen or bathroom sink, while on the other side there is a brillo-type scrubber pad that is great for scrubbing your non-coated pots and pans.
The S-shape of the kitchen sponge fits nicely into your hand, the scrubbing fibers are made from 100 percent recycled content and you can easily clean and disinfect the sponge in the dishwasher and use it again.
- Safe to use on non-coated cookware
- Scrubber side and soft side
- Can be cleaned in the dishwasher
- Not suitable for non-stick cookware
- May scratch certain surfaces like enamel, wood and some laminates
2. Runner Up: MR. SIGA Non-Scratch Cellulose Scrub Sponge
A kitchen sponge is not only just for cleaning dishes, pots and pans. The right product is also ideal for cleaning the stove and countertops and the sink, and when you’re done in the kitchen, it’s suitable for wiping up in the bathroom, too.
Many of the surfaces, including non-stick cookware and pots and pans, will scratch easily from the roughness of a scrubbing sponge. This cellulose scrub sponge from Mr. Siga has two layers: a royal blue scrubbing side that won’t scratch delicate surfaces while it cleans, and a non-abrasive light blue side to wipe away dirt or used with dishwashing liquid.
The cellulose side of the sponge is highly absorptive, works well with a gentle soap and if you use it to wipe away dirt, it will not leave streaks or scratches. It’s best to not use an abrasive cleaner with this sponge and when you are done using it, rinse well with water after every use so it will dry quickly and remain odor-free.
- Two layers
- Non-abrasive scrubbing side
- Suitable for non-stick cookware
- Dark blue side tends to shed
3. Best Bulk Budget: MAVGV Kitchen Cleaning Sponges
If you have a large family, then you know how much cleaning there is to do, especially in the kitchen. It’s always a good idea to keep a steady supply of kitchen sponges on hand to get all your cleaning tasks done effectively and efficiently, especially when you can give the kids their own sponge to help get the work done faster.
These kitchen sponges come in a pack of 24, which makes this an economical choice if you do a lot of dishwashing and counter cleaning. Soft and pliable, the sponges get nice and soapy even with a small amount of dishwashing liquid, so one goes a long way to cleaning a heap of dishes and non-stick pots and pans.
This kitchen sponge is made from microfiber, has a non-scratch surface and is especially useful for cleaning delicate cookware and countertops. It is not recommended for heavy scrubbing or cleaning stuck-on dirt and grease.
- Bulk buy
- Economically priced
- Will not scratch surfaces
- Not suitable for heavy scrubbing
- Does not last long
4. Best Multi-Purpose: Scrub-it Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponges for Kitchen
You don’t have to be a particularly bad cook to occasionally overcook a few recipes, so when that chicken dish or lasagna ends up sticking to the pan because it was in the oven just a bit too long, it might take an extra durable kitchen sponge – and some elbow grease – to get it clean.
This large size six-inch-long kitchen scrub sponge is a good option if you find yourself needing to clean up burnt food or grease from your pots and pans. Durable and made to last, the sponge looks a little different from your typical kitchen sponge and is constructed from a polyester, polyamide and polyurethane blend, so it won’t wear out after a few days’ use.
The sponge has a scouring side made for cleaning baked on food and a microfiber side to gently clean dishes and glasses with ease. And while these sponges are a bit more expensive than some of the others, they will last longer. If they become a little smelly, you don’t have to throw them in the garbage – throw them in the washing machine instead, and then they are ready to use once again, smelling fresh and clean.
- Chemical free
- Can be cleaned in the washing machine
- Suitable for cleaning baked on food
- Does not have a soft spongy feel
- A bit pricey
5. Best Temperature-Controlled: Scrub Daddy Sponge Daddy
Well, aside from getting top marks for such a fun and original name (admit it, you love to say it too, right?), this kitchen sponge has some unique properties that make it a good choice for light cleaning and for heavier scrubbing, too.
Each pack contains four sponges of different colors, so it’s great if you like to use them in different rooms to avoid cross-contamination: for example, use red for the kitchen, yellow for the bathroom, blue for the garage and orange for the ensuite. But what really makes this sponge unique is that the texture of the surface changes depending on the temperature of the water.
The Flextexture material becomes firm when you run it in cold water, so it is tough enough for scrubbing those pots and pans, and when you run it in warm water, it softens up, becomes squishy and bendable and ideal for gently cleaning glasses and delicate surfaces.
The sponge is superabsorbent, so you end up using less soap, and it is safe to put on the top rack of the dishwasher.
- Changes texture with water temperature
- Suitable for glass, stainless steel, cast iron and non-stick coatings
- Lab tested to remain odor-free for up to eight weeks
- A bit pricey
6. Best Space-Saving: Composty ‘Pop-Up’ Natural Sponges
When it comes to modern real estate, space is at a premium, especially in big cities, and that means small rooms and tiny kitchens. And while even a small kitchen has dishes and some counters to clean, storage space may be almost non-existent. That’s where these brilliant, compressed sponges come in.
Created from natural cellulose wood pulp and designed to be non-abrasive with a tough, textured feel, the sponges are 100 percent biodegradable (and so is the package they come in) and come compressed in a small box. The 12 super thin sponges are 90 percent of their full size, measuring 1.5mm thick by 11cm long. When you are ready to use one, put it under water and watch it expand to a thickness of 14mm (.55 inches), the perfect size for handling all of your kitchen cleaning needs.
The sponges are made of natural plastic-free and glue-free materials, are vegan, fully compostable and are made ethically by workers who are looked after by their employers.
- Contains no plastic or glue
- Fully compostable
- Compressed size expands with water
- Does not have a surface for scouring pots and pans
7. Also Consider: AIRNEX Biodegradable Natural Kitchen Sponge
If a compressed pop-up all natural sponge is not your style, but you are still looking for an eco-friendly biodegradable kitchen sponge, then you may want to consider this option from Airnex.
This sponge is 100 percent plant-based and is made of white cellulose and coconut fiber. Its porous structure means it dries quickly, so there is less of a chance that it will retain odors. The S-shape of the sponge fits nicely into your hand and it is safe for all surfaces.
The side with the coconut fiber is ideal for scrubbing away food on pots and pans, while the other side is soft and gentle, soaks up liquids quickly and lathers up well when used with soap. It’s a scratch-free way to wipe grit, dirt and grime from your kitchen countertops, dishes, stove and even windows.
And while this sponge will last awhile, when it’s done, it can go straight into the compost.
- Porous, dries quickly
- Won’t scratch surfaces
- Scrubber detaches from the sponge over time
8. Worth Mentioning: YeahWhee Melamine Cleaning Sponges
The final option on our recommendation list is different from the others mentioned. These multi-purpose sponges come in an economy pack of 100, which makes them an excellent value and budget buy. But that isn’t the only reason they made the list. These are similar to a brand name eraser cleaner and will clean up any mess without having to add soap or abrasive cleaners.
The small, square nanometer sponge is made from melamine foam and fits neatly into the palm of your hand. You can’t really use it to clean dishes, but the highly versatile sponge will effectively clean greasy ceramic cookware, burnt-on messes on glass stovetops and ovens, as well as in other areas of the house. Erase permanent pen marks, grease, dirt and soap scum on walls, doors, floors, shoes, sink, and sinks.
All you need to do is add water to the sponge, squeeze and start to clean. The sponges can be used a few times and can be cut to any size that is convenient for you.
- Bulk value
- Versatile use
- Cleans without soap
- Not ideal for dishes or glassware
- Can only be reused a few times
What to look for when choosing a kitchen sponge:
A kitchen sponge is a ubiquitous cleaning tool that most of us are familiar with. Even if we also have a dish towel, it’s really a sponge that can do a lot of the cleaning tasks, from wiping up spills to scrubbing burnt-on food from pots, pans and bakeware. A good kitchen sponge is also versatile enough to clean the grill or the bathroom sink.
And although a kitchen sponge is something we are all familiar with, the amazing assortment of different products out on the market can feel overwhelming, especially if you are starting out in your first apartment. How do you choose the one that would be best for you? In order to not waste your time or money, we’ve outlined below some of the things to consider before purchasing a kitchen sponge for your home.
Use: This is probably the most important factor to consider, how and for what you intend to use the kitchen sponge. Kitchen sponges come in a wide variety of materials that make them suitable for different functions. Some can perform only one function, while other models are more versatile. If you want a kitchen sponge only to wash dishes, then it should be soft and pliable, highly absorbent, get soapy and rinse out easily. This way you can soap and rinse off dishes and also fit it into glassware. You could also use it to wipe spills off the stove and countertops.
If you want to use a kitchen sponge to scrub baked-on food and grease from your cookware, then look for one that has a rough, textured surface designed to do this job. This kind of sponge can scratch certain surfaces like non-stick cookware, bakeware and some countertop finishes. If you need to clean these types of items, look for a non-abrasive sponge that claims it will not scratch.
Of course, sometimes we only want to have one sponge around that can do many things, so the good news is there are some that have a soft, gentle sponge on one side, and a tougher scrubber side for more stubborn dirt.
Material: Kitchen sponges are made from a variety of materials. Most can be used multiple times before you have to throw them out. Many are made from microfiber (plastic) and contain glue and are not great for the environment. If you are more ecologically minded, there are sponges on the market that are made from plants like wood cellulose and coconut fiber that are biodegradable and fully compostable, containing no glue or harmful chemicals.
Cost: Kitchen sponges are not expensive, but they do vary in price. When shopping, check the unit price to determine how expensive – or inexpensive – they are. For example, the cost may be $15, but does the package contain six, 12, or 24 sponges? In the first case, each sponge would cost $2.50, while a package of 12 at that price would be $1.25 each and a pack of 24 would mean each sponge costs 62 cents. If you are looking to save money, buying in bulk helps but sometimes you get what you pay for. Some really inexpensive kitchen sponges could be of poor quality and only last for one or two uses before falling apart. There are times when it pays to spend a little more for a higher quality product.
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