Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good sponge?, bad sponge!, dirty dishes...washcloth?

What's in a sponge...natural sponge?...plastic?...cellulose?....yes, yes, and yes. I’ve decided to steer clear of the plastic ones from here on out. A few months ago I bought a plastic free loofah sponge to use on my dishes. (For the life of me I can’t find who makes, but I bought it at Whole Foods). I bought it because there was no plastic wrap involved and I had a sneaking suspicion that those perfectly rectangular florescent colored sponges I had bought a month prior were not “natural” and they did come wrapped in plastic. I wanted to try something new. Well, the loofah sponge (first on the left in picture) has not fulfilled all my dish washing desires, but I am getting used to it. It leave little bits of loofah on the dishes… I still have my very likely not-so-natural polyurethane sponge, like most people have. I have read that many (most? all?) of commercial sponges are polyester/polyurethane based, i.e. plastic. Plus they come wrapped in plastic so I am weaning myself-well I have already weaned myself-I will not be buying anymore. I also have a VERY plastic scrub sponge for those cooking disasters that involve burned on stuff, but as we all know this will last me a lifetime (or forever as it is plastic). So far I have had this tangle of plastic scrubbiness for more than three years (on the right in the picture). And lastly I have my trusty washcloth. My aunt uses a washcloth to wash dishes (no sponge) and I learned this habit from her. I’m surprised how much I prefer a nice cotton washcloth over a polyurethane sponge for cleaning dishes. If you don’t use a washcloth for dishes you might try this. It is a great plastic alternative. I knit this one myself ☺

I also did a little internet research into other non-plastic sponge options and found these:

Twist Loofah Sponge-one side absorbent sponge material on side natural loofah scrubbing layer.

Caldera cellulose sponge and dishwashing brush from Smith & Hawken.

More Twist sponges these are also cellulose "from renewable tree farms".

I’m interested in trying out the cellulose sponges. They are biodegradable/compostable-double plus! Since I plan on having to do dishes for the rest of my life I think I’ll have plenty of time to try these different options out over time.


Seren Dippity said...

Thought you might be interested in Amazon's attempt at better packaging. They don't seem to be aiming specifically at less plastic but less frustrating packaging. They _are_ taking input about packaging complaints. We need to encourage people to tell Amazon they use too much plastic!

Anonymous said...

Twist seems to be wrapping all their products in plastic now. I found an awesome cloth called Skoy, which is a combination of cotton and natural cellulose, which works better than any other rap or sponge I have ever tried. I wrote about it here:

They act like a combo sponge and rag. Very absorbent. Take the place of 15 rolls of paper towels. Can be washed w/ laundry or in dishwasher. Truly awesome.

And if you need something extra abrasive (because Skoy do not have loofah or other abrasive material) just sprinkle baking soda on your dishes. Works great!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the Skoy cloths do not come wrapped in any plastic!

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