Washing your hands, cleaning sponges and dishcloths, sanitizing kitchen surfaces and cutting boards, and knowing how to handle produce and raw meats are essential parts of kitchen hygiene. They’ve also been used for more than 2,000 years, for a variety of purposes, so you know you aren’t falling for the latest fad. Courtesy of Anthropologie, Credit: Knowing the type of sponge that works best for your particular cleaning project will save you time and energy. Shop Now: Public Goods Walnut Scrubber Sponge, $3, publicgoods.com. These absorbent sponges are ideal for wiping up spills, and they hold soap well, but we found them to be on the soft side for cleaning jobs that need a little more oomph, and food particles did stick to the fabric. The Scrunge Scrub Sponge rated high in our rinsability test, thoroughly removing the egg, cheese and other food particles. This sponge is an old faithful that you probably saw in your mom’s kitchen. They are also commonly used to clean soot after a fire. The Lysol Multi-Purpose Scrubber, Natural Sea Sponge and TVTimedirect Microfiber Magic Sponge performed well in this test, too. Avoid wiping up meat juices from ground beef or poultry in order to prevent cross-contamination and food poisoning. Here, get our best grilling recipes for everything from fish and meat to pizza and oysters. These cost about two dollars each when purchased in a value pack and are able to be washed and reused, so it’s an economic and environmentally friendly choice. If that's not enough to make you want to toss that grimy sponge, consider previous research that suggests your kitchen sponge is even dirtier than your toilet seat. With gentle but serious stain removal capacity and the widest variety of uses, Scrub Daddy performed the best in the two most important areas: scrubbing ability and versatility. Obviously, this makes versatility an extremely important factor when choosing a sponge. If it’s a little too large for your job, you can cut it in half without damaging the sponge. To clean, toss it in the dishwasher—it's heat-resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The upside to its relative lack of absorbency is that it dries much faster, and food particles do not stick to the surface. Share The Natural Sea Sponge was superior to the other sponges in this test. Once the dry sponge is covered with dirt or dust, you slice that part of the sponge off for a fresh sponge to clean with. That’s about the same amount found in an average human stool sample. Sea sponges are known for their excellent absorption rate and durable, soft texture. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. Sheep wool sponges like these from Full Circle provide maximum scrubbing powder. We appreciated the dense, super-absorbent sponge that feels nice in the hand and allows you to create a soapy lather on your dishes. All of our reviews are unsponsored, so we earn money by using affiliate links. It has a special coating that glides over surfaces, giving it a slippery feeling, especially when used with dish soap. We looked at subreddits, like /r/advice/, and watched YouTube reviews to gather consumer input. Unlike most sponges which are made from plant cellulose, these are made with a fast-drying polyurethane foam and treated with an antimicrobial agent that discourages the growth of odor-causing bacteria. In fact, one of the ways you can tell that this sponge is more hygienic than other sponges is its refreshing lack of odor. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. At three-fourths of an inch thick, this sponge is thinner than the other dual-sided cellulose sponges we tested and comfortable to hold. For extreme jobs, the Scotch-Brite is a top-notch performer. Yes, your kitchen sponge is dirty and disgusting. On the other side with dark- and light-blue lines, the surface has a dual-action surface that scrubs and absorbs. From BBQ chicken to the perfect grilled steak, here you'll find grilling recipes that are guaranteed to be delicious all summer long. The sponges are reported to be up to 20 percent more durable, and they are odor resistant up to two months, so there are no foul smells. It’s extremely helpful to be able to change textures as you go along. Sponges make quick work of everything from hand-washing dishes to cleaning countertops, but if you've always felt like there's just something kind of—well—gross about them, you're not alone. Hosting fewer guests this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic? Credit: Since it soaks up almost half a cup of liquid, this is the sponge to grab if you spill a glass of water. It’s no fun to switch back and forth between different types of sponges when you’re trying to clean a kitchen. © 2020 Your Best Digs - All rights reserved. Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on While the size and soft texture of this sponge made it a little unwieldy for doing dishes, we were impressed with its versatility. Even while completely dry, it can easily be manipulated and fits into the palm of your hand. It has exceptional scouring power without being as abrasive as steel wool. And don't forget to replace them every two weeks. We did some fact-finding legwork on what to look for in a sponge, and more importantly, how to keep it clean in an environment laden with food and moisture (the kitchen sink). These sponges are often used when painting to create a textured look and are great for clean up, because they rinse out well and stand the test of time. However, it made much of the fact that some of th… There’s also the “hair” on top of the sponge, which we found to be more effective than a bottle brush at getting into awkward corners like drinking glasses and coffee mugs. Courtesy of Kuhn Rikon, Credit: Your kitchen sponge: A world of disease. It’s been around for years. All the essential dishes are here, just on a smaller scale. Courtesy of Ty Mecham / Food52, Credit: Scrub Daddy dried the fastest of all eight finalists. Many homeowners find the idea of using the same grubby sponge unappealing, and there's evidently a good reason why. Updated October 30, 2018. In this test, we added one tablespoon of water at a time to each sponge until it reached its capacity. When you think of the types of foods that you cook in a nonstick pan, including egg and cheese, you know that you need a scrubber that is delicate and won’t scratch while still able to remove baked-on debris. Kitchen Surfaces. For hard-to-clean items like reusable water bottles, baby bottles, and bud vases, try this silicone brush. Shop Now: Andrée Jardin Copper Sponge, $30 for 3, food52.com. It also has some very creative uses that you wouldn’t expect with a traditional sponge; for instance, you can use it as a loofah in the shower or remove paint from your fingernails and hands. When you need to clean pots that you left overnight or scrape off baked-on food from oven racks, a Scotch-Brite – Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge is the one to use. Shop Now: Skura Style Antimicrobial Sponge, $15 for 4, store.177milkstreet.com. Learn how to minimize the spread of germs with an extra few seconds of scrubbing. Like a cross between a kitchen rag and a sponge, this highly absorbent cloth is suitable for a wide-range of cleaning tasks, including washing dishes, cleaning countertops, and even scrubbing the bathroom. One of the most fascinating things about the Scrub Daddy is its ability to change texture. In our testing, the Dobie Cleaning Pad did not scratch Teflon nonstick, stainless steel, glass, plastic or tile surfaces. Found in multipacks for around a dollar a sponge, the Lysol Multi-Purpose Scrub Sponge is great for everyday use, because it’s durable, rinses clean and contains an antimicrobial agent built into the fibers that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. While most of the sponges held a number of tablespoons, the Natural Sea Sponge held a full cup of liquid. The O-Cedar sponge stands up to the tough jobs like boiler pans and stovetops while gliding along a nonstick frying pan. Shop Now: Kamenoko Tawashi Cleaning Brush, $7.50, jinenstore.com. Although I have noticed that washing up sponges go a weird colour when you put them in bleach (from cleaning the bathroom). The O-Cedar – Multi-Use Scrunge Scrub Sponge is a dense cellulose sponge with an abrasive side in the form of a three-dimensional scrubber. The Dobie Cleaning Pad, which held the same amount of liquid, was a close second at approximately nine hours. For this test, we tackled both a load of dirty dishes and a tough bathroom job that required scrubbing a tub in circular motions. The scrubber is non-scratch and passed our nonstick coating test, but you’ll want to test the scrub part on your surface in a hidden area as some dulling of finish can happen. We felt most confident using the O-Cedar Scrunge Scrubber Sponge, considering that its patented non-scratch scrubbing surface is created by Teflon and endorsed by DuPont, but we were pleased to note that every sponge we tested was able to clean the frying pan in its entirety without damaging the delicate nonstick coating. Superior Performance Ultra Micro Fiber Miracle Sponge, Superior Performance – Ultra Micro Fiber Miracle Sponge. The Scrub Daddy smile is more than just a pretty face — it’s actually part of the design. Here's another two-sided sponge, which delivers double the cleaning power and a proprietary technology that makes it possible to sanitize without harsh chemicals. Courtesy of Housework, Credit: It tackles both big jobs, like baked-on cheese, and delicate jobs like wine glasses. Consider these options in the market. The best bet is to completely submerge the sponge in a bleach-and-water mixture. If you watch Shark Tank, you may be aware that the Scrub Daddy Original “boasts the most revenue of any business to appear on Shark Tank since the show first aired in 2009”. All of the sponges passed our scratch test. For more of an idea of how to clean your dishcloths and sponges, watch this short video: Cleaning a kitchen sponge. Bethany Wilk loves words like you love bacon. Wash hands before performing the next job function after touching other food, and after smoking, chewing tobacco, eating and drinking, taking out the garbage, changing diapers, touching body parts such as the mouth or going to the washroom. This tough-as-nails silicone sponge is antimicrobial and infused with peach fragrance to keep odors at bay and infuse your cleaning routine with a fresh scent, sans harmful chemical alternatives. But a little hygiene can help keep your kitchen bug-free this cold and flu season. A kitchen sponge can be used to wash dishes or clean up messes. With their soft texture, microfiber sponges can be used on any surface, which is why they’re highly recommended for washing cars and windows. 10 hygiene rules for in the kitchen? One side is microfiber and when used dry, works like a microfiber cloth and naturally attracts dust. This sponge holds a full cup of water and is incredibly soft, making light work of your Saturday afternoon car washing chore. It held a cup of water in our test and made a fine lather with liquid soap. When you need a comforting meal but don't have a lot of time, whip up one of these fast pasta recipes. Priced between three to four dollars each, this sponge has received a lot of attention. It’s also a little more aesthetically appealing to leave at your sink than a traditional sponge. Silicone sponges aren't a perfect alternative to the standard foam or cellulose kitchen sponge — but they do have a lot of benefits. Plus, each one is made from a pretty printed fabric you won't mind looking at every day. Buy Miracle Market Silicone Dish Sponge 4.72 x 2.75 x 0.62", 3 Pack | Gentle & Hygienic Kitchen Silicone Sponge for Non-Scratch Dish Washing, Cleaning | Colorful Multipurpose Dish Scrubber on Amazon.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders It removed the food and oil quickly, too, so you weren’t putting extra pressure on the pan as you cleaned. When a sponge is specifically approved for Teflon nonstick coatings, you can feel super confident using it on your pots and pans. This is another reusable sponge that functions more like a dishrag than a sponge, as it can be thrown in both the washer and dryer when it needs cleaning. Sold on making the swap? The same time frame applies to dishcloths. It was funded by the Institute of Applied Research (IAF) of Furtwangen University and published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Scientific Reports on an open-access basis, so it can be read free of charge online. There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza. If your kitchen hygiene there, you can turn the kitchen into a real spinner in a short time. Because these alternatives have fewer crevices and are made of quick-drying materials like silicon, bamboo, and bristles, they're less likely to facilitate bacteria growth. Unlike with cellulose sponges, food residue isn’t an issue in terms of longevity, because the Superior Performance – Ultra Micro Fiber Miracle Sponge is washable and reusable. Like a nightclub, regular cleaning may help but many sponge owners don't seem to be cleaning their sponges adequately. A sponge dotted with flecks of food sitting out on the sink is unsightly and unhygienic. The quick-drying, eco-friendly, easy-to-use, and, ultimately, far more hygienic cleaning tool of choice for your dinnerware. It only takes a matter of seconds to change textures. Butternut squash might be fall's most versatile (and beloved!) This can be more difficult as the water must be heated to a boil in order to kill bacteria. You can move from job to job and different types of surfaces without needing to switch sponges. In the end, the least amount of effort and ability to complete the job quickly made the Scrub Daddy our pick for most ergonomic. Not something you want to think about it when you’re using that same sponge on a later load of dishes. The Natural Sea Sponge is a quickly renewable natural resource that is native to the waters surrounding Florida. Natural sea sponges grow on the ocean’s floors and are 100-percent natural and earth-friendly. Courtesy of Kitchiny, Credit: When we needed to bust out the big guns, the Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty was our answer. None of our reviews are sponsored. Different brands use different colors to indicate abrasiveness level, so check the package to find the level of softness that works for your cleaning job. and surfaces without scratching. In cool water, it’s rigid with more scrubbing power. Bacteria thrive on the food particles and residue left behind on a sponge. Even after you wash it and rinse it. Courtesy of Ty Mecham & Rocky Luten, Credit: This sponge is especially popular for cars, because it won’t scratch the metal. Here are the nasty secrets of your kitchen sponge — and what you should use to wash your dishes instead. Wash these anti-microbial and anti-fungal options by hand with warm water and dish soap after each use and compost them when they're past the point of no return. They can even be used in the shower as a personal care product. On the other end of the spectrum, the sea sponge and microfiber sponges took a little more than 24 hours to completely dry. Each sponge was used to scrub a baked egg-and-cheese dish and then rinsed thoroughly under running water. Introduction: A kitchen sponge is an age-old kitchen tool that has been existing for generations after generations. First, we whipped up a meal of scrambled eggs and cheese, undoubtedly a messy affair. Shop Now: Kitchiny Silicone Bottle Brush, $9, greencitizen.com. Scrub Daddy is our choice for best sponge due to its versatility, scrubbing power and hygienic properties. It also rinses clean, so you don’t have to worry about food particles going in the washing machine. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. After all, the more pressure and length of time it takes to get something clean, the harder it is on your hand, wrist and arm. Then we scoured the pan with one of the sponges to remove all the dried-on bits of egg and cheese to see if it would scratch the nonstick coating in the process. When you’re cleaning up liquid messes, absorbency becomes a critical factor of a useful sponge. The Scrub Daddy’s silicone surface glided along the pan without any noise or snags. Store the excess solution in an empty plastic milk jug under the sink so you always have it on hand, since you’ll want a fresh bowl of bleach solution for each session. Last but not least, the bright yellow color and smiley face make this sponge fun to use (especially for kids). Gravity caused the top half to dry quickly, but water pooled in the bottom half and took the same amount of time to dry as when we left it on a flat surface. We do extensive research and hands-on testing, so you can trust the products we recommend. Another cool feature to the Scrub Daddy is you can use it dry to make light work of removing older, set-in stains. What really impressed us about this sponge is how well it rinses clean. Bought in bulk, this sponge is the most cost-effective of our top finalists. Out of our five tests — Rinsability, Scratch Test, Ergonomic Comfort, Drying Time and Absorbency — the Scrub Daddy surpassed the other sponges four out of five times. You can even use a Scrub Daddy sponge in a potted plant for an aerating effect and good drainage. We found it especially useful in the bathroom, where we used it with Bon Ami Polishing Cleanser to attack soap scum on tile and the tub. Some of the surfaces we studied were: Teflon-coated or other nonstick cookware is easy to damage with an abrasive sponge, and it’s not a good idea to eat food cooked in a nonstick pan that has been scratched. The study was carried out by researchers from Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Furtwangen University and the German Research Centre for Environmental Health, all in Germany. Explore the best in fall perennials and start planning your autumn garden's layout. Easily the most innovative and effective sponge to come out in a generation, the Scrub Daddy is a worthwhile and versatile addition to your kitchen. It did take extra pressure to remove the cheese, which was more tiring on the arm, but because it’s so soft, it didn’t cause any damage to the frying pan. We found that the Scrub Daddy was the most versatile, able to wash dishes, remove soap scum from a bathtub and scour the insects off of a tire wheel and car exterior without scratching the paint. Organisms can become lodged in between the sponge, and in this moist environment with plenty of food, new bacteria can grow at the rate of once every 20 minutes. To clean it, simply toss it in the washing machine on a hot cycle once a week. We earn a commission when you purchase items through our links. In order to lower the risk of cross-contamination, we recommend that you clean your sponges daily. In warm water, it’s softer and more pliable. There are three effective ways to do this: Another solution: Adopt the growing trend of using better-for-you sponges in your own kitchen. The Dobie Cleaning Pad is like two sponges in one: a soap-holding sponge wrapped in nylon netting. Each one has a drying rope for easy and complete drying between uses. But fear not, there is hope for a more hygienic kitchen without abandoning the sponge as a cleaning tool. Not surprisingly, the most absorbent sponges took the longest to dry and the least absorbent was fastest, even when they were completely wrung out. After sanitizing with either method, wring the sponge out, and allow it to dry to prevent any new bacteria from growing. How to Clean Dishcloths & Sponges. The main purpose of a sponge is scrubbing to remove food and debris. The smile part of the sponge accommodates the curve of dishes and is especially convenient for cleaning spoons. So, it's important not only to wash your hands, but also to clean kitchen surfaces and sponges to prevent the spread of bacteria. Then try our go-to menu. Each sponge should last at least two months before becoming less effective. this website. For the best results, clean your sponges a few times a week; otherwise you’ll have an increased risk of bacteria growth, not to mention a bad odour around the sink. Or soy bacon, if that's how you roll. This means that you could sanitize these sponges at the end of a day, and they would dry overnight. A 2017 study found that the kitchen sponge you’re using may contain as many as 45 billion bacteria per square centimeter. With the Scrunge, you can go from one task to the next, because it rinses thoroughly clean no matter what kind of job it has just tackled. However, you still should be careful and always test first in an inconspicuous area. While sponges are a highly effective cleaning tool, the downside is that they can be an ideal breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. This may not be the sponge you want to use to soak up a large liquid mess, but we appreciated how quickly it dries out, making it a less hospitable environment for bacteria. It will remove paint, and while that makes it less valuable in the scratch-free metric, it also makes the sponge versatile when you need to remove paint from surfaces and is yet gentle enough to remove paint from your skin. Here's how to disinfect it properly using a dishwasher, microwave, or vinegar. We found that in addition to the size and shape of a sponge, firmness and scrubbing power played a role in how comfortable the sponge is to use. In order to test this, we gave each sponge a workout on a frying pan with nonstick coating. In addition to cleaning your sponge and replacing it regularly, there are a few “don’ts” to keep in mind. So, what should you do? Courtesy of Ekobo, 11 Better-for-You Sponges for a More Sanitary Clean.

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