I Put 4 Fan-Favorite Sponges to Work for a Week, and the Winner Was Clear
Cleaning tools that work hard so I don’t have to are my jam. While I love a well-designed bucket or a cordless vacuum cleaner that blows any other I’ve tried out of the water, effective kitchen cleaning tools are my favorite because I spend so much time in the kitchen. Specifically, I spend a bunch of that time at the sink washing dishes. With a household of seven, there’s a lot of cooking and cleaning to be done. Anything that makes the task easier is something I’d gladly — and quickly — add to my cleaning tool box.
To that end, I decided to test out a few of my usual sponges, plus some others that I don’t typically use, to find which was really working the hardest. I figured that picking the best sponge would make a significant difference in the time and energy I spend scrubbing dishes.
I included three of my very favorite sponges: the Scrub Daddy, the E-Cloth Kitchen Dynamo, and the O-Cedar Scrunge. I also added another I haven’t tried to my experiment: the Skura Style sponge. To test them, I used each sponge for about a week on dishes as well as a few tougher-to-clean items like oven racks and pans with baked-on gunk.
Now, before you ask, what about the old Scotch-Brite sponge? They’re a trusted classic, but they’ve never been my personal go-to. For starters, I don’t like how they feel when they’re new. Anyone else? Also, one use of the sponge on eggs or cheese ruins it because it’s impossible to get that kind of sticky stuff off the scrubby surface. I do like to use these sponges for tougher jobs because they are inexpensive and I don’t feel bad if I run one to the ground during an especially tough cleaning job. They are cost-effective too, making them less painful to replace frequently, but the user experience in the meantime isn’t the best, in my opinion.
Now, onto the other four contenders! The photos included are after a week of scrubbing and cleaning. Here’s how they stood up.
You can’t go wrong with the Scrub Daddy in terms of effectiveness. The design is ergonomic (and cute!), making it easy to clean pots and pans, as well as glasses and silverware. The functionality is also ingenious — the temperature of the water changes the stiffness of the sponge, so you can control what the sponge feels like, depending on what you’re cleaning. In addition to dish-washing, the Scrub Daddy excels at tougher cleaning projects, like cleaning scorched food from a stovetop, or the oven interior. I love that you can tap the sponge against a surface to dislodge food bits that get stuck in it, and I regularly throw it in the dishwasher to clean it more thoroughly. The only thing I don’t like about the Scrub Daddy is that it does disintegrate somewhat quickly, although this could be a product of the heavy use that happens in our large household. At $3 a pop, though, I want my sponges to last a bit longer than Scrub Daddies do. As a result, I save my Scrub Daddy sponges for bigger projects rather than everyday dishwashing.
These O-Cedar Scrunges (scrub sponge) first caught my eye years ago when their packaging promised “Even eggs and cheese won’t stick!” (You already know about my egg and cheese issues when it comes to sponges.) I’ve bought these regularly since and they’ve become a staple in our home. They are very much like the standard Scotch-Brites, but they live up to their promise: Their scrubby parts release even sticky, stringy food easily. Additionally, they’ve held up better than the Scotch-Brites (plus their spongy part doesn’t feel weird, which I admit, may only be a problem to me). Because they are a bit more hardy, I do like using these sponges for tougher cleaning jobs, although their slightly higher price cancels this out at a certain point. However, these “scrunges” are just like any typical sponge that has nooks and crannies for bits of food to hide in. I replace these once a week and the cost and waste definitely add up.
Skura Style Sponge
These Scandinavian Skura Style sponges were new to me, and when I read about them I had to try them. Imagine my excitement when I read the following on their Amazon: “Unlike other sponges, Skura sponges rinse clean. They leave no gunk behind — not even a cheesy omelet.” The sponges are a foam material that doesn’t trap food, and also dries very quickly. As a result, these sponges feel like they stay quite clean. (I’ve also run them through the dishwasher with no issues.) Another fun feature is that the markings on these sponges fade when it’s time to replace them. Ours was used for a few weeks before any fading was noted. Even though these sponges look and feel like they might be more delicate than the other sponge contenders, they’ve held up remarkably well. In addition, they’re extremely adept at cleaning out dirty pots and pans and tackling other tough jobs. These sponges, overall, have earned a steady spot on the list of sponges that have my respect.
E-Cloth Kitchen Dynamo
The E-Cloth Kitchen Dynamo is my top pick after trying all four. The microfiber strands are amazing at grabbing dirt and food, even without a large scrubby surface. I can throw these sponges in either the dishwasher or the washing machine. They come out completely clean and sanitized — and I know I can do this many, many times. In fact, they have a 100-wash guarantee. The effectiveness, versatility, and longevity of this sponge makes its rather high price point (they are $12 for a two-pack) a non-issue. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with E-cloths. These sponges are no exception and I recommend them to everybody.