The Cheesy Kitchen Cleaning Product I Can’t Live Without

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I often make shopping decisions based on form and not on function. I have dish towels that are way more pretty than they are absorbent. I have beautiful leather coasters that stick to the bottom of my glasses when you go to take a sip. And I have a cabinet full of adorable juice glasses that are too small for even a not-thirsty child.

I tend to prefer things that are nice to look at and am willing to adjust how I operate if it means getting to use something cute.

Yet, I happen to have a basket full of Scrub Daddy sponges, which I find to be incredibly cheesy. (Even the name is kinda cheesy!) And I couldn’t live without them.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

I got my first Scrub Daddy from a friend — it was a gift with some dish soap and a few other little items. I had seen them on TV (Shark Tank, how I love to watch you!) but was hesitant to set one out on my counter. I typically use plant-based sponges from Twist because they work just fine and they’re also sleek and simple.

The Scrub Daddy’s neon yellow was fine — I’d happily have yellow over purple! — I just didn’t love the smiley face aspect of it (is it the ’70s again?) and I was unsure that it would even work. If I was going to use this, I wanted it to be ah-mazing. The sponge stayed in its box under the sink for a while until I pulled it out during desperate times.

Here goes, little guy, I thought.

It was so firm and scratchy, I couldn’t even fit it in one of my tiny juice glasses or lather up the soap. But then, as the water got warmer, the sponge really did soften up. (What was happening?) I couldn’t believe the way the material (a high-tech polymer) seemed to morph. I easily cleaned a ton of cups and some plates. Next up: All the spoons. I stuck my middle and pointer fingers into his eyeholes and pretended to airplane a spoon into his mouth (it was funny to me at the time!). I loved the way he happily ate up food scraps and cleaned both sides of the spoon at once. The first washing was a success! I rinsed him and wrung him out before putting him back in my sponge holder.

The second time I used him, I kept the water on a cooler temp to start and scrubbed some caked-on cheese off a few dinner plates and a nonstick skillet. When I was ready for softer jobs, I adjusted the water.

Just like that, I was hooked. I love his scrubbing power. I love that he holds up over time (he lasts more than twice as long as other sponges I’ve used!), which makes up for his more expensive price tag. I love that he rinses clean at the end of a dishwashing session (and you can pop him in the dishwasher for an extra-deep clean). Plus, I guess I don’t totally mind having something smile back at me while I stand at the sink.

Buy: Scrub Daddy, $15 for four

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

The company has since come out with a few other options including a Scrub Mommy, a lemon-scented option; a Sponge Daddy (part Scrub Daddy and part normal sponge); and more. I’ve only ever used the original — and only in the kitchen — so I’m wondering if you’ve tried any of these. And what for?

The reviews on Amazon (even for the original Scrub Daddy) are a mixed bag. What do you think?