This Sponge Was Able to Stand Up to an Impossibly Dirty Baking Sheet and Super-Gross Grill Grates

published Jul 5, 2021
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If you’re an enthusiastic home cook like me, it’s easy to get a little too aggressive when it comes to high temperatures and seasonings. The resulting meals may be delicious, but cleaning a pan used for Sriracha-glazed potatoes can be downright intimidating!

Translation: I’m pretty much always spending quality time scrubbing my pots and pans after dinner!

Further translation: I have tried just about everything to get them cleaned — including every sponge out there, specialty cleaners, my mom’s DIY concoction (the woman loves her baking soda), and more.

Until recently, I had never tried the Scour Daddy sponge. This hard-working little guy has received a lot of love lately, including here at Kitchn, and also from Vanesa Amaro, a professional house cleaner (and popular TikTok star) who swears by the sponge. I do have love for the original Scrub Daddy, so I decided to pick up a pack and give it a whirl on my most offensive pans.

What’s a Scour Daddy? It’s made from polyurethane foam and mesh and bills itself as being tough enough to, well, scour — while gentle enough to use on non-nonstick pans. I was intrigued!

Does the Scour Daddy Sponge Work?

In a single word: Absolutely!

I first put the Scour Daddy to work on a so-called nonstick baking sheet I had truly disrespected. After roasting a few cups of cherry tomatoes with butter and honey, the pan seemed past the point of no return. It was covered in caked-on, gooey bits that wouldn’t come off — even when pried with a spatula. Normally, my plan would have been to let it soak, then vigorously scrub it with hot water and rivers of dish detergent. 

Like the Scrub Daddy, the Scour Daddy stays firm when hydrated with cold water and becomes more flexible with warm water, so I started with cold for a better abrasive grip. I will admit I didn’t expect much, because cold water doesn’t typically do much for caked-on butter. But the Scour Daddy went to town and after just a few swipes with the sponge, the grease and crusty bits were lifted from the pan. Amazing! I added a few drops of soap and continued wiping the surface clean. After a quick rinse, I switched to hot water. The sponge turned into a pliable tool that easily worked itself into the corners and sides of the pan. 

Although I expected to switch to a dishrag after the worst of it came off, there was no need. The pan was scrubbed (or should I say, scoured) clean, rinsed, and dried in less than five minutes. And with minimal soap!

But nonstick baking pans are child’s play. How would the Scour Daddy stand up to my decades-old grill grates? I inherited my mini Weber grill from my folks, and I used to toast marshmallows on it in middle school. This grill is seriously old, and the grates are proof: They were caked with years of grease, charcoal, and mysterious bits of food. 

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

After 15 minutes with my Scour Daddy, a can of Bon Ami, and some tough scrubbing, the grates looked a lot better. Were they shining like new? I think that ship has sailed, but judging from the amount of residue that washed down my drain, I cleaned a lot of crud from the surface. The difference was measurable — I could even see the original metal color in some places. I definitely feel a lot less worried now about cooking my burgers. 

As for the sponge, I rinsed it clean and put it back on my countertop. It still had life left to live! Some cleaning tools can only go for a round or two of heavy-duty cleaning before they need to be tossed out. This sponge? No, it can last.

This is definitely a tool I’ll be buying more of. And at just a little more than $1 a pad, why not? I was surprised that the Scour Daddy sponge can be used elsewhere around the house. I had assumed it was “just” for the kitchen! But because the package suggested tackling outdoor areas, I’ve suddenly got big weekend plans for my patio furniture!

Have you used the Scour Daddy? Share your thoughts in the comments below!