I Tried the $3 Sponge That’s Touted as “Your Dutch Oven’s Secret Cleaning Weapon”

updated Nov 24, 2020
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Skura sponge

I love my Le Creuset Dutch oven more than anything else in my kitchen. (Unless my pup happens to wander in. If she’s in there, then I love her the most.) But you wouldn’t always be able to tell from looking at it. I’ve been known to let onions sauté for too long, only to return to my pot to find patchy brown spots of burnt-on food. My favorite chili recipe also takes a toll on the shiny white interior. And don’t even get me started on the outside: I cautiously picked out a pot in a bright, sunny yellow and, good gosh, does it stain easily. (Sorry, I got started.) So when reps at Skura, a subscription-based sponge company, reached out to tell me about their new sponge that’s bound to be “your Dutch oven’s secret cleaning weapon,” I was interested.

Buy: Very Skrubby Sponge, $6 for two at Skura Style

We have some methods on the site for cleaning burnt-on food and discolored exteriors, but streamlining things is always nice. If I could use a special sponge to clean up my pot in the same post-dinner dishwashing session as the rest of my dirty dishes, then why not? No futzing with baking soda, vinegar, or oven cleaner! Just wash like usual and call it a night!

I got my hands on a box and made plans to make my famously messy chili. Time for some first impressions: The sponge is thin and double-sided. The scrubby parts feel almost like metallic sandpaper, if that makes sense. They’re scratchy but not so scratchy that they’ll ruin your pot’s enamel. The box says to avoid using the sponges on nonstick cookware, fine crystal and china, or stainless steel appliances. And it says NOT to microwave it … although you shouldn’t really be microwaving your other sponges, anyway. (The box also says the sponges are odor-resistant, rinse clean, and feature antimicrobial technology.) I had high hopes!

I’m happy to report that the chili cleaned up oh-so-easily. Seriously, like I was just using a regular sponge on a regular plate after a regular chicken dinner.

The real magic, though, is how well the sponge worked on the outside of the pot. I didn’t take a before pic. Shame on me, I know, but I honestly didn’t expect it to work so well and I just started cleaning it on a whim. For reference, just know that the outside of my pot looked a lot like this to start. With just a little bit of effort, nearly every streak and splotch came right off. My pot was looking good as new! The next day, I tried the onion test. I cut up half an onion and let the pieces sauté away while I hopped on some Zoom calls. Once again, the sponge cleaned the mess right up (this time, I did have to use a little elbow grease, but not much.)

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Feeling pretty pleased, I decided to tackle my Dansk pot, which I use almost exclusively for making rice and grains and had taken on two permanent rings of crud and discoloration around the bottom. No matter what I tried, I could never get them off. But then I tried a few swipes with this sponge, and wouldn’t you know … it was like they were never there!

While I’m very happy to know that I can call in baking soda and other cleaners, should I find myself in an extra-bad situation, I’m even happier to know that I now have a sponge in my arsenal that can tackle my most common Dutch oven messes.

How do you clean the bigger messes in your Dutch oven?