When looking for the best cleaning sponge for your dishes, there are many options available and it can get overwhelming. You might even think to yourself that all kitchen sponges do the same thing so it doesn’t matter which one you pick. Here is all your need to know about the best cleaning sponge for your kitchen so you can make an informed decision without all the overwhelm.

The classic but very handy dish sponge, like the kitchen cloth, is a staple tool in most modern kitchens. It has a very important job of clearing food and debris off of your dishes whether you have a dishwasher or not. I personally use my dish sponge daily, multiple times a day. With such a heavily used tool in the home, it might be worth looking into the best options so that you can spend less time scrubbing, and more time doing other more pleasant activities.

Choosing a sponge is not an easy feat and there are many companies that have perfected the kitchen sponge meaning that the competition is tough. Many sponges have small modifications to the original square sponge that it is worth looking into how it can make your dishwashing life much easier. To help you find the perfect sponge for your modern kitchen, I have created this guide with all the pros and cons you’ll need to know before making a decision.

*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Best Cleaning Sponge

Nano Sponge – Soap Free

I really like the Nano Sponge. It lifts dirt and grease without needing much dish soap because of the Nanolon Fiber which allows the sponge to clean with just water.

This sponge can be used to wipe down counters and clean greasy bakeware without the need for soap. I would still use soap on the dish to ensure all of the bacteria is truly washed away, but you actually do not need it.

This sponge is double sided, one side is for scrubbing and the other side is for wiping or absorbing liquid. While this sponge can be used for many functions, it doesn’t trap odors like many modern sponges tend to do. This sponge can be used beyond the kitchen such as the bathroom and any other home job you might have on your hands.

The Nano sponge will stay odor free for 30 days, or you get your money back.

This sponge is quite large, sizing in at 4×6 inches which means it does cover quite a large surface area which is helpful when cleaning large areas such as counters and tables.

Overall, the Nano sponge is an excellent choice for a cleaning sponge around your home.


The Natural Sea Sponge – Eco-Friendly

Another favourite cleaning sponge of mine is The Natural Sea Sponge. It’s good for the planet and great in your kitchen. This sponge is harvested from the bottom of the ocean, and at one point in time was a living thing. It is no longer living once it is harvested.

This is 100% natural and organic and eco-friendly as well as biodegradable. Because this sponge is not man-made, it’s not an abrasive material that can scratch surfaces. It is a boss at soaking up water and other liquids as this was its natural intended purpose.

This sponge might not be your go-to sponge when you have stubborn food particles to scrub off of a plate, but it is amazing at all other aspects of cleaning. You can even use it in the shower, wash your windows or your car with this sponge.

People have been using sea sponges for over 2000 years for all sorts of purposes, and you can find many places to use the sea sponge around your home as well. This eco -friendly sponge is not an endangered species so you don’t have to worry about that.

These sea sponges are large in size, and you can cut it into smaller pieces if you wish.

This sea sponge can last your years and years and they do not retain odour as many man-made sponges might. Overall this is a great eco-friendly option for your home.


Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Silicone Scrubber – Most Hygienic

Another great cleaning sponge is the Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Silicone Scrubber. It is long-lasting and does not retain odors like many other sponges.

If you a germaphobe, this silicone sponge is for you. You can microwave a cellulose sponge all you want, but it will never be as clean as a silicone one can get after it has been used.

Silicone sponges do not feel like the cellulose sponges that you might be used to. They do not hold onto germs like traditional sponges do and can be used for long periods of time. This sponge might take some getting used to due to its flexibility and soft bristles at first. You’re going to want to limit the amount of dish soap you use when using the sponge because too much soap can cause this sponge to slip around like a wet bar of soap.

You can use this sponge for scrubbing potatoes, cleaning makeup brushes and even picking up lit and hair. This sponge is easy to clean in the dishwasher if you like.

Once you get used to the feel of the sponge and how it actually works, you will love how not smelly and not germy it really is.


Scrub Daddy® – Most Versatile

The ever so adorable Scrub Daddy® sponge is a very cool, innovative design that I absolutely love. I mainly use my Scrub Daddy® sponge in the bathroom or outdoors, but it does have a lot of purpose in the kitchen as well.

This sponge is shaped like a smiley face and has a very unique just add water feature. In cold water, this sponge hardens up and becomes tough which makes it ideal to scrub tough messes. In war, water, the sponge becomes soft, like a regular cellulose sponge and has a nice lather. The circle shape makes it easy to get into tighter places such as the corner of a casserole dish. It tackles both big jobs, like baked-on cheese and delicate jobs like wine glasses.

The scrub daddy is pretty impressive when it comes to cleaning pots and pans without leaving any scratches, and even the bathtub too. Overall this sponge dries super quickly, within hours, making it pretty difficult for germs to gather since bacteria thrive in a moist environment and a food supply of trapped grime. This sponge can be thrown into the washing machine or dishwasher and does not have an odour, even after lots of use.

Since bacteria thrive in a moist environment and a food supply of trapped particles, the Scrub Daddy is less likely to harbour nasty bacteria. It can also be thrown in the washing machine or dishwasher. In fact, one of the ways you can tell that this sponge is more hygienic than other sponges is its refreshing lack of odour.

Whether you’re cleaning up stuck-on potatoes from a baking tray or looking to create a rich lather to coax away the oil from your frying pan, the Scrub Daddy is a good thing to have in your kitchen.

The scrub daddy overall is a very useful tool for all parts of the home.


O-Cedar Multi-Use Scrounge Scrub Sponge – Most Non Scratch

The best cellulose-based sponge is the O-Cedar Multi-Use Scrounge Scrub Sponge. It has an abrasive side and a soft sponge side. This sponge has a rippled surface that lifts up dirt and grime and requires less elbow grease to get a tough job done.

This cellulose sponge is great for tough jobs like basked-on stovetops and boiler pants. This sponge is endorsed for use on Teflon coatings.

Overall this sponge rinses clean really well and the scrubber does not trap food particles such as cheese and egg. It can rinse through thoroughly without much effort.

These sponges are durable and odour resistant for up to 2 months. You can microwave or dishwasher this sponge if you want to, but it is not required.

This sponge is thick and very absorbent, so it will take more time to dry out than a silicone sponge.

This is a cost-effective, comfortable sponge for any kitchen and is overall a good choice.


Jetz Scrubz Sponge – Splurgeworthy

The Jetz Scrubz Sponge is a long-lasting plastic foam sponge that isn’t exactly environmentally friendly to make, but it does last so long that you will cut down on landfill waste. This sponge is not recyclable either, so when it disintegrates, you will be sending plastic down your drain.

This sponge can last up to and further than 8 months! This sponge can hold onto soap longer than many cellulose sponges and they don’t smell funky after a day. Even with long use, this sponge does not disintegrate over time into your sink.

This sponge is a very fashionable shade of black which means that it does not stain, even after scrubbing off tough tomato sauce residue.

To keep this sponge clean, you simply have to wash it well and squeeze out all the liquid after each use. You can toss this sponge into your dishwasher once a week to keep it sanitized. You can also place it in your washing machine if you do not have a dishwasher.


Scotch-Brite – Best For Tough Jobs

The tried and true Scotch-Brite heavy duty sponge is a staple in my home, and it should be one in yours too!

This is the best sponge to clean pots that were not cleaned right after dinner and even scrape off baked-on food on the oven racks. This sponge is softer than steel wool but is very effective for deep cleaning jobs.

This sponge is very useful in the bathroom and it attacks soap scum very well. Thinner than most cellulose sponges, this sponge actually is very comfortable to hold and the abrasive side stays in tact even after hard scrubbing action.

These are very affordable and handy to have around the home, overall a must-have sponge for the house.


Scrub- it Non-Scratch Microfiber Sponge – Best Combo Sponge

Clean smarter, not harder with the Scrub- it Non-Scratch Microfiber Sponge. This sponge is the best of both worlds as it ha both microfiber cloth features and sponge action. These sponges were made to last and are made from the best quality polyester, polyamide and polyurethane, ensuring you they won’t wear out in a week like the average store-bought scouring pads do.

The tough kitchen scrub sponge contain no harmful chemicals. For the health and safety of our customers, we ensure that our sponges are 100% safe to use.

When a scouring pad becomes a little… smelly, you usually replace them, but why not save money and throw them in the washing machine? These sponges are built to last and are 100% washer and dryer safe for easy cleaning.


Klean Essentials Natural Sponge – Best Natural

The Klean Essentials Natural Sponge uses only the highest quality natural coconut fibre and wood cellulose in the production of these natural sponge scrubbers. Just one pump or squeeze of dish soap creates a rich, foamy lather for deep cleaning. Keep dishes, countertops, sinks, bathtubs and toilets looking fresh & amazing.

Scour and scrub through even the toughest grease and stuck-on food with ease. Our natural dish sponge is sturdy and well made. A tough but non-scratch scouring pad alleviates hard tasks and chores like scrubbing pots & pans, cleaning walls and washing the floor.

Klean Essentials is dedicated to environmental sustainability at every stage of processing, production and packaging. All of these sponges as well as our packaging is 100% Biodegradable.


Miw Piw Natural Dish Sponge – Best Non Abosrbent

The Miw Piw Natural Dish Sponge is 100% plastic-free. These bio-degradeable kitchen scrubbies are loufa vegatable, plant-based fibers come with brown paper packaging make them eco-friendly, breathable, sustainable, recyclable replace all kinds of household scrub made from plastic. Toss into compost pile when they’re worn out.

The persistent part of the oldest loofah is selected then sewed 4 layers together to make the organic Loofah dishwasher sponge thick and close enough so that food does not get stuck in it after washing and durable for a year.

Water shape design so it can be used on all types of nonstick cookware, pot, pan, glass, dish and fit into a small cup. Besides, it has a little loop on the top to hang it dry quickly.

Unsponge veggie loofah is soft in water but hard enough to get the tough stuff done. The more you use it the more it becomes soft – No sticky oil – Non scratch abrasive- Dry fastly.


Guide To Buying The Best Cleaning Sponge

To help you find the perfect dish sponge I have come up with these must-have and awesome features to look for in a new sponge. The main purpose of a sponge is to clean up food and debris from your dishes.

Sponges help to remove caked-on food from utensils, pans and plates. but also they need to be able to scrub stovetops, remove soap scum from bathtubs and some are used for washing cars. There are many ways to use a cleaning sponge, and there is a lot of information to process when it comes to choosing one for your needs. Because I did the research for you in finding the best cleaning sponge, you may only need to purchase 1 or 2 different types of sponges to cover all the needs in your household. Versatility is very important when choosing a kitchen sponge.

You also need to take a look at the absorbency of a kitchen sponge so that you can use it to soak up extra liquid from spills or cleaners. You also want it to be able to hold soapy water so you can clean your kitchen. A sponge that holds a lot of water will also remain wet for a longer period of time which could be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The trick is to find the balance.

Another thing to consider is comfort. Your sponge is a tool that you use on a daily basis, so it should be comfortable to hold and grip as you are washing your dishes. Here are some more important factors to consider when choosing a cleaning sponge.

Absorbency: When you are cleaning up messes that are liquid, absorbency is a critical factor to a sponge. It also needs to hold soapy water for extra cleaning power during scrubbing.

Versatility: When looking for a new dish sponge, versatility will help determine if this is a good pick or not. A sponge that can tackle multiple tasks will be more valuable than one that can only handle one task. Sponges with a double-sided option are usually a better choice if you want to use your sponge for multiple tasks such as wiping down glassware, pots and pans and the kitchen counters.

Durability: When I used to purchase my dish sponges from the dollar store, I had to throw my sponge away on a daily basis. Not only is this not sustainable, it also means that the sponges were simply not durable. Look out for a durable sponge so that it can do all the hard work for you and keep a good shape. In the long run, you will be saving money with a more durable cleaning sponge because you’ll be shopping for them less frequently.

Toughness: How tough do you need your sponge to be? If you like to scrub your pots and pants with a sponge rather than a dish brush, then you might need a cleaning sponge that has a very tough scrubbing surface. Many modern sponges do offer one abrasive side and a soft sponge side so you can handle the tough messes easily.

Hygienic: Sponges harbour some of the worst bacteria you can find in your home. Finding the best cleaning sponge that is easy to disinfect will ensure that you can keep your home in a healthier state. You do not want to invest money into a sponge that spreads harmful pathogens. Some of the sponge options have an antimicrobial coating to keep the bacteria from spreading all over your kitchen. Most of the kitchen sponges can be disinfected in the microwave, washing machine or dishwasher.

Material: Sponges range from the material they are made from. There are microfiber, 3M, cellulose and foam sponges available. I personally like foam and microfiber sponges, for all sorts of different uses around the home.

Microfiber – Microfiber cleaning sponges are relatively new to the market. These kinds of sponges are made with woven microfibres which are finer than a strand of human hair. These thing fibres have a high absorbency rate which makes this an ideal material for a kitchen sponge. These microfiber-style sponges can reach into tiny spots and corners and work really well on countertops to wipe away dirt and grime. Therefore, these types of sponges are very soft are not meant for scrubbing hard-to-clean pots and pans. You can wash them in your washing machine at a lower temperature. Avoid washing microfiber sponges in the dishwasher as the heat is too high.
Cellulose – This is the most common material that sponges are made from. Cellulose has a high absorbency rate and is inexpensive to make and buy. They often come in many bright colours and can be used for many kitchen cleaning tasks. A few cellulose sponges even have an antimicrobial coating that prevents harmful bacteria to build up in between uses. On its own, a cellulose sponge is not abrasive enough to tackle harder-to-clean messes, which is why some cellulose sponges have an abrasive side on them.
Eco-Friendly – There are eco-friendly materials available for the eco-conscious consumer. Natural sponges are often made with very absorbent materials such as agave plants and bamboo. These are sustainable options for those who want to reduce plastic waste on this planet and create a better future for our later generations.
Rough: When you are looking for a dish sponge, you might want to consider having out abrasive, or tough, sponge on hand for the greasy pots and pans. Choose a non-scratching abrasive sponge to protect your Teflon, Non-Stick and stainless steel pots and pans.
Polyester and nylon: Polyester and nylon are synthetic fibres that are woven into a super absorbent, highly durable material that has a spongy core. These material options will help you scour your dishes without losing their integrity. They are easy to sanitize, however they are fairly wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.
Silicone: Some sponges are actually made out of silicone material. These sponges are less smelly, they dry quickly and are generally cleaner and have less bacteria on them than traditional materials.

Tips for Using Dish Sponge

When using your cleaning sponge, you will want to ensure you are using it with safe and hygenic practices in mind.

  • Never leave your sponge soaking wet and in the sink when you have finished washing up.
  • Wring out dish sponge after each use and leave it to fully dry in a non-wet space.
  • Naturally disinfect your cleaning sponge with vinegar.
  • Use different sponges for separate tasks such as one sponge for meat surfaces and one sponge for veggie surfaces.
  • Use different coloured sponges for different purposes.

How To Clean A Sponge

Sponges are a very effective cleaning tool and a necessary one in most households. They do hoard an insane amount of bacteria and are an ideal breeding ground for many germs due to it’s moist environment. Organisms become wedged in between the sponge and all the extra food particles and moist environment can make bacteria grow in as little as 20 minutes.

You should be cleaning your sponges on a daily basis to avoid cleaning your dishes with a bacteria-infested sponge. Her are a few methods in which you can use to wash your sponge.

  • Submerge the sponge in a bleach and water mixture and soak it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To make your bleach solution add 14oz of bleach into a container with 14 cups of water. Store the extra solution away so you can use it on a daily basis.
  • Microwaving your sponge is another option. The sponge should be wet ad then placed into the microwave. You can also place the sponge into a bowl of water and then microwave it for 2 minutes on high.

After you finish sanitizing your sponge, whichever method you choose, wring it out and allow it to fully dry to prevent new bacteria from growing. Cleaning your sponge daily can help reduce the risk of spreading harmful bacteria. You should also replace your sponge once a month or more. If your sponge starts to smell, it’s best to throw it away.

Remember that sponges do not complete every task you need. You should not wipe up meat juice from beef and chicken with your sponge in order to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria which can lead to food poisoning. Also you should be using kitchen cloths to wipe up counters instead of your sponge. You can also use disinfecting wipes or paper towel.

Best Cleaning Sponge Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Prevent My sponge From Stinking?

Kitchen sponges can gain an odor pretty quickly. To prevent your sponge from getting smelly you should allow your sponge to dry in between uses but wringing it out completely and placing it on a dry space after you use it. Soak the sponge in vinegar or lemon juice for a few hours after you use it to disinfect it. You can even place it into the microwave for 2 minutes to quickly disinfect.

When Should I Replace My Sponge?

You should be replacing your cleaning sponge once a week, if not more often when handling meat products. You can always disinfect your sponge in the microwave by placing a damp sponge into the microwave for two minutes.

Are kitchen sponges alive?

Kitchen sponges are not alive. They are manmade with synthetic materials.

What is better than a kitchen sponge?

A dish brush can be a better choice for some tough kitchen messes if you prefer to not use a sponge.

Are kitchen sponges sanitary?

Kitchen sponges are more dirty than a toilet, and therefore must be sanitized on a daily basis. Dangerous bacteria such as E-coli or Salmonella can live in kitchen sponges which can cause severe illness or in some cases death in human beings.

Where should I store my kitchen sponge?

Find a dry location to store your kitchen sponge when it is not in use. Ensure you wring it out completely before placing it into your dry space.

Is it better to wash dishes with a sponge or dishcloth?

I prefer to wash dishes with a sponge and wipe counters with a cloth.

When should you throw away a sponge?

You should throw away your kitchen sponge every week and get a new one out for any cleaning jobs you may have to tackle next.

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