Despite its modest appearance, the humble dish sponge is a vital piece of kit for any kitchen. Whether or not you have a dishwasher, chances are you use a cleaning sponge every single day – yet we rarely give our sponges the attention they deserve. A good dish washing sponge can make a world of difference in your kitchen; tackling dirty dishes more easily, and saving you time to spend on more pleasant tasks.
Believe it or not, choosing a sponge can be a real challenge. A whole host of kitchenware companies have leapt at the chance to give the handy sponge an upgrade, and sorting the greats from the gimmicks is a surprisingly difficult task. To help you choose the perfect sponge for your kitchen, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide. We’ve also answered some common questions about how to properly, and hygienically, care for your new sponge.
The Best Sponge for Dishes
Kicking off our list is this surprisingly high tech sponge by Scrub Daddy. Designed with temperature controlled technology, the sponges become firm when exposed to cold water, and soften as the temperature increases. This nifty feature makes these sponges the perfect option whether you’re scrubbing away baked-on food, or washing delicate wine glasses.
The sponges come in three different colors, making it easy to assign different sponges to different tasks, and avoid cross contamination. Their fun, smiley face design ensures the sponges are fun to use, and adds a splash of color to your sink. This friendly visage can be a great source of encouragement when it comes to getting kids to pitch in with the washing up. Each sponge is safe to use on a whole host of different surfaces, including glass, cast iron, stainless steel, non-stick coatings, chrome, copper, and even leather. This incredible versatility lends itself well not just to the kitchen, but other spots such as the bathroom or the car. Whatever you’re cleaning, you can rest assured that the sponge won’t leave any scratches behind. Each sponge can be used for up to eight weeks, thanks to its odor resisting technology. Finally, their ergonomic shape makes for a comfortable and easy grip, giving you 360 degree access to whatever you’re cleaning.
Pack of 3 colorful, multi-purpose sponges
Feature temperature controlled technology: soft in hot water, firm in cold
Color coded to avoid cross-contamination
Fun, smiley face design
Ergonomic for an easy grip
Suitable for cleaning a wide array of surfaces, including non-stick coatings
- BrandScrub Daddy
- Weight2.24 ounces
The next kitchen sponge to make our list is by Scotch-Brite. These non-scratch sponges are carefully designed to meet all your washing up needs. One one side, a gentle yet effective scouring pad cuts through grease and dirt with ease; on the other side, a soft sponge tackles glasses, plates, and cutlery. This handy design saves considerable room around the sink, giving you a less cluttered space to work with.
Each sponge is built to last, too, thanks to durable materials, backed by 3M. These gentle but effective textiles are also suitable for wiping down countertops, stoves, and even inside the oven. Once you’re done, they can be easily sanitised in a dishwasher or microwave. Just like the Scrub Daddy sponges above, they’re designed to be eschew odors, keeping your sink smelling fresher for longer. Overall, there’s a reason why this handy little sponge is the number one best selling scrubber on the market.
Pack of 6 double sided dish sponges
Non-scratch scrubbing side tackles dirt without damaging your surfaces
Absorbent sponge side is perfect for day to day cleaning
Dual function design saves you space around the sink
Built with high quality 3M materials
Number 1 best selling scrubber on the market
- Weight3.2 ounces
O-Cedar have also earned themselves a spot on our list, with these great value multi-purpose sponges. On one side, a powerful scrubber tackles grease and grime without leaving scratches, while on the other side an absorbent and durable sponge takes care of your day to day cleaning needs. The sponge features a unique rippled surface on its scrubber side, specially designed to life away dirt without much effort.
To help you save money, each sponge is built to last up to 20% longer than regular scrubbing sponges. All this adds up to a hardy and handy tool in any kitchen. If you have a lot of Teflon-coated equipment, this could be the perfect sponge for you. Its gentle scrubbing side is specially designed to clean off Teflon, without leaving behind any unwanted damage. Users have successfully used these sponges on everything from barbeque grills to baking pans, to countertops. They’re also great for keeping your stainless steel equipment in shining bright condition.
Pack of multi-purpose kitchen sponges
Powerful scrubber on 1 side tackles grime and grease with ease
Rippled surface lifts away dirt with little effort
Reverse side features a durable and absorbent sponge for day to day use
Lasts 20% longer than a conventional kitchen sponge
Non-scratch scrubber is ideal for Teflon and other non-stick surfaces
Versatile enough for most hard surfaces around the home
- Weight5.6 ounces
Based on their preternatural ability to lift dirt away from dishes without causing any damage, we’d say that the Magic Jetz scrubber has officially earned its moniker. This wear and tear resistant scrubber can be used time and time again, without becoming stained or discolored. It’s tough enough to tackle even baked on food, but gentle enough to avoid scratching your valuable surfaces. In fact, it’s suitable for use on many famously sensitive materials; copper, stainless steel, non-stick coatings, glass, porcelain, and even crystal.
Just one Jetz Scrubz sponge is built to last for several months, which makes them a pretty eco-friendly dishwashing solution. To keep the sponge sanitary between uses, simply pop it in the dishwasher – this removes any lingering bacteria. If you don’t have a dishwasher at hand, they can also be sanitized easily in a pot of boiling water. Users say that these long-lasting sponges are odor-proof, too, keeping your sink area smelling clean and fresh.
Pack of 3 scrubber sponges
Suitable for use on delicate surfaces, such as crystal and non-stick coatings
Each sponge can last for several months
Dishwasher safe for easy sanitizing
- Weight0.8 ounces
Life Miracle have also earned themselves a spot on our list, with this impressive nano sponge. Made with durable Nanolon fiber, it can lift grease, grime, and dirt almost magnetically. In fact, this unique sponge is so good at cleaning that you’ll be able to wipe down surfaces using only water. This not only saves money on cleaning products, it also reduces the amount of potentially dangerous cleaning solutions you’ll need to keep your home safe and hygienic.
Like many of the sponges on our list, this Nanolon option is multi-purpose. On one side, super tough stitching makes for a tough scrubbing surface, allowing you to tackle greasy pots and pans with ease – all without leaving behind a single scratch. On the reverse side, an extra-thick layer of Nanolon fiber offers superior day to day cleaning. You can use your new sponge everywhere from the kitchen counter to delicate plates and glasses. This versatile sponge is a little bigger than many options on the market, too, allowing you to cover large surfaces in no time at all. When it’s time to clean smaller items, simply squeeze the compressible design down to the shape you require.
Unique multi-purpose sponge made with unique Nanolon fiber
Cleans dirt and debris from surfaces with only water
Features 1 scrubbing side and 1 wiping side
Suitable for virtually any surface in your home
Larger size than most sponges
Scratch-free design won’t damage non-stick surfaces
- BrandLife Miracle
- Weight2.4 ounces
Lysol are a well-known name in the cleaning world, and they’ve channeled that expertise towards these impressively durable multi-purpose sponges. Each one is equipped with two distinct sides – one for scrubbing, and one for general cleaning. The scrubbing side has been carefully designed so as not to do damage to most pots, pans, and household surfaces. It features a wavy texture, which sweeps up tough dirt, grease, and grime.
These unique sponges also feature antibacterial protection, helping you to achieve a deeper clean. This technology also helps them to stay cleaner for longer, and keeps unpleasant odors at bay. This antimicrobial treatment also prevents mould and mildew from forming on the sponge. Each Lysol sponge is twice as durable as the equivalent cellulose sponge. Thanks to its soft and flexible material, each sponge is able to maintain its shape without cracking.
Set of multi-purpose dish sponges
One scrubbing side for removing tough grease and baked-on food
Non-scratch design is safe for most surfaces
Treated with an antimicrobial coating for greater hygiene
Twice as durable as cellulose sponger
Great for use all around the house
- Weight1.6 ounces
Scotch-Brite have earned themselves a second spot on our list with their excellent value all-purpose cleaning pads. Whether there’s a pile of dishes in the sink, or you’re wiping down kitchen surfaces, this handy sponge is the perfect tool for the job.
Each yellow cleaning pad can scrub through most foods and grease without leaving any scratches on your valuable kitchen equipment. Made with 3M materials, known for their durability, these sponges are made to last, too. Thanks to their soft yet grippy surfaces, the sponges are incredibly easy to hold during use. Users say that these powerful pads cut down on the time you’ll need to spend at the sink, freeing up your day for more interesting tasks. Their bright yellow design also adds a splash of color to any sink.
Value pack of 24 scrubber sponges
Bright yellow color
Great value for money
Non-scratch surface is ideal for most kitchen equipment
Made with high quality 3M materials
- Weight2.88 ounces
Finding their second spot on our list is Scrub Daddy, with this compact and versatile sponge set. Each sponge features two distinct sides – one for scrubbing through dirt and grease, the other for general cleaning up tasks. The powerful yet gentle scrubber side is guaranteed to remove tough grime without leaving any marks behind. On the flip side, a super absorbent sponge produces 60% more soap suds compared to the average sponge.
Like most Scrub Daddy products, these sponges also come equipped with nifty temperature controlled technology. In cold water, their firm and stiff, for a thorough scrub. Turn up the heat, and the sponge will soften to accommodate more delicate cleaning tasks. Each sponge is a distinct color, making it easy to assign each one to specific tasks, and avoid any cross contamination. They’re simple to care for, too – you can simply sanitize your sponge by placing it in the top rack of a dishwasher, or into the microwave for one minute while damp.
Double sided sponges for diverse kitchen tasks
Scratch-free scrubbing surface on one side
Super absorbent sponge on the other side
Produces up to 60% more suds than a conventional sponge
Temperature controlled: firm while cold, flexible when hot
Distinct colors for specific tasks
Easy to clean in the dishwasher or microwave
- BrandScrub Daddy
- Weight3.68 ounces
If you’re looking for a cleaning miracle, look no further than these microfiber sponges by superior performance. Each machine washable sponge is incredibly durable, allowing you to use it again and again. This is a great way to save yourself a little money, while doing your bit to produce less waste. The soft surface is easy to grip, and each sponge’s relatively large size is perfect for tackling big surfaces such as countertops and stoves.
The microfiber surface is super absorbent, so you’ll have plenty of suds at hand when it’s time to do the washing up. Thanks to the huge surface area of microfiber fabric, you can even wipe down surfaces without any cleaning products – just a little water. Customers say that the sponges are incredibly durable, and make the task of cleaning up that little bit easier.
Pack of 3 microfiber dish sponges
Machine washable for easy cleaning
Large size for an easy grip and good coverage
Highly absorbent for plenty of suds
Cleans surfaces with only water
- BrandSuperior Performance
- Weight2.4 ounces
Microfiber is great, but you might also prefer a more natural solution – that’s where this versatile sea sponge comes in. We all know that the word ‘sponge’ stems from these ocean dwellers, but you’d be surprised by how well they compete with their synthetic counterparts when it comes to the task of cleaning.
First of all, natural sponges are 100% biodegradable. This means they’re much better for the environment than their synthetic counterparts, since they won’t clog up landfill sites or wreak havoc in the ocean. Because these sponges are super absorbent, they’re great for cleaning up large spills, and tend to produce suds very easily. Natural sponges tend to become hard when they dry out, so it’s a good idea to scrub your stubborn dishes first, before you move onto more fragile glasses, cups, and plates. You can also use a natural sponge in the shower, for some ocean-grown exfoliation. Whatever you use your sponge for, be careful to clean it properly – we’ll tell you how later.
100% biodegradable, renewable resource
Hard when dry, making a great scrubbing surface
Soft when wet, for more delicate items such as glasses and plates
- BrandThe Natural
- Weight0.32 ounces
Best Sponge for Dishes Buying Guide & FAQ
These 10 sponges are the best of the bunch, and we’re confident you’ll find the perfect option for your kitchen somewhere on our list no matter what your requirements and personal taste. To help you work out which one is right for you, and how to get the most out of your sponges, we’ve put together this handy guide.
Things to Consider When Buying a Sponge for Dishes
When it’s time to choose your perfect dish sponge, there are a few key factors to bear in mind:
If you’re a keen home chef, you’ll probably want a dish sponge that can stand up to the challenge of a greasy pan. This means investing in a sponge with a scrubbing surface. Many sponges feature one soft, and one abrasive side.
If you want to use your sponge for several different tasks, purchasing a double sided option is probably your best bet. These sponges are ideal for cleaning crockery and glassware, but they can also be used to wipe down kitchen surfaces and scrub away grease from pans.
Kitchen sponges are meant to keep things clean and hygienic, so it’s important to choose one that won’t spread harmful pathogens. Some sponges, such as number six on our list, feature an antimicrobial coating to keep these bacteria at bay. Other sponges can be easily disinfected by placing them in the dishwasher, washing machine, or microwave.
Some sponges last for longer than others. Looking out for a durable sponge means you won’t need to change it as often, provided you keep it in good condition. Durability also means you’ll save money on your cleaning supplies in the long run. It’s a good idea to check any customer reviews when working out whether a sponge will be long lasting.
Sponges can be made from a few different materials, from microfiber, to cellulose, to natural sponge. Each option has its own advantages and drawbacks, which we’ll discuss in depth below.
Types of Dish Washing Sponges
Dish washing sponges can be made from a number of different materials. Below, we run through the pros and cons of each option:
Cellulose is perhaps the most common sponge material. Featuring bright colors and good absorbency, they’re great for a wide range of cleaning tasks. They’re also inexpensive, making them a great option for day to day use, whether you’re cleaning dishes, or wiping down surfaces. Some cellulose sponges are also treated with an antimicrobial coating, preventing harmful bacterial growth between uses. Some cellulose sponges just aren’t abrasive enough to tackle baked-on food and grease, however, so while it’s a good all-rounder, you’ll probably require something more specialised for your pots and pans.
For scrubbing through grease and caked food, you’ll need an abrasive sponge. Many cellulose sponges feature one abrasive side, allowing you to work your way through tougher grime without switching to a new sponge. Be careful to choose a non-scratch abrasive, to protect your non-stick coatings and other delicate surfaces.
Natural sponges are an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and super absorbent cleaning material. When dry, they harden, making an excellent abrasive; when wet, they soften into an ideal texture for day to cleaning tasks. Sponges have a number of advantages, but they need a little specialist care if they’re to last. To clean your natural sponge, fill a bowl with warm water and add a quarter cup of vinegar. Soak the sponge in the bowl, ensuring it’s totally submerged, for around two hours. When you remove the sponge, wring it out thoroughly, and give it plenty of time to dry.
Microfiber is a relatively new synthetic material. As its name implies, microfiber is woven from hundreds of tiny fibers, each much finer than a human hair. These extremely thin fibers lend microfiber sponges a really high absorbency. They can also reach into nooks and crannies on smooth surfaces to wipe away dirt - you can even wipe down surfaces with nothing but water. However, microfiber cloths and sponges are very soft, and don’t tend to be much good for scrubbing. Microfiber also needs to be washed carefully, at a low temperature.
Tips for Using Dish Sponge
Most of us would agree that using a dish sponge is a fairly straightforward task, but you can use your sponge more hygienically and effectively with these tips:
- Always thoroughly wring out your sponge after each use, and leave it to dry
- Run your sponge through the dishwasher, if you have one, daily
- You can use vinegar as a natural disinfectant for your sponges
- Use different colored sponges for different tasks to avoid cross contamination
- You can line your refrigerator drawers with sponges to make fruit and veg last longer
- You can easily clean a fan by cutting strips into a sponge
Best Sponge for Dishes FAQ:
Q: How often should I change my sponge?
A: As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to change your dish sponge once every week.
In between times, or in a pinch, you can remove about 60% of the bacteria harbored in the sponge by placing it, damp, in the microwave for two minutes, or running it through a dishwasher on a drying cycle.
Q: How do I keep my kitchen sponge from smelling?
A: When your kitchen sponge starts to smell, it’s time to replace it. Before the odor develops, though, there are a few things you can do to nip it in the bud:
- Allow your sponge to dry between uses - one easy way to do this is by placing it in an office binder clip and balancing it upright. Without water, odor-causing bacteria will find it much harder to multiply.
- Soak the sponge in white vinegar for a couple of hours after a few uses.
- Soak the sponge in diluted lemon juice between uses.
Our Top Pick
For us, the best sponges for dishes are these friendly smiley faces by Scrub Daddy - they truly are the Daddy of all sponges. Each smiling sponge offers more than meets the eye. Thanks to clever temperature controlled technology, it becomes firm in cold water, and soft in hot water, making it equally suitable for scrubbing tough food stains, and cleaning delicate vessels.
Whatever you’re cleaning, you can be sure that your Scrub Daddy sponge won’t leave any scratches behind. It’s also odor resistant, staying fresh for up to 8 weeks with proper cleaning. Unlike conventional rectangular sponges, the unique ergonomic design gives you easy access on all sides, for fast and effective cleaning. It’s safe to use on almost any surface - including copper, non-stick coatings, leather, and stainless steel. Whatever you need to scrub, we’re confident that Scrub Daddy has you covered. Users agree that these versatile little sponges stay fresh, and do a great job.