This series is not only great for people who love to cook at home, but it also helps maintain increased levels of household hygiene needed amidst the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. Another solution: Adopt the growing trend of using better-for-you sponges in your own kitchen. At three-fourths of an inch thick, this sponge is thinner than the other dual-sided cellulose sponges we tested and comfortable to hold. We felt most confident using the O-Cedar Scrunge Scrubber Sponge, considering that its patented non-scratch scrubbing surface is created by Teflon and endorsed by DuPont, but we were pleased to note that every sponge we tested was able to clean the frying pan in its entirety without damaging the delicate nonstick coating. We earn a commission when you purchase items through our links. A strict hygiene routine is even more important if you live in a hot, humid climate where bacteria multiply at an even faster rate. Sheep wool sponges like these from Full Circle provide maximum scrubbing powder. Some reviews suggest that the Scrub Daddy fell apart quickly, but we did not find this to be true in our testing. Courtesy of Kuhn Rikon, Credit: It will remove paint, and while that makes it less valuable in the scratch-free metric, it also makes the sponge versatile when you need to remove paint from surfaces and is yet gentle enough to remove paint from your skin. And don't forget to replace them every two weeks. During our research, we found that consumers are concerned about sponge abrasiveness. The main purpose of a sponge is scrubbing to remove food and debris. Wash these anti-microbial and anti-fungal options by hand with warm water and dish soap after each use and compost them when they're past the point of no return. At two dollars a sponge, the Scrunge Scrub Sponge gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The Scrub Daddy’s silicone surface glided along the pan without any noise or snags. Additionally, these particles break down a cellulose sponge and can create odors, so you’ll have to toss it. The Lysol Multi-Purpose Scrubber, Natural Sea Sponge and TVTimedirect Microfiber Magic Sponge performed well in this test, too. The Scrub Daddy was the clear winner here, because it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and can be gripped in two different ways, easing the burden on your hand and wrist since you can change positions. Shop Now: Public Goods Walnut Scrubber Sponge, $3, publicgoods.com. They’ve also been used for more than 2,000 years, for a variety of purposes, so you know you aren’t falling for the latest fad. The ergonomic shape is designed to clean both sides of kitchen utensils at once, and the eye holes give you a good grip, similar to a bowling ball. The smile part of the sponge accommodates the curve of dishes and is especially convenient for cleaning spoons. It did take extra pressure to remove the cheese, which was more tiring on the arm, but because it’s so soft, it didn’t cause any damage to the frying pan. Once we narrowed down the field, we put our eight finalists through a series of household tests to find out how much water they would hold, how fast they dried and whether or not they would scratch a frying pan with nonstick coating. The abrasive side comes in different levels of toughness and some can damage finishes. Introduction: A kitchen sponge is an age-old kitchen tool that has been existing for generations after generations. The sponges are reported to be up to 20 percent more durable, and they are odor resistant up to two months, so there are no foul smells. In order to lower the risk of cross-contamination, we recommend that you clean your sponges daily. If your kitchen hygiene there, you can turn the kitchen into a real spinner in a short time. Learn how to minimize the spread of germs with an extra few seconds of scrubbing. In this test, we added one tablespoon of water at a time to each sponge until it reached its capacity. If it’s a little too large for your job, you can cut it in half without damaging the sponge. Shop Now: Full Circle Wool Sponges, $12, housework.store. Here are 10 ways to get started: Zap away bugs. How to Clean Dishcloths & Sponges. A sponge that rinses clean lasts longer. If that's not enough to make you want to toss that grimy sponge, consider previous research that suggests your kitchen sponge is even dirtier than your toilet seat. There are not many sponges that are both scratch-free and can be used to clean a BBQ grill. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. 10 hygiene rules for in the kitchen? Microwaving your sponge is another means of disinfection. Bacteria thrive on the food particles and residue left behind on a sponge. It may not look as fresh as one right out the box, but it was still effective and fairly sturdy after a week’s use on a variety of surfaces. Courtesy of Ty Mecham & Rocky Luten, Credit: One side is microfiber and when used dry, works like a microfiber cloth and naturally attracts dust. While the size and soft texture of this sponge made it a little unwieldy for doing dishes, we were impressed with its versatility. From writing to reading, Bethany is happiest immersed in the world made possible by letters on page--book or web. A double-sided sponge with a high-tech microfiber cloth on one side for a soft, lint-free clean; a scrubber to cut through grease and baked on messes on the other. Kitchen hygiene: In the dishwasher, in the refrigerator, in the sponge: various germs are hidden everywhere in the kitchen. This can be more difficult as the water must be heated to a boil in order to kill bacteria. Your kitchen sponge: A world of disease. Explore the best in fall perennials and start planning your autumn garden's layout. Shop Now: Skura Style Antimicrobial Sponge, $15 for 4, store.177milkstreet.com. The kitchen sponge issue. When deciding which sponges made the cut, it was important for us to consider which surfaces, if any, can be scratched. We found that it lives up to the hype. There’s a lot to be said about a microfiber sponge that can absorb dirt and oil but is soft enough that it won’t scratch or damage surfaces. We found that in addition to the size and shape of a sponge, firmness and scrubbing power played a role in how comfortable the sponge is to use. In warm water, it’s softer and more pliable. Shop Now: Kitchiny Silicone Bottle Brush, $9, greencitizen.com. The next most-absorbent sponge, Lysol Multi-Purpose Scrubber, held almost half a cup. Best Hygienic and antibacterial Kitchen Sponge Comparison The kitchen sponge that does not smell is the first priority of every person who is health-conscious. The Dobie Cleaning Pad is like two sponges in one: a soap-holding sponge wrapped in nylon netting. Use hot soapy water to clean kitchen surfaces after preparing each food item. The main criteria … Even the authors of this study were surprised by this number. One option is to dedicate precious shelf space to stock a whole arsenal of sponges. Here's how to disinfect it properly using a dishwasher, microwave, or vinegar. Does it scratch surfaces? According to a 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, samples taken from kitchen sponges harbored 362 different kinds of bacteria in incredibly large quantities of up to 45 billion per square centimeter. Your kitchen sponge is always in soap and water, but that doesn't make it clean. It's heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can dip it in boiling water or toss it in your dishwasher to give it a thorough clean. In the same vein, the scrubbing power and relatively thin shape of the Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge earned it an honorable mention in the ergonomic comfort test. The upside to its relative lack of absorbency is that it dries much faster, and food particles do not stick to the surface. The Scotch-Brite Scrub Dots Non-Scratch Sponge and the Scotch-Brite Scrub Dots Heavy Duty Sponge are part of a new series of odourless antibacterial scrub sponges launched by 3M. When you need a comforting meal but don't have a lot of time, whip up one of these fast pasta recipes. In our testing, the Dobie Cleaning Pad did not scratch Teflon nonstick, stainless steel, glass, plastic or tile surfaces. The other sponges we tested all had residue or food particles left behind, even after being rinsed for several minutes at full force. Because of this, choosing between dishcloths and sponges is really a matter of personal preference– but I do have to say, there are way cuter dishcloths than there are sponges. Like a nightclub, regular cleaning may help but many sponge owners don't seem to be cleaning their sponges adequately. Food particles can get caught in the netting, so it does need to be rinsed thoroughly after cleaning dishes. Yes, your kitchen sponge is dirty and disgusting. Thanks to a unique rippled surface that breaks up and lifts away dirt, it takes one-tenth the amount of elbow grease to remove debris than other sponges. When you think metal, you think tough, and these copper sponges are certainly that—they're able to remove that won't-come-off grease and food residue from nearly any surface. In the bathroom, we scrubbed with cold water, letting the firm texture take off the soap scum easily. The Dobie Cleaning Pad, which held the same amount of liquid, was a close second at approximately nine hours. Because these alternatives have fewer crevices and are made of quick-drying materials like silicon, bamboo, and bristles, they're less likely to facilitate bacteria growth. The Mail Online carried a reasonably accurate report of the research. It has exceptional scouring power without being as abrasive as steel wool. It tackles both big jobs, like baked-on cheese, and delicate jobs like wine glasses. A sponge dotted with flecks of food sitting out on the sink is unsightly and unhygienic. We wanted to make sure that our sponge finalists wouldn’t dull the surface while removing debris. In the end, the least amount of effort and ability to complete the job quickly made the Scrub Daddy our pick for most ergonomic. Martha Stewart is part of the Meredith Home Group. The softness, incredible absorbency and pliability make it a great choice for washing floors, upholstery, windows and cars. On the other end of the spectrum, the sea sponge and microfiber sponges took a little more than 24 hours to completely dry. Like a cross between a kitchen rag and a sponge, this highly absorbent cloth is suitable for a wide-range of cleaning tasks, including washing dishes, cleaning countertops, and even scrubbing the bathroom. Do make sure to test this sponge in a hidden area because it is tough enough to damage some finishes and you won’t want to use it on stainless steel appliances. We found that the Scrub Daddy was the most versatile, able to wash dishes, remove soap scum from a bathtub and scour the insects off of a tire wheel and car exterior without scratching the paint. Absorbency is also important in holding soapy water for more cleaning power without scrubbing. Once the dry sponge is covered with dirt or dust, you slice that part of the sponge off for a fresh sponge to clean with. Though technically a vegetable scrubber, this Japanese brush is much more versatile—use it to scour pots and pans, wash dinnerware, or even scrub your stovetop. We tested each of the sponges on a frying pan with a nonstick coating. When you’re cleaning up liquid messes, absorbency becomes a critical factor of a useful sponge. Top tips for keeping your kitchen utensils hygienically clean. Then we scoured the pan with one of the sponges to remove all the dried-on bits of egg and cheese to see if it would scratch the nonstick coating in the process. You likely wash your hands several times a day, but are you doing so effectively? Shop Now: Kamenoko Tawashi Cleaning Brush, $7.50, jinenstore.com. This means that it can stand up to a lot of use. Odor indicates the presence of bacteria, so if it starts to have a smell, make sure to toss it out immediately. The scrubber is non-scratch and passed our nonstick coating test, but you’ll want to test the scrub part on your surface in a hidden area as some dulling of finish can happen. You also want them to be able to hold soapy water and assist in removing debris. Bethany Wilk loves words like you love bacon. However, you still should be careful and always test first in an inconspicuous area. However, a sponge that holds a large amount of water is also a sponge that stays wet on your counter after you’re done using it. Geloo Silicone Sponge Dish Sponges, Silicone Sponge Dish Washing Kitchen Gadgets Brush Accessories, Kitchen Sponge Double Sided Cleaning Sponges (3 Pack) 3.9 out of 5 stars 3,018 $8.59 $ 8 . Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on Scrub Daddy dried the fastest of all eight finalists. Courtesy of Jinen Store, Credit: Store the excess solution in an empty plastic milk jug under the sink so you always have it on hand, since you’ll want a fresh bowl of bleach solution for each session. As it turns out, germ experts say the average kitchen sponge really is one of the dirtiest items in the home. The Scrub Daddy and O-Cedar Scrunge Scrub Sponge were clear winners in this category, rinsing fully clean with no need to pick little flecks off. Each sponge was used to scrub a baked egg-and-cheese dish and then rinsed thoroughly under running water. You’ll also need to be careful when cleaning knives, as it can cut the netting. It’s nice to know that you’re not harming the planet when you purchase a sustainably harvested natural sponge. The Scrunge Scrub Sponge rated high in our rinsability test, thoroughly removing the egg, cheese and other food particles. There are so many delicious ways to use this hard-shell squash, from soups and salads to lasagna and pizza. This is another reusable sponge that functions more like a dishrag than a sponge, as it can be thrown in both the washer and dryer when it needs cleaning. The Natural Sea Sponge was superior to the other sponges in this test. Easily the most innovative and effective sponge to come out in a generation, the Scrub Daddy is a worthwhile and versatile addition to your kitchen. Even after you wash it and rinse it. Priced between three to four dollars each, this sponge has received a lot of attention. We appreciated the dense, super-absorbent sponge that feels nice in the hand and allows you to create a soapy lather on your dishes. For extreme jobs, the Scotch-Brite is a top-notch performer. You can thread the smile right onto your faucet handle, which keeps it off your kitchen counter. This may not be the sponge you want to use to soak up a large liquid mess, but we appreciated how quickly it dries out, making it a less hospitable environment for bacteria. Here, get our best grilling recipes for everything from fish and meat to pizza and oysters. Courtesy of Ekobo, 11 Better-for-You Sponges for a More Sanitary Clean. What types of surfaces. Out of our five tests — Rinsability, Scratch Test, Ergonomic Comfort, Drying Time and Absorbency — the Scrub Daddy surpassed the other sponges four out of five times. Sponges make quick work of everything from hand-washing dishes to cleaning countertops, but if you've always felt like there's just something kind of—well—gross about them, you're not alone. Remember that sponges can’t do everything. When used wet, it soaks up a spill and doesn’t leave any liquid on your counter or floor. Some of the surfaces we studied were: Teflon-coated or other nonstick cookware is easy to damage with an abrasive sponge, and it’s not a good idea to eat food cooked in a nonstick pan that has been scratched. Not great. All the essential dishes are here, just on a smaller scale. So, what should you do? In fact, one of the ways you can tell that this sponge is more hygienic than other sponges is its refreshing lack of odor. It’s extremely helpful to be able to change textures as you go along. This sponge holds a full cup of water and is incredibly soft, making light work of your Saturday afternoon car washing chore. But a little hygiene can help keep your kitchen bug-free this cold and flu season. Here are the nasty secrets of your kitchen sponge — and what you should use to wash your dishes instead. The thickness of the cellulose sponge makes it more absorbent than some of the other brands, yet it still fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. There are a few different cleaning techniques. At the end of two months, we found that it had held up to everyday use and fit even better into small spaces. While sponges are a highly effective cleaning tool, the downside is that they can be an ideal breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. Courtesy of Grove Collaborative, Credit: However, your best space-saving bet is to find one or two sponges that will accomplish a wide range of cleaning goals. Courtesy of Housework, Credit: Our fall-focused indoor and outdoor decorating ideas are guaranteed ways to make the perfect first impression when family and friends come calling on Thanksgiving—or any day during the season. It can also be thrown in the washing machine or dishwasher. When a sponge is specifically approved for Teflon nonstick coatings, you can feel super confident using it on your pots and pans. To clean it, simply toss it in the washing machine on a hot cycle once a week. Before I first got my silicone sponge, I was pretty excited. When a sponge has been around since 1958, you know that countless numbers of consumers have tried, approved and continue to buy this classic product. The study was carried out by researchers from Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Furtwangen University and the German Research Centre for Environmental Health, all in Germany. These sponges are recommended for projects like washing windows and cars, because they are soft and highly absorbent. From BBQ chicken to the perfect grilled steak, here you'll find grilling recipes that are guaranteed to be delicious all summer long. Drying time is important, because a sponge that stays damp for hours can breed bacteria, especially if there are food particles trapped inside. Hosting fewer guests this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic? Sea sponges are known for their excellent absorption rate and durable, soft texture. With their soft texture, microfiber sponges can be used on any surface, which is why they’re highly recommended for washing cars and windows. This is especially important with kitchen sponges. 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