Natural Sponges vs. Plastic Sponges
One of my top eco friendly swaps has to be using a natural sponge. Like many, back in my less eco minded days I never thought anything about using a plastic sponge. To me it was simply the way I washed my dishes and its was a common household cleaning item in my home that was overlooked.
However when I started making swaps within my home that plastic sponge was one of the first items to go and I haven't looked back since. I love using a natural loofah sponge the most but I have tried other eco sponges made from other natural materials and I love those too.
The loofah sponge actually comes from a plant making it a 100% natural raw material that is completely biodegradable. Loofah sponges dry out very quickly after washing which I love because there is way less time for bacteria to grow making my sponge not smelly and longer lasting. When I say longer lasting I mean I go months using the same sponge.
Its very easy to sanitize the sponge and I do this regularly by either putting it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or boiling it. You could also add it to the top rack of a dishwasher.
Another reason I love my natural loofah sponge is that they are super absorbant and keeps soapy for a long time, causing less soap to be used. I usually only have to apply soap once to clean a sinks worth of dishes. The natural texture of the sponge makes a great scrubber, easily removing any stuck on foods.
So given all these reasons of why I love my new found natural sponges, its obvious that I would never go back to the plastic counterpart but lets talk about the downside to using a plastic sponge that most people never think of or even consider.
Plastic sponges are not only made with plastic, a lot of them contain a lot of chemicals which are bad for us and our planet. Every time we use plastic sponges it leaks chemicals and micro-plastics into our water systems.
Also since they don't last very long (days, weeks tops), and they are not compostable, these sponges are quickly filling up landfills unnecessarily. I also find that they get smelly very quickly because they don't dry out fast after use, causing them to be a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.
I wish I made the switch years ago.
Below are some of my favourite sustainable swabs for plastic sponges.
Agave Dish Brush
Agave Dish Scrubber