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Best Eco-Friendly Sponges for Zero Waste Cleaning

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18 Best Eco-Friendly Sponges

There are plenty of small and easy ways you can live a more eco-friendly life. For example, if you’re trying to work toward a more sustainable kitchen, making the switch to one of these best eco-friendly sponges is a great place to start.

There are so many options to choose from, it might feel hard to know which one to get. This list of the best eco-friendly alternatives to sponges goes over the details of a variety of sustainable options so you can decide which ones will best suit your needs.

Related: The Best Zero Waste Dish Soap for Clean Dishes and a Clean Planet

Are Sponges Eco-Friendly?

At one time, sponges were made from natural materials. However, today those ubiquitous green and yellow kitchen sponges are made from synthetic materials that won’t biodegrade and can contribute to microplastic pollution.

Plus, synthetic materials aren’t the only bad thing plastic sponges have against them. One study found that kitchen sponges harbor massive amounts of bacteria. In fact, kitchen sponges are one of the biggest holders of active bacteria in the entire house. Yes, even higher than your toilet!

And what do you do with these bacteria breeding grounds? You use them to wipe down your countertops, appliances, dishes, and more. This means you’re spreading bacteria all over your kitchen!

Related: How to Make DIY Granite Countertop Cleaner

Experts say you should throw away your kitchen sponge every two weeks, but creating that amount of waste is certainly not the way to live a sustainable life. However, when you choose one of these eco-friendly sponges, you’re getting a sponge made from sustainable materials. Plus, once the sponge reaches the end of its useful life, you can simply compost it.

1. Loofie Scrubbers

Loofie scrubber

These Loofie scrubbers are one of our favorite eco-friendly sponges that we use in our kitchen. Just like those green and yellow kitchen sponges, these Loofie scrubbers have a soft side that’s good for wiping away messes and a rough side that can scrub away tough messes.

However, unlike traditional sponges, Loofie scrubbers are 100% plastic free! If you need to clean your Loofie scrubber, you can microwave it for 10 seconds or stick it on the top rack of your dishwasher.

When it’s worn out, it’s fully biodegradable, so you can compost it or bury it. It will decompose in about a month.

Best of all, these Loofie scrubbers come from one of the best zero waste online shops, so you know you’re getting an order that’s completely free of plastic!

Related: How to Shop at a Zero Waste Store

2. Kitchen Brushes Set

If you like the idea of switching to wooden kitchen brushes and you’re interested in getting a set, check out these kitchen brushes from Dropps. The set of 3 includes a soft hand brush for dishes and glass, a stiff hand brush for scrubbing away grime on pots and pans, and a wand brush that can help you get into those hard-to-reach places.

The stylish brushes are made with natural bamboo handles, sisal, and coconut fibers. Not only will these eco-conscious materials last a long time, but they’re also recyclable once they reach the end of their useful life.

Plus, in addition to making products that are better for the environment, Dropps is also working to make our a planet a better place. The company is the exclusive home cleaning partner of Oceana — the world’s largest ocean conservancy organization — all of their products also come in compostable cardboard packaging instead of single-use plastic.

Interested in giving Dropps a try? If you’re a new customer, be sure to use the code EarthTips25 for 25% off. Already a Dropps customer? That’s not a problem! You can enjoy 15% off when you use the code EarthTips15.

3. Plastic-Free Pop-Up Sponges

These pop-up sponges from Dropps are the perfect complement to the kitchen brush set. The non-abrasive cellulose sponges are powerful enough to scrub away tough grease and grime, yet gentle enough that they won’t scratch your cookware and fine tableware.

The compressed sponges arrive flat and compact for space-saving storage. When you’re ready to use one, simply add water. It will then expand to an ergonomic shape that fits perfectly in your hand!

The durable and long-lasting sponges help reduce single-use plastic, are made from all-natural materials, and are free of all glues, adhesives, petrochemicals, and other coatings. You can clean your sponge in the dishwasher or boil them to sanitize and disinfect.

Plus, when the sponges reach the end of their useful life, they’re completely compostable and biodegradable.

4. Compostable Pop-up Sponges

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly sponge that doesn’t have a rough and scratchy side, you’ll love these compostable pop-up sponges from Tru Earth. Since these sponges are 100% plant-based and completely free of plastic, they’re fully compostable and safe for the environment. Even the package they arrive in is biodegradable!

When you first receive your sponges, you’ll notice they arrive flat. However, simply run one under tap water for a few seconds and watch it “pop-up.” Then it’s ready to use!

Since they’re created from natural cellulose, they have a non-scratch texture that’s safe to use on all types of surfaces, cookware, and dishes. Yet these sponges also have a textured feel that make for a better and more thorough clean-up job.

Related: Must-Have Eco-Friendly Kitchen Products You’ll Absolutely Love

5. Wooden Dish Brush

Wooden dish brush

This wooden dish brush is an outstanding alternative to sponges and another eco-friendly option that we use in our kitchen every day. It’s perfect for cleaning pots, pans, dishes, sinks, and more.

The handle is made of sustainable beechwood, and the brush bristles are made of thick, wear-resistant sisal. Once the sisal head has worn out, you can simply save the handle and pop on a replacement head.

Plus, to help reduce your waste even more, the wooden head and sisal bristles are 100% compostable. Simply remove and recycle the metal staples and then send the head to an industrial composter or bury it in the backyard.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Composting

6. Wooden Pot Scrubber

Wooden pot scrubber

If you’re looking for a scrubber that can really power through tough messes on your pots and pans, you’ll love this wooden pot scrubber. It has a comfortable natural beechwood handle that’s easy to hold. It also has stiff but flexible union fibers that can handle heavy-duty cleaning.

Since this scrubber is so durable, you can use it for just about any scrubbing or cleaning jobs around your house, such as scrubbing bathroom tiles or cleaning out dirty sinks. Plus, since the scrubber is completely plastic free, you can bury or compost the wood and plant fiber parts once it’s worn out.

Related: How to Make Dish Soap Using Castile Soap

7. Copper Scouring Pad

I absolutely love these copper scouring pads for taking care of stuck-on food when I’m cleaning dishes. They’re made with fine copper threads that can gently remove even the most stubborn messes. Best of all, since copper is a soft metal, it cleans without scratching.

Related: How to Naturally Remove Rust From Metal

You can use the scouring pad to clean pots, pans, and stove tops. It can polish sinks and even remove rust. Plus, if it needs cleaned, it’s machine washable.

Since it contains 75% copper, many scrap metal recyclers will accept the pads when they reach the end of their useful life.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Detergents

8. Curved Beechwood Dish Brush

Beechwood Dish Brush

This curved beechwood dish brush will help you tackle dirty dishes with ease. It has a sustainably harvested beechwood handle with an oil finish and Tampico fiber bristles that are durable and long-lasting.

The long, curved handle is ergonomically designed to make cleaning easier. It also has a hang loop that makes it simple to store and dry the dish brush. Plus, it contains absolutely no plastic!

If you decide to purchase this curved beechwood dish brush from EarthHero, make sure you use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to get 10% off your order!

Related: The Best Non-Toxic Cookware and Bakeware

9. Natural Loofah

Natural loofah

Natural loofah is an excellent budget-friendly alternative to a sponge. It’s also amazingly versatile. You can slice the loofah to create any size you need.

Once you’ve sliced your loofah, you can add dish soap to it to wash your dishes, apply your natural cleaning products to clean your home, or even apply your body wash and use it to gently exfoliate dead skin cells.

Related: How to Make DIY Coffee Scrub to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

Plus, since loofah is actually a natural gourd from the cucumber family, you can bury or compost it when it reaches the end of its usefulness. It will decompose in around 30 days.

Pro Tip: If you use a charcoal zero waste toothpaste and notice some dried splatter in your bathroom sink, a slice of this natural loofah is the perfect way to quickly and easily wipe away the mess.

10. Loofah Scrubber Sponge

If you like the idea of loofah but find it hard to use the slices, this loofah scrubber sponge is a fantastic alternative. This double-sided eco-friendly sponge has two pieces of loofah sewn together for extra durability.

It’s great for washing dishes, scrubbing your shower, and general cleaning around your entire house. Plus, it comes with a cotton loop that makes it easy to hang it up and let it dry between uses.

These loofah scrubbers are 100% plastic free, so you can toss them in your compost bin when they reach the end of their usefulness.

Related: How to Make DIY Dishwasher Detergent Without Borax

11. Swedish Dishcloth

Swedish dish cloth

Swedish dishcloths are a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to sponges and paper towels. They’re incredibly absorbent, can hold up to 20 times their weight, and you can reuse them more than 200 times.

Plus, not only do they come in super adorable designs, but they’re also 100% all-natural, biodegradable, and compostable. If you need to clean or disinfect your Swedish dish cloth, you can microwave it, boil it, throw it in the washing machine, or place it in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Related: The Best Reusable Paper Towels to Save Trees

12. Dream Cloths

You might be familiar with Who Gives a Crap because of their phenomenal eco-friendly toilet paper. But did you know they also make paper towels and these amazingly useful Dream Cloths?

Dream Cloths are part sponge and part cloth, which makes them an incredibly versatile option for all of your cleaning needs. You can use them to clean dishes, wipe up spills, clean appliances, wipe countertops, and more!

They’re extremely absorbent, they dry quickly, and they last for a really, REALLY long time. If they need cleaned, you can simply toss them in the washing machine or dishwasher. Plus, since they’re made from 100% plant-based materials, you can put them in the compost when they wear out.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Paper Towels

13. Cellulose Cleaning Cloth

You can use these cellulose cleaning cloths for more than just cleaning dishes. They’re gentle and super spongy, so you can also use them to wipe down countertops and clean your appliances.

They dry up to 10 times faster than cotton, so they won’t get stinky. If they get dirty, you can toss them in the washing machine or place them in the top rack of your dishwasher.

Plus, since they’re made of wood and cotton cellulose, they’re fully compostable when they reach the end of their useful life.

Related: Amazingly Easy Ways to Reduce Paper Towel Use

14. Pot and Pan Scrapper

Bamboo pot scrubber

It happens to the best of us. You’re busy cooking dinner, you get distracted, and the next thing you know you have a burned-on mess you have to clean up. When that happens, you can save yourself some time and hassle by pulling out this handy bamboo pot and pan scrapper.

Handcrafted from USDA-certified organic bamboo, this scraper has a different angle at each corner so you can get into a variety of hard-to-reach spots. The compact size fits perfectly in your hand to help scrap away stubborn foods without scratching the surface.

Plus, not only is bamboo naturally stain-resistant and anti-microbial, but it lasts for an incredibly long time. Of course, when it does reach the end of its useful life, it’s completely compostable.

15. Water Bottle Cleaning Brush

Making the switch to a reusable water bottle is an outstanding way to reduce your plastic use. And using glass baby bottles is extremely important for the health of your baby. But these types of bottles aren’t always the easiest to clean because of their shape.

That’s why you should get this plastic-free water bottle cleaning brush. It’s made from sustainably harvested, and untreated beechwood with bristles made of sanitized pig hair.

The head of this cleaning brush is narrow, so it easily fits inside water bottles, baby bottles, mugs, glasses, and more. When it reaches the end of its useful life, you can recycle the steel wire and compost the wood and bristles.

16. Bamboo Sisal Bottle Brush

Sisal bottle brush

Do you like the idea of the water bottle cleaning brush, but you need something that’s vegan? This bamboo sisal bottle brush is the perfect option.

It has just the right shape for cleaning glasses, mugs, mason jars, and bottles. The brush has a handle made from sustainable bamboo and the bristles are plant-based. Plus, since all of the materials are completely natural, it’s fully compostable at the end of its useful life.

Related: 80+ Vegan Recipes Even Meat Eaters Will Love

17. Biodegradable Sponge

With a spongy side made from all-natural wood pulp and a scrubby side made from coconut shell fiber, these biodegradable sponges will help you do everything from scrub pots and pans to wipe down countertops. Even though the scrubbing side is durable enough to get your dishes and kitchen clean, it won’t scratch your surfaces.

Plus, not only are the materials used sustainably sourced and renewable, but they’re also 100% biodegradable and can be composted when the sponge has reached the end of its usefulness. They also ship in a paper box to help you eliminate as much plastic waste as possible.

Related: Genius Ways to Eliminate Your Plastic Waste

18. Coconut Scrubbers

Coconut scrubber

If you’re looking for eco-friendly sponges that can handle those tough jobs, check out these coconut scrubbers. These scrubbers are made from waste coconut coir and natural rubber, which means they’re 100% plastic-free and biodegradable.

Since they’re flexible, they can easily get into corners that rigid brushes can’t handle. They’re also perfect for removing stuck-on food and grease, yet they’re still gentle enough that they won’t scratch your surfaces.

The Best Eco-Friendly Alternative to Sponges

You don’t have to deal with germ-spreading plastic sponges in your kitchen. Instead, make the switch to one of these best eco-friendly kitchen sponges. Then you can enjoy the ease of natural cleaning without any waste!

More Outstanding Eco-Friendly Living Tips

Did you enjoy learning more about the best eco-friendly sponges? Are you interested in discovering even more helpful tips that can help you live an eco-friendly life? Then please be sure to check out some of these other popular posts:

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