Yes, Silicone Dish Sponges Really Work — & These Are The Best Ones

Yes, Silicone Dish Sponges Really Work — & These Are The Best Ones

10/10/2020

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Silicone sponges are all the rage, and for good reason — they’re eco-friendly, easy to clean, and don’t take on odors like regular sponges do. That said, they’re not all the same. Different sponges serve different purposes, and some are definitely better than others. The best silicone sponges are made with strong, durable materials and designed to tackle the specific task you have in mind.

Material-wise, if you want your sponge to be made with the highest quality silicone, look for options that are BPA-free and food grade or FDA-approved. As for the construction, look for features that will provide a good grip (so the sponge won’t slip out of your hand) and if the sponge has bristles opt for longer ones which will hold more soap and be more effective at cleaning.

Once you’ve evaluated the materials and construction of the sponge, think next about what you’ll be using it for. If you’re going to be scrubbing pots and pans that require lots of elbow grease, you’ll want a heavy-duty sponge that’s specifically built for tough jobs. If, on the other hand, you’re going to be cleaning fragile champagne glasses or washing fruit, you’ll want a softer sponge that’s designed to be delicate.

To help you in your sponge-finding mission, I’ve made a list of the best silicone sponges for a variety of uses. Take a look and get ready to have your life changed (or, at the very least, your dishwashing routine).

Constructed with a convenient strap over the top for a better grip while you scrub, this high-quality silicone sponge is exceptionally easy to use. It features a special fish-scale pattern that prevents it from getting slippery, while the extra long bristles hold the soap and suds. On top of being great for pots, pans, and regular dishware, it also works well on vegetables. The BPA-free, FDA-approved silicone is non-porous, which means it won’t hold onto odors.

Positive Amazon review: "This silicone sponge is AMAZING! I am obsessed with it. I read a lot of reviews and did some searching around and I am happy I went with this one. The bristles are longer than others and to be honest one of my fears was that no soap would stay on it, but that is not the case. It actually held the soap better than I anticipated. Yes, you have to re-soap probably quicker than you would with an ordinary sponge but totally worth it not to use a disgusting germy sponge. This is so easy to rinse clean and then pop in the dishwasher when you need to. […] I highly recommend this product! I love going less-waste in our house and this is the perfect option!"

This heavy duty silicone sponge is designed for scrubbing thick, extra dirty items, such pots and pans, as well as sinks and countertops. It has the rough texture of a regular, more abrasive sponge, yet the silicone material means it’s gentle on your dishes, easy to clean, and doesn’t smell. Amazon reviewers describe it as sturdy, easy to hold, and all-around great for scrubbing.

Positive Amazon review: "These sponges are awesome! They’re great for cleaning just about anything with. They’re super durable, grime doesn’t get stuck in it, and they’re nice and thick just like the description says. I love these!"

When it comes to delicate items, like glassware or fruits and vegetables, this gentle silicone sponge is the perfect tool for the job. Made with food-grade silicone and free of BPA, it’s designed with a grippy pattern that’s easy to hold, while the soft grooves lift dirt without being too abrasive. The antibacterial properties prevent it from getting smelly, and it has a handy hole on one side to hang it when not in use.

Positive Amazon review: "Love this for my non-stick pans as well as for my glassware. It’s been easy to use, easy to clean. Definitely lasts longer than sponges. I’ll be back."

If you hate the way your fingers smell after scrubbing, this scented silicone sponge is the ultimate antidote. Although all silicone sponges retain less odor than their cellulose counterparts, this one takes it a step further by offering a pleasant peach fragrance. In addition to smelling good, the material is tough, flexible, and effective. Amazon reviewers love these because they clean just as nicely as they smell.

Positive Amazon review: "Normal sponges get that mold-mildewy smell after a few uses. I hate it. Can’t get it off my hands for hours! This! This right here, I’ve had for months and it’s still fresh and doesn’t fall apart. The peachy scent is barely there, but dang I can still use this sponge to scrub and not have the grossness of mold or mildew and I know my dishes are actually clean!"

For those with a variety of unique tasks in mind, this clever silicone sponge multi-pack offers two types of double-sided silicone sponges: square cleaning mats and oval-shaped sponges. The sponge mats are ideal for tougher cleaning jobs, with short, pointier bristles on one side and a large wave pattern for removing grease from larger surfaces on the other. The oval-shaped sponges have slightly longer bristles with more rounded tips on each side, making them ideal for gentler tasks and general household use. The pack comes with two of each type of sponge. All of the sponges are made with BPA-free and food-grade silicone that’s non-porous and odorless. The versatility means you’ll have a tool to clean practically everything in your kitchen, from pots and pans to dishes, glassware, bowls, cups, and more.

Positive Amazon review: "I have been switching to silicon scrubbers for everything and love these. I like that this pack comes with a variety of scrub types. I use them to clean everything and they don’t gross or smelly as quickly as regular sponges."

Still looking for answers? We’ve got you covered.

Are silicone sponges better?

Silicone sponges aren’t a perfect alternative to the standard foam or cellulose kitchen sponge — but they do have a lot of benefits. Whether or not a silicone sponge is "better" depends on what qualities you are looking for in a sponge.

Regular sponges are porous and absorb a lot of moisture — which makes them a breeding ground for bacteria. This means they aren’t terribly sanitary and tend to stink — unless you replace them about once a week (yes, really!). Smooth silicone sponges don’t absorb water, which means they aren’t as prone to bacterial growth and the subsequent odors you tend to get with cellulose. As a result, you won’t have to replace them as often — which some people suggest may make silicone scrubbers more eco-friendly. If these are things you care about, a silicone sponge may be better for you.

That said, because silicone sponges aren’t absorbent, they aren’t good at cleaning liquids from the counter, and they don’t retain soapy water very well, so you may need to lather up more frequently. If you’re accustomed to standard sponges, this can take some getting used to. Some people feel they also don’t do as good a job at cleaning some surfaces, such as stoves and countertops or removing stuck-on bits of food from cookware, as other types of sponges. If you want to clean with an absorbent sponge that can tackle all types of cleaning, silicone sponges may not be better for you.

How do you clean a silicone sponge?

Unlike standard kitchen sponges, silicone sponges are incredibly easy to clean — you can literally just toss them in the dishwasher. Different silicone sponge manufacturers may have different cleaning recommendations (and some may suggest utilizing the top rack of the dishwasher only), so be sure to read the instructions that come with your sponge before washing it.

Does silicone hold germs?

Non-porous silicone is resistant to bacteria, without the absorbent nooks and crannies that make cellulose sponges such an effective environment for bacterial growth. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have germs on your silicone sponge, but luckily silicone is very easy to sterilize — though you should always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations, you may be able to toss your silicone sponge in the dishwasher or even boil it to sanitize.

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