The Different Types of Sponges for Cleaning
There are so many different types of sponges for house cleaning that sometimes you may not even realize that there's a better one you could be using for your daily cleaning chores. Whether it's for dish washing, wiping down countertops, or removing animal hair from furniture, the sponge is an incredibly useful cleaning tool.
However, knowing which sponge is best for which mess can be a challenge. From metallic sponges, to steel wool sponges, to abrasive sponges, Dobies, and more, each sponge type serves a specific purpose. We highlight the best uses for a variety of cleaning sponges to make your daily cleaning tasks easier than ever before!
Check out these different types of cleaning sponges and their uses:
Abrasive sponges are made from an abrasive material, such as plastic, and are very effective for cleaning grills, some outdoor furniture and cookware. Because there are different levels of toughness, be sure to read the packaging carefully to pick the right abrasive sponge for your surface areas.
Cellulose sponges are made from wood pulp, and the small holes inside them help to absorb liquid and hold it inside the sponge for easy cleaning. These sponges work well on dishes, countertops, bathroom surfaces, and everyday spills. However, they can be difficult to fully rinse out so do not use them to wipe up raw egg or raw meat juices. A disposable paper towel is a better option than a cellulose sponge in those cases.
Combo Cellulose & Abrasive
Combo cellulose and abrasive sponges are popular and very useful sponges for everyday general cleaning. Great for cleaning dishes, bathroom surfaces, countertops, and more, these sponges will give you the benefits of both cellulose and abrasive sponges since they are two-sided. However, the abrasive side can come in different levels of toughness; for everyday usage, you want a non-scratch, low abrasive level.
A wire sponge, also known as steel wool, is a bundle of very fine, flexible sharp-edged steel or metal filaments. A metal sponge can be used for cleaning glass and porcelain because it is softer than those materials but is still able to scrape off deposits without scratching the underlying surface. Steel wool sponges are also effective at cleaning metal pots, pans, and grills.
A Dobie is a classic and still a popular general cleaning sponge for everyday messes as well. It’s a non-scratch cleaning pad and is also perfect for cleaning copper, non-stick cookware, and china.
Dry sponges are made of a rubber mixture and are meant to be used dry. They are great to use on surfaces that cannot tolerate moisture and water. They are commonly used to clean soot from surfaces after a fire—such as fireplace mantels, screens, bricks, curtains, and carpet—and are great for removing pet hair from furniture and clothes. These sponges are also good for wallpapered walls and fabric window coverings. Once the side of a dry sponge is completely covered with dirt, soot, or animal hair, you simply slice that part of the sponge off and you have a fresh side to clean with again.
Magic Erasers have been known to work like magic for moms and dads. This scrubber is water-activated so after you wet it, you’re ready to start cleaning. It works well on many surfaces including scuffs, crayons, and pencil marks on the walls, countertops, and much more. There are different versions available for different cleaning needs, but they should never be used on your skin or glossy surfaces. Look for the kitchen version of Magic Eraser scrubbers, which are great for cleaning built-up grease, baked-on stains, and tough grime.
Microfiber cloths are made from synthetic materials, making the fibers much thinner than those on regular cloths. They can absorb dirt and oil but are soft enough to not scratch or damage surfaces in the home. They don’t shed so they are great for cleaning glass and mirrors. Microfiber cloths are also great for dusting because they are electrostatic and, with the right cleaner, they can be great for cleaning stainless steel surfaces.
Sea sponges are a natural sponge that grows on the ocean’s floors. Because they are truly 100% natural, they are extremely earth-friendly and great for multiple purposes, including bathing, cosmetics, and cleaning of all kinds. For example, you can use them for washing dishes, bathing, and exfoliation. There are many different types of sea sponges—some harder, some softer—so make sure you find the right one for your cleaning job!