Eco-friendly sponges for a sparkling kitchen

Plant-powered perfection.

The dish sponge is a kitchen staple, regardless of whether or not you have a dishwasher to help you tidy up after meals. This seemingly innocuous everyday object can harbor more nasty bacteria than you’d think, and should be replaced regularly. Many common sponges contain microplastics, which are a source of pollution found across the globe from the ocean to remote areas of the Pyranese mountains. These plastic-free alternatives look good, get the job done, and are biodegradable.

Always have a clean spoon when you need one. Amazon


Are you the type of person whose dish-washing system includes scrubbing plates first before using hot water and a sudsy sponge to finish cleaning them? These bright white cellulose sponges have a soft surface on both sides that allow you to do just that. The set of four average-sized sponges (4.3 by 2.8 by 0.4 inches) is dry and flat in the package until you add water, making them super compact and easy to slip into your bag as an emergency aid for spills. They’re tied together with twine, so be aware there is a little hole in each sponge—and while you can peek through it if you’re feeling playful, you’ll probably get soap in your eye.

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Multitaskers can fly through a stack of plates, cups, and bowls quickly with these cellulose and coconut fiber sponges. The cellulose in each of these six sponges (4.8 by 2.8 by 0.8 inches) is derived from wood pulp. The coarse coconut husk fiber layer on the top of each sponge is an excellent alternative to microplastics, though procrastinators may find they need something stronger to loosen hardened food residue. Flip the sponge over for a softer and gentler cleaning surface.

Pretty in pink. Amazon


When you contemplate wiping down counters and tabletops after you’ve loaded the dishwasher or dish rack, a regular sponge isn’t necessarily the right tool for the job. These absorbent sponge/towel hybrids are 8 by 7 inches, made of 70 percent cellulose and 30 percent cotton, and can be seen as a reusable paper towels or versatile dish cloths. This affordable 10-pack has an assortment of colors and patterns that can be sterilized by boiling, and even thrown in the washing machine.