Biodegradable dish sponges are among the easiest products to go green with. There are some really great Eco-friendly alternatives to sponges that clean just as good, and unlike many traditional sponges, do not need to be replaced every other week and do not retain germs.
My favorite biodegradable sponges from the list below are these zero-waste Loofie scrubbers by etee that are both compostable and very durable.
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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sponges
20 Best Eco-friendly alternatives to sponges
Not only are these sponges better for the environment, but they also save money and stay fresh through months of regular use.
Say bye-bye to synthetic sponges – this biodegradable dish sponge by Ecogirl is all-natural and is made out of 100% loofah and compostable cotton. What is loofah, you may ask? It’s a plant! (well, a vegetable in the cucumber family, to be exact). It comes in a low waste packaging, which is just a simple paper sleeve for a completely eco sponge experience.
The rough fibers of the dried loofah make it great for scouring and cleaning the residue from your dishes – yes, even the stubborn marks on the side of your casserole dish. It works just like steel wool would, but the biggest difference is no matter how hard you scrub using a loofah, you won’t leave any scratches on your cutlery which makes these great eco-friendly alternatives to sponges.
It’s time for you to ditch your plastic yellow and green sponge – the etee Loofie Scrubber (also known by just “Loofie”) is fully plastic-free and is made from the combination of natural loofah plant fibers on the scrubbing side and spongy cotton cellulose on the dishcloth side. Most conventional plastic dish sponges are sewn together using polyester thread – but not this one.
The Loofie uses cotton thread to keep everything together, making it fully recyclable and compostable.
So if you’re in the market for biodegradable dish sponges, the etee Loofie Scrubber is tough to pass up.
Customers have given the etee Loofie Scrubber an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. The rave reviews commonly mention the high scrubbing power of the loofah on all types of food residue left on plates and cutlery. They also point out that the etee Loofie Scrubber is thinner than most normal sponges, and that they are easy to rinse out and clean overnight for use the next day.
What’s better than cracking open a coconut and savoring some refreshing coconut water on a hot day? Well, if your answer was cleaning your dirty dishes with coconut fibers – you’re absolutely right! These Safix Coconut Scrub Pads are 100% made from coconut fibers bound together with a non-toxic adhesive and contain no plastic whatsoever – meaning this is probably one of the most environmentally friendly sponges you could ever have in your home.
It is highly breathable, meaning it has no odors and it is fully biodegradable. This eco sponge is purported to clean all kinds of surfaces, from cutlery to cast iron – it even can be used on fine china!
The Safix Coconut Scrub Pads have 5 reviews and ratings – with all reviewers leaving 5 stars, which makes getting this a no-brainer! Customers mention that they love the texture and the fact that these scrub pads don’t retain certain types of food and liquid like a normal plastic sponge would.
Heirloom loofah Scrubbers make for great environmentally friendly dish sponges. Made out of 100% plant fiber, this loofah scrubber can effectively take on any food residue challenge that is thrown at it, leaving your dishes clean with just a few drops of dish soap.
After using for about 3 to 5 weeks, bury your Loofah Scrubber in your garden and it will fully decompose within 30 days. The packaging – which is a paper label, can be fully recycled or composted as well.
Out of 19 reviewers, 14 gave it 5 stars. Customers love the strong scrub they get from the loofah texture that cleans out their dirty dishes thoroughly yet gently, and also the fact that they hold soap and water very well while in use. One buyer points out that this product comes in plastic-free shipping, and that she loved the product.
Value for money comes in the form of this 5-pack of Coconut Dish Scour Pads. Plastic-free and 100% biodegradable, this eco sponge from Well Earth Goods are made out of waste coconut coir and natural rubber latex. Tough on dirt, but totally scratch free – these scouring pads make short work of food residue but will never damage your delicate crockery.
The coconut coir is purchased from local coconut farmers in India, where they would otherwise be discarded. This adds additional income to these farmers with every scouring pad produced.
On top of that, a tree is planted for every pack of scourers sold, which is a totally cool concept that really makes it one of the top sustainable sponges available today.
There is 1 5-star review left on this product which says it works very well.
This Bamboo Dish Brush Replacement head by ZEFIRO is a replacement head for the Bamboo and Sisal Dish Brush that comes with a handle. Because it is made from only bamboo and sisal (which is an agave plant native to Mexico), this means it is fully compostable and thus one of the most environmentally friendly sponges you can get.
On top of that, it also comes delivered to you packaging-free, which makes it great for those looking for eco-friendly alternatives to sponges to use in their day to day life. It is also vegan friendly and it lasts longer than most regular dish brushes, if stored bristle side down when not in use.
The Eco Coconut Dish Brush from Etee is made fully out of coconut and FSC timber. With its natural antibacterial qualities, this biodegradable dish brush is made to cut through the toughest grease and residue on all kinds of kitchen tools and cutlery.
And because the bristles are made from sustainably farmed coconut husk fibers, this means it is hard enough to scour off all the bad stuff, while being safe on surfaces like non-stick frying pans.
The one review on this product is a 5-star review, and the review does mention the fact that regular cleaning of the brush is a must in order to maintain its longevity.
For those looking for a whole set of environmentally friendly sponges, look no further. The Dish Soap Bar Deluxe Cleaning Kit from etee is a one-stop-shop of plastic-free cleaning products, from a Cellulose Cleaning Cloth, Loofie, Eco Coconut Dish Brush, Safix Coconut Scrub Pad, and even a Plastic Free Dish Soap Bar. Yes – an entirely plant-based dish soap bar made out of USDA-certified organic castor oil, cocoa butter, cane sugar, and lemon essential oil.
This takes your mind off worrying about whether you’ve got enough sustainable sponges to keep your dishes sparkly clean. Get this set, and elevate your cleaning game to a deluxe level like the eco-boss you are.
KOLO zero waste natural dish sponge is made from compostable materials. Both cotton and linen jute make the perfect combination for a sustainable kitchen scrubber. Since the elements form a strong bond together, this sponge will last up to 12x times more than a plastic sponge. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and maintenance.
With eco friendly alternatives to sponges like KOLO, we can clean sinks, pots, and surfaces without leaving scratches. It also doesn’t affect the coating of the pans. If you want to live a zero-waste lifestyle, Kolo biodegradable sponges are an excellent choice for you.
One feature that not many people are happy with is that you have to use more dish soap than usual. So, if you’re saving money, this isn’t the right option for you. However, the sponge will dry fast, and it’s highly absorbent. Hence, it will deal with any mess you’re dealing with.
Miw Piw dish scrubber might be the greenest sponge on our list.
Miw Piw dish sponge is made from loofah (a plant similar to gourd) and unlike so many other products it is shipped in a plastic-free paper package. According to the manufacturer, one sponge can last for 4 to 6 months and it is safe to wash in dishwasher.
Disposing of Miw Piw dish scrubbers is as easy as simply burying it in the backyard if there is no proper compost pile, as the plant-based fiber is quick to break down when composted.
Buyers seem to be genuinely happy with this loofah scrubber, saying that it is one of the best eco-friendly alternatives to sponges. Many reviewers are amazed by how little dish soap this sponge uses. One person was able to wash an entire sink full of dishes with just one drop of soap.
The sponge was praised for being soft when soaked and completely scratch-free. Some people, however, still found it too rigid and flat, and others thought it was a bit difficult to clean.
Another biodegradable dish sponge that will not let you down is the Green roots coconut choir. These eco friendly alternatives to sponges are of 100% coir stitched together with a cotton thread. The coconut fibers are handy when you have to get rid of dirt, grime, and grease. What many enjoy is that the material is antimicrobial, so it’s safe for your hands.
The round shape of Green roots organic dish sponge will make it comfortable for you to hold it for as long as you need it. In comparison, with the others, these sponges are microwave-safe.
Many customers are happy with these environmentally friendly sponges. The coconut sponges will not damage surfaces or pots so that you can use them with confidence. Nonetheless, some did highlight that fibers tend to come out of the sponge. So, you should be careful when you scrub carelessly.
Mioeco organic cotton sponge seems to be one of the truly eco-friendly alternatives to sponges that are typically full of chemicals and need to be replaced in a matter of weeks.
Mioeco organic cotton sponges are produced in a carbon-neutral way and are made from an organic renewable certified material without using any bleach, toxins or harmful substances. It is suitable both for dishwasher and washing machine and does not lose its shape even after being tumble dried.
Many buyers have repurposed these sponges for the bathroom. In fact, they are so soft and non-scratch that they use them even to wash their faces. But these organic cotton sponges are just as good for gentle cleaning of non-stick pans and delicate surfaces.
Mioeco organic cotton sponges also holds soap well. The only complaints are about their size which is a bit too large for some, and also the fact that they take a long time to dry.
FAAY eco friendly sponges are made from 100% Loofah plants, these environmentally friendly sponges are thick and comfortable to hold. The fibers will not scratch the cookware or other surfaces. The plants are from sustainable sources, which means that it doesn’t destroy habitats. The biodegradable feature means that it’s compostable so that it won’t affect the soil.
The durable loofah plant fibers will enable you to clean without putting too much effort. Unlike plastic sponges, this biodegradable dish sponge by FAAY will not leave any microplastics behind. What we like about this product is that it’s handmade by workers in Thailand.
Customers are happy that it’s strong enough to remove oil stains with minimal effort. Also, your hands will feel soft as it has exfoliating properties. However, some people say that they’re too small to hold.
These non-scratch sponges by Panyee are great eco-friendly alternatives to sponges.
Panyee sponges are biodegradable and 100% natural. You can use them to clean dishes, pans and pots and other surfaces, they are really a multi-purpose scrubbing sponge solution.
The reviews of this plant-based scrub sponge are really positive! Reviewers say that the scrab is very durable and each sponge lasts a long time, even longer than non-eco-friendly sponges.
Scrub-it sponge is made of plant cellulose and promises a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
Scrub-it sponge offers a money-back guarantee that their sponges will stay clean and odor-free for a month. In reality, they stay fresh much longer than that, and there is no need to ever put them in the dishwasher or microwave to disinfect.
Scrub-it dish sponges are made of a natural wood tough cellulose which makes them incredibly durable, one sponge can last for months.
While reviewers admit that the sponge lives up to no odor, no scratch promise, many found other issues to be skeptical about. Although the sponge itself is amazingly durable, the scrubber side comes apart after several uses. Others complained that the product is packed in plastic which is truly unnecessary.
These sustainable sponges by Greenet cellulose sponges will be able to lift grease and grime without too much effort on your behalf. The eco friendly material is highly absorbent, so you will be able to get rid of the mess in no time! The biodegradable dish sponge will not harm our soil once you get rid of it.
Furthermore, Greenet sponges also has a soft and luxurious feel so that it won’t have long-term effects on your hands. With a thickness of 0.6” you will be amazed at its durability.
Numerous people were happy that the sponges are for multiple cleaning jobs. Whether you need them for light or heavy-duty use, they will not let you down. On the other hand, some argue that they’re not happy with the durability of them. Therefore, the company listened and provided 24 sponges in one pack and two scouring pads.
Scotch-Brite sponge can be used to clean dishes, kitchen surfaces, countertops or stoves just as good as traditional sponges if not better.
Scotch-Brite sponges are durable, easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
While the sponge itself is made from natural and renewable materials, the scrubber part is only partly plant-based. In fact, buyers have been surprised and unhappy when they discovered it contained 50% polyester. The seller advised that the sponge can be composted, as long as the non-recyclable scrubber part is detached.
As mentioned, many green consumers were disappointed once they found out that this sponge is not as eco-friendly as they thought. Some also noticed that it does not last as long as the traditional alternatives. On the other hand, there were buyers who have liked these sponges and were able to use them for months before having to replace them. There were no difficulties keeping it clean, as it is machine washable.
ENEY store natural dish sponge 100% plant-based sponge is unbleached and chemicals free. Loofah plant is fast-growing and robust. Thus, you can use this biodegradable dish sponge will remove grime and oil stains without you having to scrub as much as you would with conventional sponges. It’s also odor-free and antimicrobial.
Even though ENEY dish sponge arrives smaller than usual, just put it in water and watch it grow. The packaging is from recycled content. So, it will discompose without harming the environment.
The majority of customers say that you can use these sustainable sponges for all surfaces and non-stick pans. The design of each sponge is porous so that it will dry within minutes. Some have said that they like to use this sponge to scrub their bodies. Nonetheless, some customers say that the sponge is too stiff.
Whether you want to use the biodegradable dish sponge on non-stick pans or glassware, Cleanlogic natural fiber sponges are the right organic dish sponge. Furthermore, the natural iber will remove stains from countertops, sinks, and dishes with ease. Moreover, it also can remove baked foods from any cookware.
Similarly, with the other sponges, Cleanlogic spong is a multipurpose model that allows you to use it in more rooms other than just the kitchen. The cotton fibers are soft on the hands. Hence, it’s always a pleasure to hold them. The antimicrobial properties will prevent odors and bacteria from forming on the sponge.
One of the best features of this sponge is that it can hold dish soap with ease. Hence, you’re not required to use a large amount of detergent. On the other hand, some argue that it takes too long for the dish soap to rinse.
Plain&Simple bamboo sponges gentle fibers have non-scratch properties. Therefore, you can use them on baby products or glassware. You will be in awe with this product if you’re someone that doesn’t like fancy and overpriced items. The sponges are plain and simple, so you don’t necessarily have to add dish soap.
Additionally, Plain&Simple sponges are biodegradable dish sponge, which means that you’re not making a footprint on our Earth. If we can all do the same, future generations will thank us.
There aren’t any complaints about how efficient these sponges are. The thickness of the sponge will allow the product to maintain quality for numerous uses. However, some are not happy with how bulky the sponges are.
Eco-friendly alternatives to sponges – Things to consider
Before you make a purchase, there are a few aspects of eco-friendly alternatives to sponges you should consider. What should you pay special attention to when purchasing a sustainable sponge?
Traditionally, they used to make sponges out of sea sponges, today most regular sponges are made of synthetic materials (polyester, polyurethane) which are good at cleaning but are not compostable or biodegradable and therefore not considered eco-friendly. This is a shame because there are alternative materials for sponges that are great cleaners. This eco-friendly sponge by Scotch-Brite is made of 100% natural materials.
Durability and longevity
The most important thing to pay attention to when buying a new eco-friendly sponge is that it’s made of sustainable materials, but also that it’s durable and built to last a good amount of scrubbing. Otherwise, if you need to change a sponge every other day, you’re missing the eco-friendly point.
That’s why it’s worth it to make sure you are choosing a dish sponge that is durable and eco-friendly all at the same time. Costumers recommended the Plant-Based Scrub Sponge by scrub-it as a sponge that lasts them for months.
Resistance to odors
Some sponges tend to get smelly pretty fast, you probably know it from after cleaning a dirty pot, but you should know it has to do a lot with the material of the sponge, how you keep it dry and the kind of dish soap you’re using. If your sponges tend to develop bad odors fast you might want to consider TEALTRUNK silicone sponge and scrubber as it doesn’t absorb odors at all.
Easy to clean: Dishwasher/microwave safe
Not all eco-friendly sponges are easy to clean, some materials stay oily and smelly even after a good wash, and some materials are just not suitable for the dishwasher because the hot water will ruin their structure. If you want a sustainable sponge that is also suitable for the dishwasher you should consider Full circle nutshell walnut scrubber – it has just enough roughness for a good scrub without scratching the surface.
Will it scratch pans and delicate surfaces?
Some materials might be sustainable but are just to rough to clean delicate Teflon pans for example. Metal scrubbers are eco-friendly and are great for cleaning sticky left overs, but use it on a sensitive pan or glass plate and you’ll ruin it. If you need a green sponge for delicate cutlery or pans you should consider Mioeco natural non-scratch sponges.
My favorite biodegradable sponges
Personally, I was disappointed to find that so many sponges advertised as green and organic are not recyclable or compostable. So this was one of the main points I was paying attention to when looking for eco-friendly alternatives to sponges.
The Heirloom Mayan Loofah Scrubbers, on the other hand, are 100% compostable, BPA-free and produce zero waste during a chemical-free manufacturing process. The loofahs themselves are sourced from a single Mayan family in Guatemala, giving them a source of stable income with every loofah scrubber sold.
Moreover, I simply loved how natural and green Miw-Piw loofah dish scrubber is. The plant-based fiber makes its whole life-cycle highly sustainable, from manufacturing to disposal. My only concern is whether it is as soft as advertised but it will be easy to find a use for it even if it is too rigid for dishes.
DIY Eco-friendly alternatives to sponges
Old plastic sponges can carry all kinds of bacteria, and produce large amounts of toxic waste during the manufacturing stage, and are not recyclable at all.
Did you know you can make your own DIY eco sponges? Some of the options are re-purposing old towels, crocheting a sponge from bamboo or organic cotton, or you can even grow your own loofah plant.