Sustainable Living

Sponge Cloths Are the Swedish Dish-Towel-Sponge Hybrids You Didn’t Realize You Needed

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Food52
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The first time I saw a sponge cloth I was incredibly confused. The material was thick and rigid, looking nothing like a cloth or a sponge. But everything clicked once I used one.

With use, I’ve learned that the name “sponge cloth” has more to do with function than appearance. These “cleaning overachievers,” as Food52 calls them, are wildly absorbent, but not so absorbent that they’re difficult to keep clean. I love using them to clean up spills or to dry dishes. They’re also durable, meaning you can reuse them again and again. This means I never have to feel the stress of running out—a clean cloth is always just a wash away.

Five Two by Food52 Set of 10 Compostable Sponge Cloths

This set from Food52 comprises 10 cloths in five different colors. They’re made from plant-based cellulose, meaning that when they’ve seen the end of their days, you can compost them. They’ll break down in your home compost bin in about six weeks.

My favorite thing about sponge cloths is how easy it is to keep them clean. I hate how gross sponges get and how hard they are to wash. These? Just chuck them in the dishwasher. To prep them for the dishwasher, you just have to rinse them off so they’re free of any debris and place them on the top rack. Because they’re so absorbent, they’ll come out wet. But that’s nothing a few hours on your dish drying rack can’t help. But if all they need is to be quickly sanitized, you can throw them in the microwave. (No dishwasher? No problem—they’re tough enough for the washing machine, too.)

If you’re looking to make the switch to sponge cloths, my advice is to keep them within reach. I keep mine (along with some microfiber rags) in a bread box right on my countertop. This way, I don’t have to go out of my way to look for them when I need them. It’s been five months since I added sponge cloths to my life, and my kitchen has never been greener—I mean, cleaner.

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