What is an Unsponge? | 10 Benefits You Need to Know

Unsponges are little reusable sponges made often from remnants of terry cloth and cotton. They can be home made or you can buy handcrafted versions.  They can be used on kitchen bench tops to wipe up spills, used to wash dishes and to clean sinks or stoves. You just throw them in the washing machine and they are good to be used over and over again.

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What is an unsponge?

Unsponges are a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional sponges that are made from synthetic materials. Typically made from materials such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo, unsponges are durable, absorbent, and antimicrobial.

They can be used for household cleaning tasks such as wiping counters, washing dishes, or cleaning surfaces. Unlike traditional sponges, unsponges do not add to plastic waste and can be washed and reused multiple times. They are a great addition to any eco-friendly household, and they are becoming more and more popular.

10 Benefits of using an unsponge

Check out the top 10 benefits of using an unsponge compared to a regular sponge.

1. Eco-friendly

Unsponges are made from sustainable materials and are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sponges that are made from synthetic materials.

2. Reusable

Unsponges can be used multiple times and are washable, making them more cost-effective than traditional sponges.

3. Durable

Unsponges are made from durable materials that can withstand repeated use and last longer than traditional sponges.

4. Absorbent

Unsponges are highly absorbent and can hold more water than traditional sponges, making them more effective for cleaning.

5. Antimicrobial

Unsponges are naturally antimicrobial, meaning they resist the growth of bacteria and fungi.

6. Chemical-free

Unsponges are free from chemicals and synthetic materials, making them a safe and non-toxic alternative to traditional sponges.

7. Versatile

Unsponges can be used for a wide range of household cleaning tasks, including wiping counters, washing dishes, and cleaning surfaces.

8. Sustainable

Unsponges are made from sustainable materials that are grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, making them a more sustainable option.

9. Reduce waste

Unsponges help reduce plastic waste by replacing disposable sponges that contribute to landfill and ocean pollution.

10. Great for sensitive skin

Unsponges are gentle on the skin and are a great option for people with sensitive skin or allergies to synthetic materials.

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How to use an unsponge (step-by-step)

Check out my easy step by step guide on how to use an unsponge at home.

1. Wet the unsponge

Before using an unsponge, wet it with water. This will help it absorb water and make it easier to use.

2. Apply cleaning solution

Apply your preferred cleaning solution to the unsponge. You can use natural cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda, or store-bought cleaners if preferred.

3. Clean surface

Use the unsponge to clean the desired surface, whether it’s a countertop, dish, or other surface.

4. Rinse

Once you’ve finished cleaning, rinse the unsponge thoroughly with water to remove any remaining soap or cleaning solution.

5. Squeeze out excess water

Squeeze the unsponge to remove any excess water. This will help it dry faster and prevent mildew or bacteria growth.

6. Hang to dry

Hang the unsponge to dry in a well-ventilated area. You can use a hook or string to hang it up.

7. Clean and disinfect

To keep your unsponge clean and sanitary, it’s important to clean and disinfect it regularly. You can wash it in the washing machine or soak it in a solution of vinegar and water to disinfect it.

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What is inside an unsponge

Unsponges can be filled a variety of material including foam, cotton t-shirts, cut up towel, cut up tea-towels, hessian or hemp.

If you make them at home then you could stuff it with whatever you like.  You could try a towel type material, fill it with netting from fruit and vegetable bags or off cuts of netting from ballet tutus.

Netting material is a good option because the water will easily drain out and the sponge won’t stay wet for extended periods. It is important that the sponge is allowed to dry between uses so that it doesn’t hold bacteria. ┬áIf a well draining material is used inside the unsponge then they will dry out quickly and stay cleaner for longer.

How to care for an unsponge

To make sure your unsponge lasts as long as possible it’s important to take proper care of it. After each use, rinse the unsponge thoroughly with water to remove any leftover soap or cleaning solution.

Squeeze out any excess water, and hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area to dry out. To prevent mildew or bacteria growth, it’s important to make sure the unsponge is completely dry before using it again.

To keep your unsponge clean and sanitary, it’s recommended to wash it regularly in the washing machine with warm water and mild detergent, or soak it in a solution of vinegar and water to disinfect it.

Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as these can damage the natural fibers of the unsponge. With proper care, your unsponge can last for months, helping to reduce plastic waste and contributing to a more sustainable home.

Other tricks and tips for using an unsponge

If you plan to use your unsponge in the bathroom as well as the kitchen, make sure you always use different sponges for different uses.  Even after washing it is best to keep your bathroom and kitchen unsponges separate.

he best thing about these sponges is that they can be made in many different materials. That allows you to recognise the designated bathroom or kitchen unsponges keep kitchen and bathroom unsponges separate.

To keep them fresh they will definitely benefit from a hot wash in the dishwasher or washing machine.  Keeping them clean in between uses is key and removing any excess food pieces. This will keep them fresh and clean for longer.

Eco friendly sponge alternatives

Check out some other eco friendly sponge alternatives.

Cellulose sponges

Cellulose is a plant based material which can be used in replacement of you regular sponge. They are great for dishes, cleaning down benches or really any other surface you would usually use a sponge for.

Cellulose is actually the substance that makes up a plant’s cell wall. They are generally made from wood fibers so more environmentally friendly than the plastic ones. They are a more natural alternative to the ordinary kitchen sponge.

Natural sea sponges

You could use a natural sponge.  This is actually a sea sponge which are harvested. Sea sponges are quite soft and durable.  They are perfect for delicate dishware because they won’t scratch. They also work well for general dishes and glasses.

They are great if you use non-stick pans because they won’t scratch the non-stick coating. Being natural, they are 100% biodegradable and do not contain chemicals.

So whether you choose to make an unsponge, to buy one, to choose a cellulose sponge or a natural sponge, all of these choices are friendlier on the environment than the run of the mill kitchen sponge.

Sponges are used so commonly this one change could make such a different in the amount of rubbish and chemicals heading into landfill. If many of us make the change the results are even bigger so spread the word, go eco friendly in the kitchen and try an unsponge.

What is an unsponge? | Summary

Unsponges are a great re-usable sponge that can be made at home from free materials. If you are sick of buying synthetic sponges, look out for unsponges online or make one yourself from old material.