In the interest of full disclosure, I received a scrub sponge, a scour pad, an absorbant sponge, and an expanding soft sponge. I was not compensated, and all opinions expressed are my own.
I love the fact that so many companies are starting to make products the way I'd make them if I had the option - more foods are containing real ingredients, cleaners are containing few ingredients, and even cleaning supplies are becoming greener.
Scotch-Brite recently sent me some of their new product to try out. They are now making greener scrubbers and sponges that are not just reusable (if only I could break my husband from the paper towel habit) but also include recycled content and/or packaging and incorporate natural materials like agave and corn.
The Scotch-Brite Greener Clean natural fiber non-scratch sponge and scour pad work just as well as any other sponges we've used in the past. I love that they aren't dyed all weird colors (I'm not a fan of neon yellow sponges) and that the sponges are made of 100% natural materials. The scrubbing fibers are made with 50% natural agave, which is not a use I would ever have dreamed of for agave.
The sponge is just as you would picture a typical one - with the rough surface for stuck on stains on one side and the soft side on the other. The scour pad is much larger, about twice the size of the sponge and thinner. The surface throughout is the scour pad, which is not as harsh feeling as the traditional wire ones I grew up with. To date, we haven't had a problem with food getting stuck in it, which was one of my initial fears.
Overall, we haven't had any issuse whatsoever with the sponges. They clean up all the messes we gave them - and with my cooking, I'm good at creating messes! - and they survived my sanitation test of putting them in the microwave for three minutes after being soaked in water to kill all the germs. They didn't melt or change shape or texture at all. And so far, they're holding up great!
The sponges are event cooler to me in that they are biodegradable. Granted, you have to have a "composting environment" but that's so much better than the alternative of materials that will stay in a landfill forever!
The absorbant sponge is meant as a paper towel replacer, and it's the same size as the scour pad - much larger than a traditional sponge, although in other ways, it feels like a sponge. This is perfect for wiping down countertops and spills on the floors and other larger areas. Because of its size, it isn't great for getting into tight spaces (those of us who spill while cooking on our stove and need to get into the corners under our burners), but it has served its purpose well.
Given its larger size, I've had some dilemmas on where to store it because it doesn't fit neatly onto the back of my sink where we usually keep our sponges. It is simply too wide, and when it's wet, I'm not going to put it into any cabinets. It's a small complaint and easily remedied with a little wire basket.
The expanding soft sponge is also biodegradable - love that! - and is made from 100% natural materials. This sponge is one of the ones that is squashed when you buy it and only expands once you add water the first time. I love that, and not just because it saves on packaging and waste and shipping. It's so much fun to watch it expand the first time - and yes, I am easily amused.
The sponge has also taken everything we've thrown at it, although my husband hasn't tested it on the stuck on stains since he has the scrub sponge to take care of those messes. The soft sponge isn't ripping at all, which we've had happen relatively early with some other sponges we've used in the past, and it has also passed my sanitation test with flying colors.
I have to say that I'm thrilled with the fact that the cleaning materials are becoming greener - especially the biodegradable element. And they aren't that expensive either. The scour pad is the most expensive at 2 for a suggested retail price of $4.19 with the soft sponge being the least expensive at 3 sponges for a suggested $2.75.
Scotch-Brite has also created a YouTube channel with green cleaning tips that bloggers shared at BlogHer 2010 here. There are tons of great tips to check out. What's your favorite?
I didn't just receive a set of these four products, but I also have a set to give away to one lucky reader.
So what do you have to do?
First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Tuesday September 28 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: What is your worst mess to clean up in the kitchen?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter and tweeting this contest (leave a link to your tweet as your comment).
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.