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Best alternatives to traditional cellulose sponges
One of the most common cleaning supplies you’ll see in anyone’s home is a sponge. You use it to wash dishes, clean spills, deep clean, or more. Cellulose sponges are the ones you see — and use — most. They’re colorful, cheap, and easy to find.
But as you probably know, those sponges, while great at trapping liquid, also trap residue and bacteria. If they’re not cleaned properly, they can begin to smell and then transfer that scent to areas you use them on.
Next thing you know your home has a lingering odor you can’t seem to get rid of.
That’s why many people and companies alike have begun to use alternatives. And today, we’re sharing with you six of our absolute favorites. It is possible to keep a traditional cellulose sponge for some time. But one of these six alternatives is longer-lasting and more eco-friendly.
So if you’ve been meaning to make the switch, look no further than one of these options.
Here are 6 of the best alternatives for a cellulose sponge:
When it comes to traditional cellulose sponges, one of our favorite alternatives comes from Casabella. It’s the main one we suggest to our clients who are looking to make the switch.
Casabella’s mission centers around three factors: design, innovation, and eco-friendly. They’re also affordable and leave your home looking and smelling amazing.
They have many cellulose sponge alternatives including their plant-based scour pads and loofah sponges.
They also have a bare sponge that is similar in look and feel to a cellulose sponge. They offer their sponges in a variety of pack sizes so head on over and see what strikes your fancy. We have no doubt you’ll fall in love with them as we have.
2. Silicone sponge
Silicone is quickly replacing many traditional plastic items in our lives. This is because silicone doesn’t turn into micro-plastic when lost in the environment. Though it’s not always recyclable (check local regulations in your town), it is safer to incinerate. 
Silicone is more ocean-friendly and it lasts longer. It also stands up to better heat conditions as well as cold. And it doesn’t break down over time. They’re more flexible, easier to wash, and don’t trap bacteria or residue as cellulose sponges do.
That’s why many people are making the switch to silicone sponges. Besides cleaning, you can also use it to clean produce. When it's dirty, toss it in the dishwasher without the fear of it falling to pieces.
3. Washable dishcloths
Another popular alternative to sponges is washable dishcloths. This product was created to replace the number of paper towels you might go through in a day.
In a recent study, we learned that paper towel usage in the United States is around 13 billion pounds each year. That’s 80 rolls per person! 
And so entered reusable dishcloths. A single one of these can replace up to 17 sheets of paper towels. The material keeps them from trapping bacteria and, like silicone, they can be tossed in the dishwasher to clean.
Though many people use them for spills, they’re durable enough to be used for washing dishes or for regular cleaning as well. They also come in a variety of patterns so you’ll no doubt find a set that matches your personality or style.
4. Plant-fiber scrubber
One of the toughest things to clean is a cast iron pan. Care instructions are very clear about not scrubbing it too hard. But you still need to find a way to remove some buildup, right?
That’s where this all-natural scrubber comes in handy. This Japanese-made scrubber was originally made to scrub produce. But the durable material is perfect for cleaning cast iron without leaving scratches.
The fibers are non-absorbent and can be hung up to dry. If you don’t want to hold it in your palm, you can buy an alternative one with a brush handle. Two of the most popular are from The Earthling Co. and Tiny Yellow Bungalow.
5. Scrub pads
If you’re looking to make the switch from cellulose sponges to something stronger, scrub pads are your best bet. But like sponges, they too can trap residue and begin to smell over time.
But there are plenty of options to choose from. Experts agree that some of the best heavy-duty scrubbers are made with natural coconut fibers. And this set from EcoCoconut is a go-to amongst them.
This particular set is made with organic tree-rubber latex. Meaning it’s biodegradable, compostable, and non-toxic.
They also sell cleaning brushes and scourers made from the same material.
6. Plant-based sponge
Finally, one of the best and easiest alternatives to a traditional cellulose sponge is a plant-based sponge.
Google “plant-based sponges” and you’ll get a slew of results to choose from. Which one you buy is up to you. Most supermarkets now carry plant-based sponges. Though it’s still important to do your research as some of these sponges are not as fully eco-friendly as they claim.
Your best bet is to buy from a certified website like Groove Collaborative, EarthHero, The Earthling Co., and Dropps. They ensure the products they sell align with their mission and are truly made of eco-friendly materials.
There are many, many more so it’s important to read up on the company’s history before buying.
Why is this so important?
Because companies are aware that people are looking for eco-friendly and more sustainable options. They want to get in the running. So they'll market their products as “plant-based” but could only have changed one minor ingredient.
This is not to say that every company is lying, but it doesn’t take much to do a little bit of research.
Remember that you use these sponges to clean the dishes you eat off of. You use them to clean the home you live in. You want to make sure that what you’re using is doing what it promised.
If any of these alternatives piqued your interest, head on over to their sites to see for yourself.
Traditional cleaning supplies are getting a major makeover as of late. Companies are producing more non-toxic cleaners and products that will leave your home just as shiny and new.
We here at Imagine It Done NY believe that good cleaning supplies can make or break your home. That’s why we have a whole section in our shop dedicated to them. From washing machine cleaners to fuzz removers, we share it all. So head on over and take a look. We guarantee you’ll find something to love.
What’s your least favorite thing about cleaning? Have you switched to more eco-friendly products? Are you overwhelmed by all the choices?