Sponges & Dish Soap
My current kitchen does not have a dishwasher, so all of my dishes have to be washed by hand. I have always used a sponge to do this, but recently started to question if using a sponge was the best option. After doing a bit of research, I decided to go ahead and make the switch from disposable sponges to washable dish rags.
Sponges rarely have the chance to fully dry out in between uses, which creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Although dish rags can have the same issue, it is much easier - and less expensive - to use a new rag every day or two vs. constantly using a new sponge. Also, disposable sponges = more trash in landfills. Some sponges also contain antibacterials (or pesticides) to help the sponge resist icky smells. These can react in harmful ways if they make contact with chemicals such as bleach, and are just not something that I want to be rubbing all over my dishes. This brings up the other half to this change - dish soap.
I have used several different dish soaps, usually choosing them based on their scent or color. (Yes, I care about the color of my dish soap... I’m weird like that.) BUT, I never chose my dish soap based on the ingredients. It only took one short glance to see that my current dish soap was full of unpronounceable, unnatural, and potentially dangerous ingredients, including artificial scents and colors. I have since made a trip to Trader Joe’s where I found "Next to Godliness Dish Soap." It is environmentally safe and biodegradable!
Since I will no longer be using sponges, I needed to buy some dish rags. As I always say, I am on a strict budget, so I made a trip to Ross. I was SO EXCITED when I found that it IS possible to find environmentally responsible products even at a store like this! I found these organic cotton dish rags as a set of 4 for $3.99! Now that's a deal!
Let me know how you feel on this topic. Happy and healthy dish-washing to you! =)