Ditching the Sponge

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Ditching the SpongeThis summer I accomplished something I once thought unthinkable: I gave up the sponge.  It was a gripping addiction, harder to kick than a nasty nicotine habit.  …a habit that had the ability to spark the silliest of arguments amongst even the best of roomies.  Right, SwimBikeMom?  😛  But once again, I digress; that’s a blog-post for another day.

Perhaps a tad OCD, I was one of *those* people who had a sponge designated for various parts of the kitchen: one for the floor, one for the counters, and another one for dishes.  I knew for quite some time that sponges were a breeding ground for all things disgusting; however, I was not keen on the idea of using paper towels, or other disposable products — I had to find a GREEN alternative to sponges.

After reading one of my many parenting magazines over the summer, I read an article  featuring a great solution.  Use washcloths instead of sponges, replacing them daily.  The solution was so ridiculously simple, I felt like an idiot for not thinking about that sooner!!

Afer all, I was already daily replacing my daughter’s bibs, as well as a washcloth to clean her after meals.   What was one more wash cloth to throw in to the load, right?

Ditching the Sponge - Mr. Clean reusable wipes

Thus, I set out to find some good, inexpensive washclothes.  A trip to Big Lots was beckoning!   (Who am I kidding, even the tiniest excuse will do for a trip to Big Lots!)  There, I found a set of ten washclothes for $5.00, which seemed to be an okay deal.  (Mind you, I didn’t care about the color, but wanted that waffle-y texture appropriate for kitchen towels and washcloths.)  However, on a whim and for no particular reason, I browsed by the cleaning section and came upon two things that caught my eye, and changed my mind completely: Mr. Clean  Reusable Wiping Cloths and a six-pack of Mr Clean Reusable Wipes.   Each pack was a buck each — in true frugal, OCD fashion, I snagged about four packs of each, and ditched the wash cloths all together!

Ditching the Sponge - Mr. Clean Wiping Cloth

Yes, their names are almost identical, but the thickness of wiping cloths seem to act more like a sponge, while the reusable wipes have the feel of a paper towel, but (almost) the durability of a washcloth.  The wipes were also rather large (21″ x 11″), so I snipped each of them in half, and happily doubled my supply of them.  I’ve put both through the washing machine, but not the dryer, and they both seemed to fair well so far.  Neither retained their original shape, but I didn’t really expect them to.

It’s been a long journey in giving up The Sponge.  Admittedly, I still have one in the “sponge drawer” of the kitchen, but I only use it for the floor.  I’ve graduated away from a Counter Sponge and a Dish Sponge.  So far, so good.  While I don’t toss and wash daily, I do replace at least a few times a week, and the results have been good so far.  As I mentioned earlier, I already have bibs and wash clothes thanks to The Toddler, so tossing in these reusable wipes has really been small potatoes.

Do I miss My Sponges?  Nope.  Not even the stinky smell they started emitting after sitting around for a while.  Do my new reusable, machine-washable cloths work just as well?  You bet!  Are you a sponge-a-holic?  I challenge you to find a green way to replace them!  If you’re interested, I encourage you to try out the Mr. Clean wipes — I’ve still spotted them at Big Lots.  If, however, you are not blessed with a Big Lots near by, or if B.L. simply isn’t your cup of tea, I’ve also seen them available on Amazon.

If you are a reformed Sponge User, or would like to be one, I’d love to hear about it.  Please also feel free to share any other green household tips you’ve acquired over the years.  :o)

Keep on saving!  :o)

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