Experts suggest that disposable sponges can “shed microplastics”, which can leave the planet even more polluted. This has resulted in a growing demand for eco-friendly alternatives to sponges.

This realisation shook me and I started to look for more eco friendly dish sponge alternatives. After intensive research, I found that there are many options to consider, with the best eco-friendly alternatives to sponges being degradable - unlike your conventional Scotch Brites.

It was very clear that I wanted to suggest something that was not only plastic-free but also made from good-quality materials so that the eco-friendly alternatives to sponges would last for a long time. I have also looked into products that can be tossed in the compost at the end of its life.

What is the most sustainable way to wash dishes?

Here is a list of the best eco-friendly kitchen sponge alternatives to choose from! Every item is unique on its own. To help you choose the best one, we created a detailed review of each eco friendly sponge, followed by a detailed guide on how you can choose the best eco friendly sponge for your needs!

Don’t have time? Compare the best eco-friendly alternatives to sponges at a glance

#1 Miw Piw natural dish sponge

Features: abrasive without scratching surfaces and dries quickly

Material: Natural loofah

Items per package: 3

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Miw Piw Natural Dish Sponge

#2 Kamenoko Tawashi vegetable scrub brush

Features: Handmade and natural; Gentle to use

Material: Tawashi vegetable fibers

Items per package: 3 packs

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Kamenoko Tawashi Vegetable Scrub Brush

#3 Pura natural sponges

Features: Plant-based eco-friendly kitchen sponges - designed to be anti-bacterial

Material: Cellulose and Walnut

Items per package: 6

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Pura natural sponges

#4 Full Circle bamboo dish brush

Features: Ergonomic design, easily fits in the palm of your hand

Material: Bamboo and recycled plastic

Items per package: 1

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Full Circle bamboo dish brush

#5 Skoy scrub

Features: Non-scratching on most surfaces

Material: 98% cotton and 2% Resin

Items per package: 2

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Skoy kitchen scrub

#6 Scotch-Brite Greener Clean

Features: Safe on non-scratch pans, countertops and dishes

Material: Plant-based cellulose fibers

Items per package: 6

Antibacterial properties: Yes

Buy here: Scotch Brite greener clean

Tip: Start with what you already have in your kitchen

Before you think about ditching your plastic brushes and sponges and switching to eco friendly alternatives to sponges, please make sure to use all the existing plastic in your kitchen. It might sound like a great idea to fill your kitchen drawers and cupboards with eco friendly sponges and cleaning products, but make sure that you only buy them after whatever you own has reached the end of its life. This is an important step in the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle.

#1 Miw Piw Natural Dish Sponge

Non-scratch abrasive and smart design


  • 100% Plastic-Free. These biodegradable kitchen scrubs are made from the loofah vegetable and plant-based fibers.
  • 4 layers of the oldest loofahs are sewed together to make a firm organic loofah dishwasher sponge.
  • The water drop shaped design can be used to wash all types of cookware.
  • A little loop on the top helps to hang the sponge and air-dry.
  • You can soak the scrub in warm water for some time to make it soft and gentle.
  • These scrubs also don’t get moldy or smell like artificial sponges.

Material: The scrubber is made from natural loofah

Recommended for: Cleaning your cookware

How to use:

  • Soak the scrubber: Soak the loofah sponge in warm water for 10-15 minutes. The fibers will swell and become tender and comfortable to handle.
  • Scrub your cookware: Scrub your dishes and glasses, without worrying about scratches.
  • After use: Rinse the loofah with clear water, squeeze to get rid of any residue and hang to dry.


  • Since it is a fully natural product, you may notice a few fiber strands left behind after scrubbing but nothing major.
  • These scrubs aren’t as absorbent as a conventional sponge.
  • Food particles can get stuck but you can get rid of them by putting the scrub in boiling water to make it good as new!


#2 Kamenoko Tawashi vegetable scrub brush

Handmade and natural; Gentle to use


  • One of the most common household objects in Japan.
  • These scrubbers soften in water.
  • They clean all surfaces easily.
  • They are 100% recyclable and last longer than many other eco friendly substitutes.
  • The fiber is incredibly sturdy and is tightly wrapped around stainless steel wire in the shape of an oval loop, which allows flexibility to remove stubborn stains.

Material: These Japanese plant scrubbers are made from hemp palm

Recommended for: It is perfect for scrubbing vegetables. It can be used for cleaning leftovers from plates and pans and removing difficult grease or residue and even burnt stains!

How to use:

  • Wet the fiber and apply a non-toxic liquid detergent.
  • When you start using the brush, you might see some fibers coming off, but this is completely normal due to the excess fiber that wasn’t woven into the steel skeleton. This stops after use.
  • Rinse with water after use and keep in a dry spot in a standing position to facilitate the drying process.

These plant scrubbers are known to last long - for more than 15 years! It is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and is soft on the hands. It is extremely durable and does not scratch surfaces.


  • To sanitize these scrubbers, you can either leave them in vinegar and rinse them thoroughly.
  • It may feel awkward at first, but it is one of the best alternatives to plastic sponges.


#3 Pura natural sponges

Plant-based, odour-free sponge


  • Made from recycled plastic and walnut shells.
  • Absorbs grease, oil and grime while rejecting water.
  • Unique leaf shape helps to clean nooks and crannies better than traditional sponges.
  • No glue or adhesives are used on the scrubber.
  • Handmade.

Recommended for: Cleaning surfaces like countertops and dishes.

How to use:

  • Drench the sponge and squeeze so that it is soft and firm.
  • Add eco friendly dishwashing soap.
  • After use, soak in water, squeeze the water out and leave it to dry.

These sponges have a rubbery feel and do not stink. It is made with recycled plastic.


  • It can be stiffer than a conventional dishwashing sponge.
  • Also, the scrubbing part falls off quickly, so be careful while using it.


#4 Full Circle bamboo dish brush

Handy and durable


  • This product is small but mighty.
  • The handle is sturdy and easy to hold with a grip.
  • Requires less energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases during production.
  • The ceramic base helps to store the brush neatly and keeps it squeaky clean.

Material: The bristles are made from recycled plastics and bamboo

Recommended for: Multipurpose cleaning - Dishes, countertops and even sink edges

How to use:

  • Rinse it with water to remove residues and let it dry before use.
  • Don't let it sit in water by the sink -  this will shorten its life.
  • It's also best to hand wash and air dry.

The bristles are strong enough to remove tough stains but also gentle to not scratch cookware. The spring underneath the cover is firm and helps to apply pressure effectively.


  • Many buyers have reported that they prefer a wider dish base.
  • It can be difficult to measure the appropriate level of water in the dish base.
  • Creating suds can be quite a task for beginners.


#5 Skoy dishwashing

Cotton fibers


  • The Skoy scrub is a new concept in kitchen cleaning pads.
  • Made from leftover cotton fibers from the towel industry and a non-toxic hardener.
  • Non-scratching on most surfaces.
  • It is long-lasting and durable.
  • It is safe on most surfaces.

Material: 98% cotton and 2% resins

Recommended: Multiuse and safe for most surfaces including non-stick pans, ceramic tops and glass.

How to use:

  • Mix the detergent liquid with water and soak the Skoy dishwashing scrub.
  • It is delicate, gentle and easy to fold and get to tough parts.
  • You can throw the cotton scrub in the washing machine to make it good as new.

The Skoy Scrub is easily cleaned on the top rack. If you find food particles caught in the scrub, simply rub the scrub against itself. The Skoy Scrub is safe on most surfaces and is not limited to the kitchen.


  • It can be a bit difficult to dry and get squeaky clean because cotton absorbs oil and water.
  • Make sure to clean it properly and dry it after use.


#6 Scotch Brite greener clean

Plant-based cellulose fiber


  • Cleans grime without scratching pots and pans.
  • The scrub is non-toxic.
  • It has a sponge side and a scouring side.
  • It is made from 50% natural materials.
  • It is moderately long-lasting.

Material: The scrub is made from 50% agave plant and 50% polyester. The sponge is made from 23% recycled office paper and 77% cellulose

Recommended for: Best for washing cookware.

How to use:

  • Wet the Scotch Brite Greener Clean and add some eco friendly dishwashing soap.
  • After use, make sure to properly wash both sides as one side is a sponge and the other is a scrub.
  • It can be difficult to remove food particles stuck in the scrub. Try soaking it in warm, soapy water. Then squeeze dishwasher detergent and baking soda to work up a sud on the pad.

The sponge side of the scrub is made from cellulose fiber with 25% recycled paper. 50% of the scouring side is made from agave. But the concerning part is that the remaining 50% is polyester, which is not biodegradable and not compostable.


  • Some of the reviewers have stated that they wish it lasted longer and it can not be compared to non-eco friendly options.
  • However, the sponge part is compostable.


How to choose eco friendly sponge - Buying guide

I understand the options above can be overwhelming as each one has its own advantages. Here’s how you can choose the best eco friendly sponges.

Points to consider -

  1. Choose the material based on toughness
  2. Select the right size of the sponge
  3. Make sure that the scrub is antibacterial

  1. Pick a material based on toughness

The durability and sustainability of the sponge determine how eco-friendly the sponge is. Standard sponges are usually made from cellulose and hemp fiber. The one with tiny holes is made from polyurethane. Make sure that you are getting unaltered plant materials.

  • Loofahs are mildly abrasive and compostable. They are good substitutes for green scouring pads. You can toss it into your compost pile when done.
  • Plant-based scouring pads are made from coconut husks or walnut shells. They do not contribute to microplastic pollution.
  • Hemp fibers are one of the strongest and most durable of all the natural plant fibers. It is resistant to mold and mildew.
  • Recycled plastic is tough and can last for a longer period of time.
  • Cellulose sponges absorb water just as easily and are heat resistant.

2. Select the right size

Just because it is eco friendly, doesn't mean it is the best option. A small sponge can fit easily into your hand but can be difficult to use. Larger scrubs can be difficult to hold on to.

3. Ensure that your sponge is antibacterial

Sponges are usually damp and have spaces that act as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

To make sure that your sponge stays clean, check the antibacterial properties of the products to avoid mold and bacterial growth. Ensure that the materials are not treated.

How to clean, maintain and discard your eco friendly sponge?

If your desired eco friendly sponge is not antibacterial, you can learn how to clean it. Many people microwave sponges to kill bacteria, which works, but it also leaves behind dangerous bacteria. Dishwashing or tossing them in the washing machine can have the same effect.

Make sure that your sponge is cleaned and is dried as quickly as possible. Don't try to use any sponge for too long - If it starts to smell or looks moldy, it's time to toss it in the  recycling or compost. Some cellulose sponges need to be replaced every other week.

You can also repurpose old sponges to use with other chores that wouldn’t do any harm - like cleaning your bathtub!

Looking for more sustainable kitchen products?

Your sustainable journey doesn't need to end here. There is so much more to an eco friendly lifestyle. Please feel free to check out some of our other blog posts!

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