Up until last year, I sure didn’t. But then I read something shocking: kitchen sponges are the #1 source of germs in the entire house (source: WebMD). And, one tiny cell of bacteria can multiply to over 8 million bacteria cells in just 24 hours.
Statistically speaking, this makes your kitchen sponge dirtier than your toilet if you don’t disinfect it regularly (and most people don’t).
I didn’t love regular my kitchen sponges enough to disinfect them every other day, so I simply stopped using them. Instead I switched to rags; I use a fresh one every day, and the old one goes into laundry.
But then the folks over at BuyGreen.com contacted me. They wanted me to take a look at some of their Twist kitchen sponges, which are made of all-natural ingredients and are 100% biodegradable. How could I say no to that? I was willing to give the sponge another chance, so they sent over a small sampling for me to start using.
BuyGreen.com’s Green Standards
The first reason is their packaging; when they sent my sponges over, they used a tiny old cell phone box. They had all those sponges (and a nice reusable shopping bag) crammed in there using every millimeter of space. No wasteful packing peanuts or extra box was needed.
The picture on the right was everything that was contained in the recycled box, which was no bigger than my hand.
I was impressed, to say the least.
The other thing that has really impressed me about BuyGreen.com is that they have a rating system for all their products, called “Green Standards”.
Now, I’d been to their site before receiving these sponges for a product review, but somehow I’d missed this. Here’s how it works:
Every product that’s sold on BuyGreen.com is rated using four criteria: Source Material, Manufacturing, Use, and Disposal. This means that they investigate every stage of a product’s life, from creation to grave, to make sure that it truly is green.
To me, this is genius.
After all, how many companies out there have hopped on the green bandwagon lately, claiming to make an eco-friendly product (all the while doing things like not recycling their own waste, taking advantage of unfair labor practices, or even making a product that’s truly not green at all)?
This is “greenwashing” at its best, and it’s becoming more and more common. You can find a great article on greenwashing here at the New York Times, if you’d like to learn more.
Anyway, the great thing about BuyGreen’s rating system is that they do the legwork for you here. And, each product is given a final score between 1-100 that rates its true “greenness”. A score of 1 means that it’s very low on the green scale, and a 100 means it’s amazingly green.
BuyGreen.com looks at tons of different aspects to a product’s creation and life cycle. For instance:
- Does the company test on animals?
- Does this “green” product use more resources than its “non-green” counterpart?
- Does the parent company make efforts to reduce waste and recycle in their facilities?
- Can the product be reused, composted, or recycled once its life is finished?
- What’s the environmental impact during the manufacturing process?
- How much packaging is used for this product? Is the packaging recycled or sustainable?
- How is the product transported? What are the impacts of this transportation, and the distance this product has travelled?
These are questions that we should be asking for all the products we use. But, finding the answers can be pretty difficult, which is why this rating system is so darn cool. And, you can download a full report on each product to see how it stands up in every category.
The Twist kitchen sponges got an average score of 77, which is pretty darn good.
Ok, I promise I wasn’t paid or reimbursed by BuyGreen.com in any way for all that. I’m simply very impressed with how far they’ve gone to research every product they carry on their site, and make sure that their customers are as informed as possible. It really is amazing to be able to see the lowdown for every product on the site.
Now, on to the Twist sponges!
The Twist Euro-Sponge is a large, biodegradable sponge that is perfect for cleaning countertops. It’s very soft and absorbant.
There was nothing I didn’t like about this sponge. It’s just that: a sponge for cleaning up spills. But, I love the fact that it biodegrades. And, it’s dishwasher safe, or you can sterilize it by boiling it.
This sponge is like a vanilla ice cream cone: everyday trustworthy and predictable.
The Twist Loofah Scrubby is a great dishwashing sponge because it does two things: scrubs and cleans. It’s got a sponge on the inside which helps froth up the dish soap, and a loofah on the outside for getting off baked-on goop.
I really liked this sponge. It’s definitely a heavy-duty scrubber (even more so than the Dish Dumpling, coming up…).
And like all Twist products, they made this sponge to have a long, productive life. It’s top-rack dishwasher safe, and you can disinfect it by boiling it. And once it’s not pulling its own weight in the kitchen anymore, you can rest easy knowing it’s biodegradable.
Of the four sponges I tried, the Sponge Blossoms just might be my favorite. Why?
Because they’re super cool!
The Sponge Blossoms are basically dehydrated sponges. They come in a pack of four, and they’re very small and compressed. You can hang them in your kitchen (which is what I did), and when you need a sponge simply unthread one. Once you add water, it magically expands into a full size dish sponge.
I loved this sponge not only because it saves space, but because it cleans well. It’s the perfect size for my hand, and I actually enjoyed using it far more than my old rags. I’m sorry to my faithful companions, they’ve served me well, but my heart has been stolen by the sweet little Sponge Blossoms.
I’d consider the Dish Dumpling to the be the workhorse of the group. I used this little baby more than any of the other sponges, and I really loved it.
The Dish Dumpling is similar to the Loofah Scrubby; they’re both great for scrubbing off the tough stuff, and both have soft sponges in the middle.
But the Dish Dumpling is made from agave instead of loofah, so it’s a bit softer while still giving you plenty of scrubbing power. I actually liked it better than the loofah sponge because of this; I felt it was safe to use on my stainless steel and cast iron pans. The loofah I’d only use on glass baking pans.
I have to say I’m a frugal girl through and through. After all, I thought, if I could use my old rags why spend money on something else?
But I’m sold on these sponges, and once their life is up I will be purchasing more. My opinion is that they work better than my old rags, especially the scrubby Dish Dumpling (who now has his own home in a green egg dish by the sink). And they’re certainly more pleasant to use.
Plus, they can all be easily disinfected by microwaving or boiling, and I actually care about them enough to make the effort. Isn’t love grand?
Disclaimer: Everything in this product review is 100% my own opinion. All images come courtesy of BuyGreen.com.
This is NOT a paid or sponsored post. There are no paid or sponsored posts on The Greenest Dollar. I did generously receive samples from BuyGreen.com for the purposes of this review, but found nothing I didn’t like about these products. To be honest, I liked them more than I thought I would.