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Best eco alternatives to a plastic kitchen sponge

If your kitchen is anything like ours, you’ll know it's one of the biggest plastic magnets. Thankfully, there are a few fairly easy swaps that you can do to help you on your way to reducing plastic usage in the kitchen.

When it comes to washing up, not only does using a plastic sponge impact the environment during the manufacturing process and when being disposed of, they also shed tiny partials of plastic (microplastics) that wash away down your sink plughole and end up in the ocean. So, every time you use one of those little yellow sponges we're so used to seeing beside our kitchen sink, you're accidentally contributing to the plastic pollution problem. 

But this is an easy one to fix!

The good news is that there are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic sponges and washing up products that are biodegradable and kinder on the environment to produce.

So, just how effective are eco-friendly washing up products?

When you start to make sustainable changes in your home it can sometimes be hard to find eco-friendly alternatives that work as well as the products you already use. You may be wondering whether something made from natural, biodegradable materials will be up to the job when it comes to tackling dishes caked with food residue. We're here to reassure you! We've tried and tested lots of eco-friendly washing up options and we've really put them to the test! (I can't be the only one too exhausted at the end of the day to deal with the dishes until morning?!). 

Let’s take a look at some of our favourite sustainable washing up products.

Reusable dish sponge

The eco washing up sponge... it may be small in stature but it's mighty at cleaning your dishes.

What is it made from?

It has a soft yet durable cotton fabric top (you can choose between terry or linen - more on the difference below), a tough hessian back and an absorbent bamboo core.

Why we love  the reusable dish sponge:

  • The hessian side is tough enough for even the grubbiest pots and pans - plus its natural fibres means it works fine on non-stick surfaces
  • The terry topped option - we find the terry top is ideal for working up a lather, great for getting those dishes squeaky clean!
  • The linen topped option - as well as being great for washing up, it's our go to for wiping down surfaces and scrubbing the hob clean 
  • Machine washable - ours have been washed many times and a few months on they're still looking like new
  • Choice of vibrant colours to brighten up your kitchen sink - scrubbing dishes doesn't have to be boring! 

It's easy to see why this 5 inch tall underdog is one of our favourite eco swaps.

You can pick up your reusable dish sponge for £3.50:

Eco-friendly dish brush 

We love the replaceable head with this plastic free washing up brush- genius eco design! And the natural bristles produce a really soapy lather.

What’s it made from?

Let’s start at the top… the brush head is  made from natural FSC® beech wood and tampico bristles (plant-based fibre), making it compostable. And the best part? It’s replaceable! That’s right, once the brush head is worn out, simply replace it with a fresh one.

Now onto the handle. Our preference with this brush is a silicone handle. You can get wooden handled washing up brushes with replaceable heads, and yes, wood is a more sustainable material, but we personally find the silicone handled option to be more robust and longer lasting. For us, it’s important that something ‘reusable’ lasts long enough for us to keep reusing! And there’s the added bonus that the silicone handle is comfy to grip.

Why we love this eco-friendly dish brush:

  • As sturdy as it’s plastic counterpart but much kinder to the planet
  • Comfy to handle and robust enough to get stuck into a good scrubbing
  • Reuse the handle over and over (and over!) again
  • Clever replaceable head design
  • Great at getting pots, pans and glasses clean without scratching surfaces

Buy your eco-friendly washing up brush - £5.99 

And replacement dish brush heads - £2.20 

Plastic-free bottle brush

This eco-friendly bottle brush has natural bristles with a curved end, ideal for getting stuck into cleaning those hard to reach places. 

What’s it made from?

The bristles are made of natural coconut fibre and the handle is made of a sustainably sourced timber from recycled rubber trees. 

 Why we love this plastic-free bottle brush:

  • Multipurpose - perfect for cleaning baby bottles, wine glasses and reusable drinking bottles
  • Naturally antibacterial
  • Biodegradable
  • Made from 100% plant-based material, non-toxic and vegan

Buy your plastic-free bottle brush for £ 4.99.

Reusable kitchen roll

These ‘unpaper’ towels are great for mopping up kitchen spills, cleaning down surfaces and wiping mucky hands and faces. 

What’s it made from?

100% cotton fabric with a terry back. Optional popper fastening so you can ‘tear’ a sheet off as you need it and keep your roll tidy on a kitchen roll holder (we prefer to use the unpoppered version and just shove in a repurposed jar, we're too lazy to pop them back together again!) 

Why we love it

  • Machine washable - we just chuck in with our normal washing load
  • The terry back gives it a good absorbency, making them ideal for mopping up spillages or wet surfaces and wiping kitchen sides clean 
  • Fast drying - we often reuse the same 'sheet' a few times before it gets mucky enough for washing
  • Pretty designs to brighten up your kitchen

 Buy reusable kitchen roll from £12.50 

With the kitchen being one of the biggest culprits for attracting plastic, it's a great place to start if you're looking to reduce plastic waste in your home. Ready to ditch the plastic sponge? These sustainable washing up alternatives are easy swaps to make, effective and environmentally-friendly. 

You can browse our other eco friendly products in our online eco shop. Every product we stock is tried and tested by our Little B family - to make the pass, as well as being eco-friendly and ethical, all of our products are practical for family life.