Today I’m sharing some plastic free, eco friendly, biodegradable, some sustainable aside from packaging sponges. Both for body and general household cleaning. Some even double up being a twofer! Obviously not the same exact sponge! Scrub-a-Dub-Dub! Couldn’t resist 😉
Konjac sponge with bamboo and charcoal
These are great alternative to plastic foam sponges. Made from the root of the konjac plant they’re a biodegradable, sustainable, renewable source. As for as I know production is environmental friendly. They’re also cruelty free and vegan!
Way too much plastic packaging. Body konjac sponge
Initially hard they expand and get softer with water shrinking in size back almost to their dry state when not in use. They’re soft enough for the face too! Depending on where you buy they’re a little expensive compared to regular sponges, more so if they’re infused with charcoal, green tea etc. Also I’ve noticed if they come in a cardboard box or packaging they’re more expensive than those in plastic! I love konjac sponges and am happy to pay within reason more for cardboard packaging as I reduce my plastic waste. They generally last about 3 months before needing replacing. Not harsh on the skin they leave your skin feeling nice as they have slight exfoliating properties. I’ve also found as they swell up so much with water, the ones marketed towards face cleansing work fine as body sponges. Depending on the size you can use them as eye makeup remover pads too! I personally don’t use them facial sponges preferring cotton muslim face clothes, using an oil cleanser and foam cleanser to remove my makeup and cleanse my face. If you do use the thin slice ones for removing makeup, wash them regularly, The only con I have is many come in plastic packaging. ***
More expensive yet more environmentally friendly packaging. The inner box can be repurposed for storage or organising boxCuter packaging, but why so much unnecessary plastic?
Greek sea sponge
I really love the idea of soaping up with sea sponges. A little bit of the sea at home and all things mermaids. Would mermaids cleanse with a sea sponge? Biodegradable, renewable, toxic free and sustainable! They contain natural enzymes the naturally inhibit bacteria, mould, mildew and bad odors. Perfect for bathrooms. The only issue is with how ethical they are: removing turtle food, over harvesting with possible damage to seabeds and ecosystems.
Good ones aren’t cheap. Passing a pharmacy window in the summer displayed with beautiful sea sponges, I remembered my Mum’s Mum used to use a sea sponge. I was shocked how they expensive they are ranging from €9.90 for medium size to €70 for a large sponge! However I can I understand the price. The first one, a Greek sponge (cheaper than the USA ones also sold) lasted about 2 months with daily use before starting to break up. I felt so bad. It was over the summer so not only was it dealing with soap but also sunscreen. Imagine what rivers, lakes, seas and oceans have to deal with from our cleaning products, lotions and potions. I use natural ingredient soap too! The next one from my local supermarket didn’t even last a day before breaking up. This one is from the same pharmacy and only just lasted a month. As much as I love the idea, for now I’m sticking with cardboard packaging konjac sponges. I loved how they felt so nice soaped up, how pretty they looked in the bathroom, and how they cleansed with mild exfoliating. Nothing beats the real deal right? Synthetic sponges were developed based on sea sponges. Concern over harvesting is why I’ll stick to konjac sponges.
1 month of use. Poor thing destroyed
I understand from a hygiene point of view, but why so much plastic?!
I’ll confess I always thought loofahs were from the seas and oceans. So so wrong! A random Youtube video confirmed they are actually dried vegetable insides from gourds member’s of the cucumber family! The video mentioned using them as a dish sponge however it was until Marta Lives in China started using them I took note to look out for them. For some reason in Spain I can’t find them easily. Mostly online and it’s not an item I specifically look out for. It wasn’t until looking around an bio shop on holiday seeing them reasonably priced I remembered!
Quartered for better cleaning power
Aside from the plastic packaging these must be the ultimate renewable, eco friendly, cruelty free, vegan sponge! All depending however on the farming methods used. Great for body exfoliating used dry on dry skin. I haven’t as yet used one as a regular shower sponge. I tried them for the dishes, I didn’t get on with them. For dishes I feel you need a sponge more flexible which these aren’t. For cleaning the bathrooms I love them! A little research showed they don’t scratch enamel making them ideal barroom sponges. They’re tough enough to remove soap shower/bath scum, toothpaste, lotions and potions marks off as well as general bathroom cleaning. I cut mine up into quarters making the rough insides perfect for scrubbing when needed.
These I get from my local bio shop. I’d prefer if I’m honest the loofah to work on the dishes. These are the next best thing. Priced at around €2.50 for 2 I’m happy to pay for everything including the packaging is biodegradable. The sponge and scouring pad are vegetable in origin. The green scouring pad’s made from part sisal and recycled fibres. Great for the more stubborn stains without scratching. The yellow sponge made from plant cellulose is great for everything else. I have used these as a bathroom cleaning sponges however it left green flakes making them not really ideal for bathrooms. They last around 4-6 weeks before needing replacing.
***Best konjac sponge I’ve used. One P (aka ChefPaulGuru) brought me back from Japan. When I say Japan he was at Tokyo airport waiting for a connecting flight with a few hours to kill. He loves ramen, loves most asian food so you can imagine how excited he was to spend time eating the real deal. Not only did he go crazy trying as many dishes as he could, he went crazy buying me cute wash cloths, napkins, bookmarks, cute erasers, shopping bags, keychains and beauty products! I was I’ve just sorted out the house and you bring back all of this? Where I’m going to put it? I know, I know but it’s cute right?! Unfortunalty I used the sponge over the summer so no photo. It’s was meant for the face due it’s size but it was perfect as a body sponge. Lasted longer than konjac sponges I get here, more dense yet softer. Made by Yojiya this one’s a winner! It’s would be a gold winner you’ve guess it if no plastic
Sadly now just the packaging. The best konjac sponge I’ve tried so far: Yojiya
Have you tried any of theses sponges? Did they work for you? Have you found other alternatives to plastic foam sponges? If so, please share in the comments below!