Welcome to One Simply Terrific Thing, our ongoing series highlighting the small tools and kitchen goods that make life better.
The mildewy smell of an old cellulose dish sponge is haunting to me. As soon as I catch a whiff, I can almost see cartoonish wavy green lines emanating from the sponge. It reminds me of growing up in an immigrant household—the way we stretched our cleaning tools long past their breaking point to avoid being wasteful. Although this resourcefulness has stuck with me into my adulthood, grimy sponges crawling with bacteria have not.
Instead, I am now a proud Scrub Daddy sponge evangelist. I’ve tried dish brushes, which are odorless but don’t easily fit into nooks and crannies, leaving leftover residue behind; natural sponges, which might be better for the environment but are pricey; and even gave cellulose sponges another shot (though they almost immediately began to smell and were subsequently tossed).
Scrub Daddy sponges, however, fit my best-dish-sponge criteria with ease. They are made with a specialized, odor-resistant foam called FlexTexture that easily bends for hard-to-reach spaces. The sponges are more rigid in cold water, making it easy to scrub grime off my stainless steel pans without ruining the surface. Under warm water, they become softer, more pliable, and absorbent for gentle cleaning.
Even Scrub Daddy’s signature smiling face has a purpose beyond being cute: The mouth doubles as a dual-sided utensil cleanser perfect for spoons and chopsticks while the eyes can fit fingers in them for cleaning deeper vessels like pint glasses.
Plus—and this might be the best part—they come in so many different shapes and colors. As I continue to build the kitchen of my dreams, I want tools and appliances that are practical but also aesthetically pleasing. This means a pink stand mixer, a flower-shaped Dutch oven (also pink), hand towels strewn with illustrated cats and hearts (these too, are pink), and a sponge that is both functional and adorable. If the sponge comes in pink like Scrub Daddy’s, that is a bonus.
There are several Scrub Daddy sponges that I rotate through. In the spring, I love the flower-shaped scrubbers which come in packs of green, white, and orange. During the holidays, I’ll reach for the snowflake and reindeer ones, which also arrive in packs of three. Year-round, the pink cat-shaped Scrub Mommy fits in perfectly with the rest of my kitchen and also boasts an extra lather-forming soft foam side.
There’s a reason that the Scrub Daddy is the most successful product to come out of Shark Tank. What other sponge brands have products that actually smile at you? Although washing dishes is not nearly as enjoyable as cooking, the chore can at least be improved with a fun and versatile sponge. Nothing about that stinks.
How I Clean My Scrub Daddy Sponges
If my Scrub Daddy does start to smell, cleaning it couldn’t be simpler. I either toss the sponge in the top rack of the dishwasher or rinse and squeeze until the water runs clean. You can also dampen and throw it in the microwave for a minute to sanitize. Although it’s recommended to switch out the scrubbers in two-week intervals, I’ve found that the life of my Scrub Daddy sponges extends far beyond that.