Product Care Guide: How to Care For & Clean Your Natural Dish Sponges & Brushes

Congrats on making the switch to sustainable sponges and dish brushes. Glad you’re here!


Natural cleaning essentials like wood pulp sponges, luffa scrub sponges, and bamboo dish brushes work great in your home. But they need a little love to make sure they endure all the dirty work you give them, stay clear of mold, and clean effectively.

Here's our guide to making your natural cleaning products last and keeping them squeaky clean.


Caring for Your Natural Sponges and Dish Brushes

It’s not an exact science, but where you live and how big your household is will influence how you use, care for, and replace your natural products.

Wherever you live, moisture breaks down natural products. People who live in drier regions in smaller households that don’t clean as often have less trouble getting their products dry between uses. People who live in humid regions in bigger households that clean more often will have to put more effort into keeping their products dry.

Here's what you can do to keep your sponges and dish brushes looking and smelling great—like they should.


Wood Pulp and Luffa Sponge Care

Our award-winning sponges are free of plasticizers or glues and can be home composted at their end of life. Both of our sponges (wood pulp and luffa) need similar care, so these tips apply to both unless we've noted otherwise.

Here’s how to give your Sqwishful sponges the care they deserve.

 Rinsing and squeezing a wood pulp sponge to clean and care for it

How to Care For Your Natural Sponges

Water is your enemy in the fight against moldy and smelly sponges. The most important thing you can do to keep your sponges fresh and clean is to dry them after every use.


How to Keep Your Wood Pulp and Luffa Sponges Clean

To keep your pop up sponge and scrub sponge in the best shape possible, you need to clean them after every use. Simply rub the sides of your sponge together and rinse it out to get rid of any food. Then, give it a good squeeze and let it dry completely.

Rinsing and squeezing dry a luffa scrub sponge to clean and care for it

Can You Put Your Sponges in the Dishwasher?

Yes! Both are top-rack dishwasher safe and come out looking brand new. Or, if you don’t have a dishwasher, sterilize your natural sponges by simply boiling them in water for 5 minutes.


Why Does Luffa Curl?

When your luffa gets wet, it returns to its natural gourd shape. Processed luffa, or luffa covered with glue, curls less. To avoid this, our luffa is sewn together with wood pulp. This makes it hug your hand a bit… kinda cute tho'.


How to Keep Your Natural Sponges From Getting Smelly

Just like your clothes, your sponge will start smelling if you don’t clean it. If your sponge is getting a bit smelly, simply follow the instructions above to clean and disinfect your sponge.

To keep your sponge from getting smelly in the first place, clean it, rinse it, and let it dry after every use. This also makes your sponge last longer!

Rinsing and squeezing dry a wood pulp sponge to clean and care for it

How to Dispose of Your Natural Sponges

Throwing your old sponges away destines them for landfill. Luckily, all of our sponges are compostable, so there’s no need to throw them away. Simply cut it into small pieces and add it to your compost bin or your municipal compost bin.

Depending on the condition of your soil, your sponge should compost in one month. 

Pro-tip: if you don’t compost at home, some natural grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and eco-minded businesses collect compostable items.


Bamboo Dish Brush Care 

Our natural bamboo dish brushes are free of varnish and can be composted at their end of life. Their tightly-packed bristles create friction without the need for force and without scratching your pans.

Here’s how to give your Sqwishful brushes the care they deserve.


How to Care for Your Natural Dish Brush 

Just like with your sponges, water is your enemy in the fight against moldy brushes. The most important thing you can do to keep your dish brushes free of mold is to dry them after every use.

Rinsing a bamboo dish brush to clean and care for it

How to Keep Your Bamboo Dish Brush Clean

To keep your brush in top shape, after every use, rinse it and keep it in a dry place to make sure it dries completely. You can also hang it to air dry.


What to Do If Your Brush Head Is Cracking

If you notice your brush looking dry or cracked, rub a small amount of fractionated coconut oil on it about once a month. Avoid conditioning your dish brush with food-based oils like vegetable or olive oils that can go rancid. You can also do this to keep the wood from drying out.

Like varnish-free wooden spoons or cutting boards, some cracking is possible if the wood dries out. To avoid that, don’t let the brush soak for a long time and avoid washing it in a dishwasher at high temperatures.


How to Clean Your Natural Brush

After every use, run your fingers through the bristles to loosen and rinse out any food. Then give it a good shake or blot dry with a tea towel and hang to air dry. You can also try placing it upright in a cup or holder.

Loosening the bristles and rinsing a bamboo dish brush to clean and care for it

Can You Put Your Dish Brush in the Dishwasher? 

It's best to hand wash your brush to keep it from cracking. The high temperature in the dishwasher might dry it out.


How to Keep Your Dish Brush From Getting Moldy and What to Do if It Happens

Water causes mold to form, so the first thing you want to do to avoid this is to make sure you dry your brush after every use. Air drying away from the sink is the best way to do that, but you can also dry it with a tea towel.


If mold is already forming, try removing it by soaking your brush head in a cup with equal parts vinegar and baking soda. After a few minutes, give it a good rinse. If that doesn’t work, we recommend replacing the brush head.


Are Dish Brushes Cleaner Than Sponges? 

With proper care, sponges stay pretty clean, but dish brushes have a slight edge. Because the bristles shed moisture, they're easier to keep dry, making them less susceptible to bacteria.


How to Store Your Dish Brush 

The best way to store your brush is either upright in a dry cup or holder or hanging it. Both help keep your dish brush dry and mold-free.

Storing a bamboo dish brush in a dry place outside of the sink to dry

How to Dispose of Your Bamboo Dish Brush

Instead of sending your old brush head to a landfill, you can compost it, add it to a campfire, or place it in your yard. It may take time, but your brush is 100% biodegradable.


Sustainable Cleaning Essentials For Your Home 

At Sqwishful, we believe sustainable living starts with inspiration. And what inspires us most are the ordinary things that remind us that every day is a clean start.

Shop for our plant-based, plastic-free products.

If you have any other questions, please say hello. We love hearing from you! Seriously. Say hi.