Published July 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.
Do thin, "eco-friendly" sponge cloths work as well as a heavy-duty kitchen sponge?
Do thin, “eco-friendly” sponge cloths made from cotton and wood pulp work as well as a heavy-duty kitchen sponge? We tested two biodegradable cloths against a leading household sponge made of synthetic cellulose and nylon. Both eco sponges were far more absorbent than the household sponge. The two biodegradable sponges soaked up almost a ½ cup of spilled water and 1/3 cup, respectively, while the household sponge picked up little more than ¼ cup. Both sponge cloths swept up a large pool of barbecue sauce from the countertop, leaving few streaks behind, while the household sponge mostly pushed sauce around. Another plus: Hot, soapy water erased all traces of barbecue sauce (including its sour, smoky smell) from the cloths, while smells and stains lingered on the traditional sponge. After multiple cycles in the dishwasher, both of the biodegradable sponges surfaced unscathed.