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Dish Washing: Sponge or Brush?

Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 11:27 AM

As the title states... do you like sponges or brushes for dish washing? I used to only have sponges, but I now have both. I've started to like a palm brush a lot after using one. My reasons: (1) they effectively remove stuck on foods from dishes, (2) food residues can be easily remove from the brushes (Just imagine washing grummy oil residue, a sponge will absorb the residues and basically transfers from one dish to another dish). (3) they keep my hand relatively dry.

I will admit that sponges have two advantages: (1) they can get dish squeaky clean and (2) they capture detergent better -- a drop of detergent will last a long time on a sponge.

Still, I like the brushes just a little more.

What about you? Thanks.

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  1. Politeness RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 01:48 PM

    Chemicalkinetics, the short answer is Chore Boy Longlast. I guess you would classify it as a sponge, but we have sponges and we have Chore Boy Longlasts, and they are not the same. (We also have brushes; we're omnidextrous when it comes to scrubbing dishes.) Two reviewers on Amazon (we are not quoting ourselves) seem to like them as much as we do: http://www.amazon.com/Chore-Boy-Longl...

    We have had a devil of a time finding stores that stock the Chore Boy Longlast; when we have had Eureka! moments of seeing Chore Boy Longlasts on a store shelf, then go back to the store a week or two later, they are gone and the shelf spot is occupied by some other product. We have resorted to buying Chore Boy Longlasts by the case, and there are some remarkably low prices out there that may be found with minimal looking if you are willing to devote a corner of your undersink cabinet to the unused portion of a case of Chore Boy Longlasts.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Politeness
      Chemicalkinetics RE: Politeness Oct 3, 2010 02:16 PM

      "we have sponges and we have Chore Boy Longlasts" Ha ha ha. It reminds me of many different TV commercials. Exactly why do you like it more than other sponge? It last longer? Or it holds liquid better?

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        Politeness RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 04:24 PM

        Chemicalkinetics: "Exactly why do you like [Chore Boy Longlast] more than other sponge?"

        How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

        First, one side of the Choreboy Longlast is a very gentle rough scrubber, approximating the hook side of a Velcro pair. Unlike greenies (Scotchbrite et all), it never will scratch anything, but on sticky food it is as effective as a woven nylon Brillo scrubber. The Chore Boy Longlast is not the ultimate scrubber for, say, baked-on barbecue sauce; other techniques will be needed for that; but it is superior to a soapy sponge alone, and roughly equivalent to a sponge used with Bon Ami.

        Second, the sponge side of the Chore Boy Longlast is of a firmer texture and a thinner profile than the typical cellulose kitchen sponge, and because of that you can more or less dig your fingertips into the task as you can with a dishcloth; still, like a plain sponge, it absorbs and then dispenses dishwashing detergent onto the working surface more effectively than a plain dishcloth can.

    2. wekick RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 03:12 PM

      I don't like to use a sponge because they hold bacteria unless they are sanitized daily. I use a Chore boy golden fleece most of the time. It is kind of like terry cloth but with a coating. It softens with use. I do use brushes for bottles.

      1. tanuki soup RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 03:48 PM

        Why do you have to choose one or the other? I use both regularly, often during the same dish-washing session. Sponges are for everyday dish washing, brushes are for gummy stuff and for cleaning gunk from between the tines of forks, and of course, a dedicated natural fiber brush is for scrubbing the cast iron. Oh yeah, and I use a different kind of sponge (denser) for polishing up my stainless steel pots with mildly abrasive cleanser.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tanuki soup
          Chemicalkinetics RE: tanuki soup Oct 3, 2010 04:23 PM

          I use both too. I am just wondering about people have a preference.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            tanuki soup RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 3, 2010 04:43 PM

            I agree, CK. I figure it's "horses for courses" :)

        2. silkenpaw RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 5, 2010 03:29 PM

          A brush for most things, sponge for really greasy stuff, green scrubby for stubborn residue. I use an Oxo brush with a reservoir for dishwashing liquid.

          1 Reply
          1. re: silkenpaw
            Chemicalkinetics RE: silkenpaw Oct 5, 2010 04:02 PM

            I have three oxo palm brushes. I like them.

            http://www.amazon.com/Oxo-SteeL-Soap-...

            I also have the Oxo dish brush, but that does not work well:

            http://www.amazon.com/Oxo-SteeL-Soap-...

          2. JoanN RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 03:10 AM

            I'm curious, Chemicalkinetics. Did you give up on the Jetz-Scrubz we talked about here:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7137...

            I'm still using my original one, four months later. I wouldn't say it looks like new; it has cuts in it from washing my knives. But other than that it doesn't look or feel as though it's anywhere near needing to be replaced any time soon.

            I said in that thread that I was using it for everything. Well, I've gone back to a palm-bristle brush for my wok and all my cast iron. It does a neater job of getting up the bits that stuck without getting greasy and gunky itself. But I use the Jetz-Scrubz for absolutely everything else. I used to have a whole collection of cleaning/scrubbing products on top of my sink. Now I'm down to two--one in a drainer attached to the backsplash and the other hanging from a hook above the sink. So much neater. So much cleaner. And both products last so much longer than all the other things I'd been using, it's so much cheaper as well..

            3 Replies
            1. re: JoanN
              Chemicalkinetics RE: JoanN Oct 6, 2010 06:33 AM

              What a coincidence. I was thinking about writing something about it.

              Jetz-Scrubz works fine. It does not feel like a sponge, more like a foam. Also, just like you, I have accidentially wipe my very sharp knives on it and the knives make several cuts, even I was very careful. I have also try to wash it in my washing machine, but after about 2-3 times, I notice that rough/scrub surface is starting to peel off. Very very minor, but I stop washing it in my washing machine.

              Yes, I also use brushes for my carbon steel wok and cast iron skillet. I think like all sponge, Jetz-Scrubz , is good for cleaning a relatively clean and smooth surface. A brush is better at removing crumbs and gunks. I may just get another Jetz-Scrubz and this time I will make sure I won't use it on my knives.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                JoanN RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 07:22 AM

                I'm surprised to read that your scrubbing surface is beginning to peel. I've put my Jetz-Scrubz in the dishwasher three or four times a week since I bought it and that's not happening to mine. Wonder what the difference could be?

                1. re: JoanN
                  Chemicalkinetics RE: JoanN Oct 6, 2010 09:48 AM

                  Yes, but washing machine is probably much harder than dishwasher.

            2. k
              kariface RE: Chemicalkinetics Oct 6, 2010 03:43 PM

              I'm in LOVE with this sponge. I can pick them up at a local store, so I dont worry too much about online shopping/shipping costs. However, I feel like SUCH a geek for having a favorite sponge!

              http://www.contemporaryconcepts.com/c...

              1 Reply
              1. re: kariface
                b
                BlackSox RE: kariface Nov 1, 2010 01:48 PM

                I use a plain old dishrag. It fits in almost every space (glasses, odd crannies in old cookware), has a ton of cleaning surface area, and is easily washed in the washing machine with a little bleach. I keep brushes for some of the more challenging stuff, but the dishrag has served me well.

              2. s
                stomsf RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2010 02:14 PM

                Everyday we use a sponge (unfortunately the run-of-the-mill kind you get at a local supermarket) but for scrubbing we have been amazed at the effectiveness of an old bamboo wok-scrubber. Works wonders on both our wok as well as the cast iron pan I've been using (deBuyer) and love that it gets the surface really clean. Here's a sample of what I'm talking about....

                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

                2 Replies
                1. re: stomsf
                  i
                  iyc_nyc RE: stomsf Nov 1, 2010 05:06 PM

                  Stomsf, I can't figure out how these work - are you just brushing lightly over whatever, or are you scraping at it??

                  1. re: iyc_nyc
                    s
                    stomsf RE: iyc_nyc Nov 2, 2010 08:38 AM

                    Depends what's in the wok. If the food stuck in the wok is stubbourn, I'll scrape a bit, otherwise it's a brisk circular motion, not quite perpendicular to the surface but angling the brush into the direction I'm moving in. As the bamboo is basically acting as a coarse brush I'm not as worried about scraping off any seasoning.... Just run some water into the cool wok, do a quick brush (10-30 seconds) and then rinse and put the wok back on the flame to dry it off. A quick coat of peanut oil and it's ready to be put away.

                2. i
                  iyc_nyc RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2010 05:05 PM

                  Chem, why palm brush over handle brush - is it the better leverage? I like to wash with piping hot water so the handle brush keeps my hands from getting scalded..

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: iyc_nyc
                    Chemicalkinetics RE: iyc_nyc Nov 1, 2010 06:03 PM

                    iyc_nyc,

                    Yes, I find the palm brush gives me a bit more leverage and more feedback.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      i
                      iyc_nyc RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2010 07:25 PM

                      thanks!

                  2. p
                    pabboy RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 1, 2010 06:36 PM

                    Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge (blue-blue) on almost everything when dish detergent is used. Microwaved to clean once a week and replaced once a month.

                    Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge (green-yellow) occasionally on stubborn food particle stuck to something that won't be scratched. Microwaved to clean once a week and replaced once a month.

                    Long handle brush on carbon steel and cast iron where detergent won't be used.

                    1. cannibal RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 2, 2010 08:02 AM

                      It depends on the job. I tend to use brushes more because my wife is scared of sponges though.
                      I use a cheap-o $2 ikea brush with a suction cup at the bottom as my main brush.

                      When things get a little tougher i use a kuhn rikon palm brush with either the brush head or the nylon scrubbie head if stuff is really on there, it also has a scraper bit that is handy. I have a separate head that doesn't see detergent for my cast iron and carbon steel. here's a link to the brush on the KR site, scroll down to see the brush head.
                      http://www.kuhnrikon.com/products/too...

                      If the palm brush doesn't get the job done then a dish towel is the next thing i reach for.

                      The sponge in our house mainly gets used for cleaning the sink, but from time to time I'll use the sponge to chase my wife out of the kitchen. :)

                      1. bushwickgirl RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 2, 2010 12:47 PM

                        This subject were on my mind lately, who knows why. I'm a dishcloth and green scrubbie person, that's dishcloth, not dishrag, no rags in my kitchen. The dishcloths are textured and do a good job with stuck on stuff, get into areas where no sponge will go, imo, and are in the market of 20 pieces for $10. Then they get washed and santitized with NaOCl. Green scrubbies take care of the rest of the gunk. The scrubbies also do double duty polishing with a mild abrasive, and clean CI without soap.

                        I also use the Chore Boy copper scrubbers for really tough jobs on pans that won't be scratched.

                        I have a wok brush, not the bamboo, but a natural bristle, with a long handle, but I don't use it, it just hangs out in my KP area, looking good.

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