All About Sponge Cloths!
Sponge cloths are a Swedish household staple. They're exactly what their name implies..a sponge and a cloth. Originally invented in Sweden in 1949 by an engineer named Curt Lindquist, sponge cloths have gained a loyal following over the years and are quickly gaining popularity here in Canada.
What are sponge cloths made out of?
Sponge cloths are made out of a combination of cellulose (wood pulp) and cotton and all of the cloths carried in the shop are dyed using water-based inks. Because wood pulp and cotton are natural materials, these cloths are 100% biodegradable and can go right into your compost once they've worn out.
How do they work?
Before you first use them, sponge cloths feel rigid, almost like a piece of cardboard. As soon as they get wet, they soften up completely and become cloth-like. Sponge cloths dry super quickly and never have that "dish cloth" smell. They're great for wiping down surfaces like counter tops and tables, for cleaning glass, mirrors and appliances, or even in the workshop, garage etc. You can use sponge cloths all over the house and since they are super absorbent (each cloth can hold up to 3/4 cup of liquid) sponge cloths are ideal for mopping up spills. Essentially, anywhere you'd use a paper towel, you can use sponge cloths. One sponge cloth is equal to about 17 rolls of paper towel! I even use them when I'm painting with watercolours.
How long do they last?
Generally, sponge cloths last about 200 washes. You can get around 3-6 months out of them or more depending on how well they're cared for and what you use them for (ie. using them to wipe down counters only vs using them in the garage). Once they look worn or start to come apart, it's time to grab a new one.
How do you wash them?
Sponge cloths can go right in the dishwasher on the top rack or you can wash them in the washing machine. Skip the dryer and let them air-dry. If you accidentally throw a sponge cloth in the dryer, it'll shrink quite a bit but they're still usable! I've done this more than once...
What sizes do they come in?
Here at Kinsfolk Shop we carry Ten & Co which is a Canadian brand, Redecker (German based), and are adding a couple other Canadian vendors to the line up as well. Standard sponge cloth size is around 6 3/4" x 8" but we also carry an XL and an XXL version. The XL comes in at 12" x 10" and is a great size to use as a small drying mat, or for mopping up big spills. The XXL, which is 15 3/4" x 11 3/4", makes a generously sized drying mat that fits most drying racks but can also be used to cover bowls with rising dough.
This is all thanks to Ten and Co! They have some amazing zero-waste gift wrapping ideas with sponge cloths.
Wrap a regular sized cloth around a wine bottle and tie with string.
This next one was done with a tea towel, but a sponge cloth would work too! Same idea as the wine bottle...add a cook book, sponge cloth, and tie with ribbon or string. Super practical, and thoughtful gift giving without the wrapping paper or gift bags.
Sponge cloths are probably one of the most useful, and versatile products in the shop! It's easy to see why they have become such a fan favourite. They help you reduce single use paper waste (paper towel) and plastic waste (sponges) and come in a range of patterns and prints to suit any style and aesthetic.