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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Out With the Old, In With the New

I'm almost embarrassed to show you my now-retiring pots & pans scrubbing sponge. But I know there's got to be at least one friend here who, like me, can't part with a sponge when there are still some good scrubbing spots on it left.

But with company coming over on Thursday, I thought now would be a good time to toss the old sponge and replace it with a brand new one.

I buy sponges in multi-packs at Dollar Tree. The old sponge is the last one of a pack bought before Covid. Dollar Tree still carries the 6-sponge pack, but the price has risen to $1.25. 

Although I use my sponges until they're on their last legs, I do sanitize them frequently in the dishwasher. I know some folks prefer to microwave their kitchen sponges or give them a bleach and water soak periodically, the dishwasher trick is what's easiest for me.

I just like to get my money's worth. And I thought I'd provide a laugh to all of you.


  1. Not laughing here! We also use things until there's nothing left. I use SOS pads until they turn rusty. I don't like the cardboard box they come in so I put them in an old Nestle quick yellow plastic box. When I use one, it mostly has more use in it so I put a layer of plastic wrap between the new ones and the old one I've been using and that keeps the moisture away from the new ones. I can use the SOS pad for months before it's used up and rusty.

    I asked my son for a rag once to wipe up something at his house. He gave me one that had more holes in it than usable wiping space. I had to laugh because that told me he learned good lessons from home! I suggested maybe it was time to rotate those into the trash and find some other old cloths for new rags. I then found some new washcloths at home which I gave to him so he could rotate old ones out into rags. I have old baking sheets that have become so dark from frequent use. Many folks would replace them with new but I chose to scrub them as clean as I could to continue using them. I'm not about to throw something away that still has good use so I find ways to extend the life.

    1. Hi Alice,
      We are so on the same page, here. From rags to bakeware, I keep those items in service as long as possible. It's not always about saving money. I can't stand to waste. It's good to know you've passed on these values to your son. Well done, mom.

  2. I chuckled, as that's me too. But now, my husband does most of the kitchen and house clean up. He's less "frugally inclined" than me, so he doesn't use things up like I do. But, since he does the, I try to temper any criticism! My sweet mother crochets cotton dishcloths. I have a hierarchy for them. I use them in the kitchen until they are discolored, thin and holey. Then they become the rags likes Alice's son's. I continue to use them WAY past their time but want to be sure to use them til they are truly unusable!

    1. Hi Lynn,
      We have a similar hierarchy with kitchen washcloths. When "new" (bought at Value Village or other thrift store), the washcloths are the ones we pull out for company. When they've been around for a while, they're the everyday dishcloths. Once honey and thin, they go to the rag shelf in the laundry area for general cleaning. I don't know if you ever watched the show Friends. There was an episode where they're discussing Monica's towels. She had several categories for her towels. At the top tier were the "fancy guest" towels. Well, in our house, we joke that the brand new dishcloths are our "fancy guest" dishcloths.
      I consider it being good stewards of our little patch on earth to use things until they're unusable.
      That's so sweet that your mother crochets these still.

  3. I have scrubber that my MIL sewed up from a produce bag (those plastic webbed ones) and it's time to retire it, but I keep sending it through the dishwasher to sanitize it so I can continue to use it. I think we all can relate to this!

    1. Hi Kris,
      I think we're all part of the same tribe. lol. Such a thoughtful item your MIL made for you. It's useful, and it fits with your values of not wanting to waste.

      I have a couple of mesh bags saved just for this purpose. The best I've done in the past is bunch up some of the mesh and secure with a rubber band. But now you've got me thinking I should go online and find instructions for making a better, longer-lasting scrubber. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Yep. I have sponges that look like that. It sounds like we all do. :) When they get pretty worn, I retire them to clean floors and other things like that.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      That's a great way to get even more use from a worn scrubbing sponge. I've sometimes downgraded these sponges to cleaning bathrooms. This particular one felt greasy, even after going through the dishwasher. I suppose I could have washed it better, though, and still gotten more use from it. I'll remember that for next time.

  5. My favorite dish scrubber is cut from a nylon bath scrub towel. I had an old one (previously used and washed) , and cut the length in fourths to get roughly four square cloths. It is pliable enough to wash dishes yet strong enough to scrub pots. It is porous, yet fibrous and indestructible. We've been using these long scrub towels instead of cotton washcloths since my teens but only recently discovered how perfect it is for scrubbing dishes and pots/pans. I pay $2.50 a towel at our local CVS, so @62 cents a square, it's cheap and lasts almost forever. I think these four squares will last me at least 10 years easy.

    Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thank you for this suggestion. I think I know what you're talking about, and yes, I can see how they'd make a good scrubber for the kitchen as well as for bathing.
      I hope you had a lovely and peaceful Thanksgiving.


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