Silicone sponges are all the rage, and for good reason — they're eco-friendly, easy to clean, and don't take on odors like regular sponges do. That said, they're not all the same. Different sponges serve different purposes, and some are definitely better than others. The best silicone sponges are made with strong, durable materials and designed to tackle the specific task you have in mind.
Material-wise, if you want your sponge to be made with the highest quality silicone, look for options that are BPA-free and food grade or FDA-approved. As for the construction, look for features that will provide a good grip (so the sponge won't slip out of your hand) and if the sponge has bristles opt for longer ones which will hold more soap and be more effective at cleaning.
Once you've evaluated the materials and construction of the sponge, think next about what you'll be using it for. If you're going to be scrubbing pots and pans that require lots of elbow grease, you'll want a heavy-duty sponge that's specifically built for tough jobs. If, on the other hand, you're going to be cleaning fragile champagne glasses or washing fruit, you'll want a softer sponge that's designed to be delicate.
To help you in your sponge-finding mission, I've made a list of the best silicone sponges for a variety of uses. Take a look and get ready to have your life changed (or, at the very least, your dishwashing routine).
Still looking for answers? We've got you covered.
Are silicone sponges better?
Silicone sponges aren't a perfect alternative to the standard foam or cellulose kitchen sponge — but they do have a lot of benefits. Whether or not a silicone sponge is "better" depends on what qualities you are looking for in a sponge.
That said, because silicone sponges aren't absorbent, they aren't good at cleaning liquids from the counter, and they don't retain soapy water very well, so you may need to lather up more frequently. If you're accustomed to standard sponges, this can take some getting used to. Some people feel they also don't do as good a job at cleaning some surfaces, such as stoves and countertops or removing stuck-on bits of food from cookware, as other types of sponges. If you want to clean with an absorbent sponge that can tackle all types of cleaning, silicone sponges may not be better for you.
How do you clean a silicone sponge?
Unlike standard kitchen sponges, silicone sponges are incredibly easy to clean — you can literally just toss them in the dishwasher. Different silicone sponge manufacturers may have different cleaning recommendations (and some may suggest utilizing the top rack of the dishwasher only), so be sure to read the instructions that come with your sponge before washing it.
Does silicone hold germs?
Non-porous silicone is resistant to bacteria, without the absorbent nooks and crannies that make cellulose sponges such an effective environment for bacterial growth. This doesn't mean you'll never have germs on your silicone sponge, but luckily silicone is very easy to sterilize — though you should always follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations, you may be able to toss your silicone sponge in the dishwasher or even boil it to sanitize.