The yellow and green dish sponges are a household staple; they’re cheap, effective, they seemingly tick the boxes. However, as you’ll know, they can’t be composted and comparatively to how long it takes for them to decompose, their lifespan is actually pretty short. Plus, something you may not know, in most instances the green, and often the yellow part, is made from microplastics and so, not only will it take years (and years) to decompose, but each time you use it, it’s releasing these microplastics into the waterways and leaving trace plastics on your utensils. There are lots of eco sponges on the market that use natural, and therefore compostable materials, but they can be a little more costly.

If you’re looking for something to bridge the gap- move away from the plastic sponges but want to balance the cost of the more expensive sponges, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll show you how to make your own eco sponges. As a plus, you can often use materials from other craft/sewing projects and even clothing that is no longer fit for purpose.

Note: My sewing machine needle was bent when I went to make this and didn’t realise (was a little rough with it on my last project). However, I did hand sew one to make sure the guide worked, and it does (just really messy as it took me a bit longer than it would on the machine, plus stitching doesn’t hold as well)! As soon as I have it up and running again, I’ll post a video on the Patreon platform for you to follow.

To make your own eco-sponges you’ll need:

  • A sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • 3 materials of your choice: A netted/mesh material- you can get this from your local haberdashery*, towelling and a tough cotton work best
  • Fabric marker or chalk
  • Pins.

*You could even recycle the mesh your fruit (often citrus) comes in. However, note this is also plastic and cannot be machine washed so would considerably limit the life of your eco sponge.

How to:

  • Cut your fabrics in 5” wide by 7” long- you can use a fabric pen or chalk on the back of the fabrics if you want to be particularly accurate. However, you can also go freehand if you don’t have these things (normal pen won’t show), you’ll not notice a slight variation between your layers.
  • Layer your fabrics with the towelling on the outside, mesh inside and the cotton with the back facing you (you’ll turn it the other way after the first sew) and pin in place.
Make sure the mesh and pattern of the fabric face inwards (I had both mesh and tulle)
  • Sew three sides of your sponge, leaving the fourth as an opening.
  • Cut the corners of your sponge.
  • Turn the sponge the right way up, pushing the corners out as much as possible.
Ready for the final sewing stage
  • Pin the opening and then top stitch twice.

Your sponge is ready to use!

Allow to dry fully before each use and then throw in the washing machine every few days, ready to use again.

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