Iris Olde Bijvank - May 17 2020

How to Wash the Dishes All-natural and Sustainable?

Sponge waste

Most of you will use the dishwasher for the majority of the dishes and wash a little by hand. Fragile glasses, pots, and pans are often washed by hand.

Traditionally the sponges used are made from oil-based plastic and the brushes are plastic with nylon bristles. While using these products you hope they are free of the harmful BPA, which is not always the case. Microplastics fall of the plastic sponges every time you do the dishes. These small particles will end up in our waterways and stay in the oceans forever. Unfortunately regularly ingested by marine life.

At the end of life, you need to throw both the plastic sponge and brush in your regular curbside bin. It can not be recycled.

What to do?

Reuse. If you still have plastic brushes, keep using them for dishes as long as they are functional. If the brush gets too worn for the dishes you can repurpose it to clean shoes, toilets, or anything else you need an old brush for. Make your own decision if you want to keep using the plastic sponges.

What to do with plastic brush
Plastic Dish Brush and Sponge


Which brush and sponge are the best?

This is a little tricky. We have bought a lot of different sponges and brushes to test. Some of those are in the picture. We tested functionality and durability. Besides that, we checked if the brushes were sustainable. This means that they are made in fair labor, fairtrade, and sourced in a way that does not hurt the planet. From most brushes, we did not get a clear answer where the wood came from, and that made us wonder. Other brushes were not comfortable to handle, but of course, this is a personal opinion. We had the wood cracked in brushes.

Can I put plastic shopping bags in a regular recycling bin?

All-natural and sustainable dish brushes and sponges

Now the best part!

Brushes and sponges made from natural materials are compostable! At the end of life, you have nothing to throw in your trash can. The wire in the brushes can be recycled.

And what about the future?

Think about the choices you have when it is time to replace your old plastic dishwashing brush. You have choices for all-natural and vegan dish detergent too. A blog about dishwashing soap block and dishwasher pods will come soon.

Let us know in the comments below what you use to do your dishes and if you like it.

Green Wishes,
Iris

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