All washed up

For some time we have been struggling to find suitable, biodegradable washing-up equipment. Mr Snail (who does most of the washing-up) likes to use a brush. Most brushes for this job are plastic and the bristles get flattened very quickly, making them useless. First, I found a recycled plastic version with a replaceable head, but the quality was so poor that the head needed replacing after only a few uses. Then, I was delighted to find a wooden brush with natural plant-fibre bristles and replaceable heads. I bought one, along with spare heads, and we gave it a try. Sadly, the heads seemed to last only a short time too, were a less than ideal shape (round) for getting into all the nooks and crannies and repeatedly fell off the handle. Eventually Mr Snail refused to use them any more and returned to a standard plastic brush. The quest continues to find a washing-up brush that actually delivers all we need: a good shape, durable and made from natural materials.

Mostly, I prefer to wash up using a cloth. Crochet cotton cloths are fine unless you want some abrasion and my old abrasive cloth, which I have had for years but is very worn, is plastic (nylon possibly). I was happy, therefore, that Red Apple Yarn sells textured cotton dishcloth yarn and I just had to give it a go. I decided that a loose mesh was likely to prove most useful, and whipped up a crocheted dish cloth in double quick time. I tested it out this morning* and it does a good job, although is only a bit abrasive (it felt more so when I was working it up). For me this is likely to be a good option; for Mr Snail the quest for the perfect brush continues.

-oOo-

* I washed up because Mr Snail was still in bed recovering from yesterday’s 21-mile sponsored walk.

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23 Comments

  1. Leslie Fritz

     /  April 29, 2018

    I tunisian crochet my dish scrubbies using 100% cotton yarn. I use alternate rows of knit stitch and purl stitch. I also make them small, pretty much sponge size so that people who like washing dishes with sponges like these also. Good luck with your quest!

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  2. I use a knitted (by me) dishcloth and an abrasive pad made of coconut fibre which I think came from the same place as the coconut shell soap dish you mentioned a few posts ago. It seems to last OK. I can’t help with the brush I’m afraid!

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  3. I’m with Mr Snail in preferring a brush, but can’t offer a suitable replacement suggestion, I’m afraid…

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  4. We use the lovely dishcloth that you made, plus the wooden type brush you mentioned. The dishcloth is getting rather worn now though.

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  5. I wonder if a dishcloth yarn doubled with some metal thread (the like we see used for “design” knitting; like this: http://www.loopknittingshop.com/p/5247/Habu—Ultra-Fine-Silver-Stainless-Steel-Thread) would add the needed abrasive power?
    Poor Mr Snail, is he very worn out by the distance-walking? It’s a long way to go, plus the weather must have been not very mild (at least it wasn’t here in London)…

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    • I’ve got some nettle twine somewhere that I think might add an abrasive element… I will have to dig it out.
      Fortunately the weather here in west Wales was good yesterday – mostly sunny but not too warm, with only a very short rain shower. Thank you so much for your sponsorship โค

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  6. I too have tried various alternatives to the brush – which I prefer – but none work as well as the little cheapo plastic brush. I console myself with the fact they last so much longer than all those pricey alternatives that don’t work and end up getting tossed out….

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  7. That cotton sounds intriguing as thatโ€™s the only thing I dislike about my cotton cloths

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  8. How did Mr Snail go on his walk? I hope it was a very successful fund raiser. (Sorry, no help with the washing up brush either.)

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  9. I also crochet my own cotton dish clothes. For scrubbing burnt on food, Iโ€™ve found sodium bicarbonate to be the most effective method.

    Like you, Iโ€™ve found the wooden brushed with changeable biodegradable heads to be very short lived. I do however use one in the bathroom, where the job is a little less fiddly.

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  10. Nikki

     /  May 10, 2018

    May I suggest a loofah sponge as an alternative to the plastic brush? They are fully biodegradable & last for months on end. I know we tend to only think of them as a “spa item” in the West, but I’ve seen them used as gentle washing tools to great effect in Taiwan! With larger/longer loofah sponges, I simply soak them for a little while & cut them in half/to the desired length & voila! The perfect sponge ๐Ÿ™‚
    ps. Works well as an exfoliator too!

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  11. Nikki

     /  May 10, 2018

    pps. I’ve also seen them sold as part of a brush – for back scrubbing! I use mine for house cleaning…

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  12. Nikki

     /  May 10, 2018

    Didn’t someone mention growing loofahs/similar plant family a while ago..?

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  13. Claire

     /  May 10, 2018

    @Nikki : i use a loofah sponge cut in half too! And a coconut coir scrubber for the baked-on encrusted spots. I can’t get the BF to use them though, he uses a plastic scrubber. Bah..

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