Is non-scratch sponge actually a gimmick?

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kenny1999

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I have noticed that many sponges are advertised to be non-scratch. I have been using many different sponges, either non-scratch or heavy-duty for years but I never find one sponge that would cause any real scratch to my cookware or dishware. However, if you are talking about fine scratches that you can hardly see or feel with your fingers, it looks like those scratches are already there on day 1 you newly buy the dishware or cookware.

So, is a non-scratch sponge actually a gimmick? Is there any delicate cookware that will be easily scratched by a common sponge for real?
 

Andy M.

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Yes. There are sponges that have a dark green scrubbing side. That dark green side will scratch. Plain sponges and sponges with a blue scrubbing side will not scratch.
 

pepperhead212

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I got a scratch free sponge that also dries out faster - there is a lighter, gray sponge in between the regular sponge (the kind that seems to stay wet too long, and get that musty, dirty dishrag smell), and the scratch free, scrubbing side, and it dries out very fast, when I set it on its side, on the back of the sink. It doesn't scrape anything I have used it on, and cleans almost everything that is soaked. It says bio-degradable, but I am on my first sponge in a month,, and it's not degrading in the least bit, that I can see.
 
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kenny1999

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Yes. There are sponges that have a dark green scrubbing side. That dark green side will scratch. Plain sponges and sponges with a blue scrubbing side will not scratch.
That's why I originally said, I don't find any scratch that can be done by the dark green side.
 

Andy M.

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I would expect the green scrubbing side to make light scratches on metal such as stainless steel or aluminum. I would not expect it to have any effect on porcelain dishes or glass ware. Both are much too hard to be effected.
 

pepperhead212

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I wouldn't use the green sides of sponges on anything I was worried about scratching. They are impregnated with silicon carbide, which will definitely scratch glass, and some porcelain will scratch with it. Things like Corning Ware, or Corelle dishes, have been hardened even more, and probably won't be scratched by it, but why take a chance? There are many scratch free ones out there, probably indicating they don't have that silicon carbide in the scrubbing side.
 

taxlady

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I can certainly see scratches on some of my glass and stainless steel cookware. I can see roughening on some porcelain coated cast iron cookware. There are even scratches on my Duralex plates. So, I am always finicky about the abrasiveness of cleaning tools. I am also cautious of cleaning powders and liquids, e.g., bleach will start to "eat" off the enamel on porcelain. You can tell by the tea stains in tea mugs that have been bleached clean a number of times. I have never seen that effect from cleaning tea mugs with baking soda.
 

Cooking Goddess

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Bleach out tea stains? That seems a little like overkill, @taxlady. I've always cleaned tea stains (coffee, too) with baking soda and a bit of elbow grease. Baking soda is, as a local ad states, a little box of magic. :sorcerer:
 

obillo

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Yes. There are sponges that have a dark green scrubbing side. That dark green side will scratch. Plain sponges and sponges with a blue scrubbing side will not scratch.
Agreed: it's the green stuff you want to avoid. The blue is much gentler--have seen no scratches from it.
 

kenny1999

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I would expect the green scrubbing side to make light scratches on metal such as stainless steel or aluminum. I would not expect it to have any effect on porcelain dishes or glass ware. Both are much too hard to be effected.
The biggest problem is the soft yellow side OF ANY SPONGE I have ever seen is very poor at cleaning things.
 

dragnlaw

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The biggest problem is the soft yellow side OF ANY SPONGE I have ever seen is very poor at cleaning things.
The yellow side was designed only to be used as you would a cloth. Holding the sudsy water and pushing/wiping the surface. I don't care for those yellow ones as they are synthetic. It is difficult to have just a 'damp' one as you are able to do with a cloth.
Don't use the green side on lead crystal. It WILL scratch fine stemware.
What on earth is on your lead crystal and stemware that you would need to use a scourer on?

As to the difference coloured ones. I bought a package that had three colours. Sorry packaging gone. Blue was heavy duty, green/yellow was regular use, pink was for lighter more delicate. Found it to be very little in the differences although you could tell a bit.

But I use steel wool (usually SOS pads with soap) on a lot of things - from baked enamel stove tops to glass casseroles. I use those synthetic sponges on my coffee cup/tea cups. Also the white (magic erasers?) sponges for coffee and tea stains, plus knife marks/scratches on dinner ware. It all works for me.
 

dragnlaw

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So kenny, to answer your original question, No, I don't think they are gimmicks, in that you do need them on occasion for cleaning. Yes, I would say that most do not scratch, as you say, they scratches are probably already there. And also another Yes, you could potentially scratch a non-stick pan but then the question arises... is it still a non-stick pan if you had to use a scrubber on it?

Think too many over think things.
 

kenny1999

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Far East
The yellow side was designed only to be used as you would a cloth. Holding the sudsy water and pushing/wiping the surface. I don't care for those yellow ones as they are synthetic. It is difficult to have just a 'damp' one as you are able to do with a cloth.

What on earth is on your lead crystal and stemware that you would need to use a scourer on?

As to the difference coloured ones. I bought a package that had three colours. Sorry packaging gone. Blue was heavy duty, green/yellow was regular use, pink was for lighter more delicate. Found it to be very little in the differences although you could tell a bit.

But I use steel wool (usually SOS pads with soap) on a lot of things - from baked enamel stove tops to glass casseroles. I use those synthetic sponges on my coffee cup/tea cups. Also the white (magic erasers?) sponges for coffee and tea stains, plus knife marks/scratches on dinner ware. It all works for me.
I know that steel wool will really scratch even the one made of stainless steel. However, I don't think the green side of a sponge will scratch anything obviously.
 

obillo

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 2, 2022
Messages
41
Location
Manhattan
The yellow side was designed only to be used as you would a cloth. Holding the sudsy water and pushing/wiping the surface. I don't care for those yellow ones as they are synthetic. It is difficult to have just a 'damp' one as you are able to do with a cloth.

What on earth is on your lead crystal and stemware that you would need to use a scourer on?

As to the difference coloured ones. I bought a package that had three colours. Sorry packaging gone. Blue was heavy duty, green/yellow was regular use, pink was for lighter more delicate. Found it to be very little in the differences although you could tell a bit.

But I use steel wool (usually SOS pads with soap) on a lot of things - from baked enamel stove tops to glass casseroles. I use those synthetic sponges on my coffee cup/tea cups. Also the white (magic erasers?) sponges for coffee and tea stains, plus knife marks/scratches on dinner ware. It all works for me.
I use a well-worn blue side on my Riedel and Schlott-Zwiesel stems to light wipe off lipstick and fingerprints, Using the sponge side is risky because the holes the cellulose can and sometimes do act like suction ups, causing breakage at joint of stem and bowl or at mid-stem.
 
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