SPONGE SCOURER CHALLENGE 2021

Scourer Review 2021

As a chef I like to keep both my kitchen, and my pots and pans spotless, so finding a sponge scourer up to the task can save me time.  Product price and quality can change, but I will update this post if there is a significant change to the results. The challenge pits sponge scourers from Lidl and Aldi supermarkets, Minky and an eco friendly alternative called Safix.

I know that Aldi currently (2021) have around 1,400 supermarkets in the US and Lidl are trying to play catch up with 140 stores mostly on the east coast.

This product test involves sponge scourers purchased in the UK because at this time I’m unable to buy the American versions such as, Lidl’s Scrub Pads that come in 3 packs and retail for $1.29, so I would really appreciate some feedback and thoughts from America shoppers on the US versions of sponge scourers . Three out of the four are approximately the same size and look very similar in appearance.

Criteria:

Overall, I am looking to to see how well both the scourer and the sponge part holds up in daily use in my kitchen and how long each one lasts before it needs changing.  All of the sponge scourers will be used on dishes, pots and pans, counter tops, tile backsplash and my stove top in a genuine real world test to see which is the best value for money. I have not been sent any samples and this test is based on products I have bought myself.

House Rules:

None of the sponge scourers are left in the hot soapy water because this will shorten the life of sponge scourer, causing the sponge to separate from the scourer more quickly. After each use the sponge scourer is rinsed and squeezed out again to prolong its life.

Minky Wash Pads

Minky Wash Pads (Best current price £1.00 for a 4 pack)

First up was Minky, the sponge side seemed softer than the more rigid sponge on the other 2 contenders but this turned out not to affect its performance. The sponge absorbed very little grease and the scourer lasted an impressive 15 days.  The scourer had a some visible wear and tear but it was still firmly attached to the sponge. Only after the test did I read in Minky’s product description that it is formulated to repel grease to extend the life of Minky’s scrubbing pad, and it clearly did that!                                             

Each Wash Pad costs 25 pencelasted 15 days so approximate cost per Day 1.7 pence 

Pack of Lidl sponge Scourers

Lidl (Currently 65 pence for a 6 pack) 

On the surface the Lidl sponge scourers are very similar in price, size and shape to Aldi’s sponge scourer, they both are shaped the same to make them easy to grip, but that is where the comparison ends.  After just 2 days the scourer began to separate from the sponge.

Lidl Sponge scourer day 2The Lidl sponge although firmer in texture than the Minky when new, it seemed to absorb and retain more grease which isn’t good when you want clean china, pots and pans.  By day 6 the Lidl sponge scourer was both too greasy to use and the scourer part was ineffectual because it was by now quite soft and was coming away from the sponge, even leaving minute particles of the green scourer when I scrubbed the white tile backsplash in my kitchen.                                                                                         

Each Lidl sponge scourer cost 10.83 pence, lasted for 6 days, approximate Cost per Day 1.8  pence

safix-scrub-pad-small

Safix Scrub Pad £2.00 each                                                                                                                         

As a food writer, I get sent hundreds of food related emails so when I read an email about an eco-friendly scourer I felt I should add this product to the mix for review. Safix is made from organic coconut fibre, is biodegradable and compostable. The makers also claim it stays fresh and effective for months, uses less soap but produces more suds. It also claims it is all surface friendly and yet it will remove most baked on grease, but will not scratch your non-stick pans or delicate china. That is quite a list of claims so we will see how it gets on! I know that this product is also available in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Day 8 Safix Scrub Pad

The Safix is made from organic coconut fibre that’s called Coir, which is the natural fibre extracted from the outer husk of coconuts and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes and mattresses. Coir is then bonded with a non toxic biodegradable adhesive (natural latex) to create Safix scrub pads.

After use I make sure I rinse out the Safix scrub pad in clean cold water, squeeze it out and leave it to air dry in the dish draining board. Obviously, like most eco friendly products it is more expensive than the other scourers in the review, whether over time economy of scale brings the price down, lets find out!

The Safix scrub pad lasted an amazing 40* days and was still useable as a scourer. It did not seem to absorb grease and the only thing I did was rinse it out after each use to prevent food particles from getting stuck to it. It had no problem with stuck on food on dishes and pans though I did choose to use a wash-up cloth on my cutlery. I use Safix on my older nonstick frying pan but not on my new pan because I don’t use any scourer on that. I finally retired thre Safix scrub pad after cleaning my table top deep fryer although it was still usable (see photos).

Day 40 Safix ScrubPad
Each Safix Scrub Pad costs £2.00 lasted for 40 days, approximate cost per Day 5 pence
Pack ofAldi sponge Scourers
Power Force Finger Grip Sponge Scourers (Currently 59 price for a 6 pack)

Aldi Sponge scourers are very close in size and appearance to the Lidl sponge scourer. It comes in two versions, one with green scourer pad and one with white. I decided to buy the white scourer version so I would not mix it up with the Lidl during tests.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is aldi-sponge-scourer-used.jpg
Whilst the Aldi sponge scourer has a cheaper cost per day of 1.4 pence, I also found myself using more washing up soap as the Aldi scourer wore and became less effective.

Each Aldi sponge scourer cost 9.83 pence.  Approximate Cost per Day 1.4  pence

In Conclusion:
This has been a real product test and review, which ended up taking me 61 days!

Whilst the Aldi sponge scourer has a cheaper cost per day of 1.4 pence, I also found myself using more washing up soap as the Aldi scourer wore and became less effective.

The Minky sponge scourer was the most cost effective of the traditional sponge scourers. I used less soap, it lasted on average 15 days and its claim that it is formulated to repel grease clearly works.

Lidl however clearly needs to rethink its sponge scourer and what they want from its performance versus price. Currently it clings to grease and the sponge comes away from the scourer too easily compared to its competition and on top of that left minute scourer particles on my white tile backsplash after a few days of use.

If you can afford the Safix Scrub pad and use a wash up cloth instead of a sponge, the planet will be better off. I can whole heartedly recommend them. If you can’t afford Safix then the obvious choice is Minky.

You can find other of my product reviews here Kevin Ashton Product Reviews

*After writing and publishing this article, I took a look at what other sponge scourers reviews were out on the internet and was disappointed by what I saw. I always know when I write any review, be it a cookbook or a saucepan that these items are not available across the whole world, but I still hope the integrity of the piece will have value to my readers. Unfortunately, there is a growing number of fake review sites that usually promote items soley on sale at Amazon. I have no way of knowing if the author gets a commission but it is less than honest.

This written content may not reproduced without permission ©Kevin Ashton 2021

 

11 thoughts on “SPONGE SCOURER CHALLENGE 2021

  1. Thanks for the review. I discovered an interesting tool at one of the homes I’ve stayed in. It is a plastic type scraper, about 3 by 3 1/2 inches, with a rubber handle on one end to hold it with. It is great for scraping off stuff in a pan or plate and didn’t seem to scratch. So it could be used over and over. After leaving that place, I finally found them sold new in a thrift store of all places?! I had been looking in grocery stores but not finding it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Kevin,

        Not feeling great right now but with rest and alternative remedies I’m sure I’ll be fine, too. The scraper has no brand name on it. I got it new in a thrift store, though. It does have a sharp edge on it (not sharp like a knife), so looking at it again, it might scratch stuff, but I haven’t found that yet.

        Best Wishes, katelon

        Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s