wool dish sponges & dish mats
I recently asked the Instagram Herd what they wanted to know about wool sponges and mats since I am so gung-ho about them.
What’s the wool sponge and wool drying mat origin story?
Both products are made from USA-sourced wool that is processed in South Carolina and felted at Echo View Fiber Mill in North Carolina. Echo View is a woman-owned facility outside of Asheville and works to ensure no fiber goes to waste. Additionally, their facility is 50% powered by solar panels on their roof. On a personal note, I have looked to them as a leader in the sustainable manufacturing space and am excited to carry their products!
What are the benefits of the wool mat and sponge?
The benefits of the wool mats are that wool is hypoallergenic – it is resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is also easily cleaned – wool fabrics clean easily because the outside surface of the wool fibre consists of a series of overlapping scales (similar to the feathers on a bird), which means that dirt sits on the surface of the fibre, making it easy to remove. It's better than a towel because it absorbs the water (as long as it's not large amounts caught in a cup when turned over, etc.).
Do you recommend washing either the mat or the sponges regularly?
Neither should need to be washed if care is taken not to get big spots of food on it, but if they need a refresh try these steps:
- Spot clean with washing soap and cold water and then set outside in the sun to dry and disinfect or hang to dry inside. Sunlight is a natural bleach and will kill anything on your mat. Just don't wash and dry in washer as it will felt into a little tight square!
- For a good cleaning, they can soak in the sink with a touch of soap, and light movement. Light wringing and then hand dry or lay out in sun. Do not dry in the dryer!
How do they dry?
Hand dry and/or lay out in sun. Do not put in the dryer!
Do they get stinky when wet?
They don't get stinky when wet, but they may smell like fresh wool.
What is the end of life for these?
Throw them in your compost bin! The wool fiber will degrade naturally.
And finally, what has my experience been like?
Love them! Although I have yet to visit where these are made, I bought these last year and have been using them ever since. The sponges will shrink over time, but they are still comfortable to hold. While a synthetic sponge can absorb many times its weight in water, wool can absorb 30% of its weight in liquid. I found that I have one sponge for hand washing glasses and plates, another for wiping counters, and I use a Swedish dish cloth for absorbing any major spills.
Wool Dish Sponges are available in two sizes:
Large – 8x8 inches
Small – 5x5 inches
Wool Dish Drying Mats come in one size: