Whether it’s Swedish dishcloths or Stasher bags, we’re always looking for useful eco-friendly swaps to help you lower your impact on the planet. One of our favorite sustainable products is the Redecker Tampico Dish Brush, a compostable replacement for your sponge. After using one for over three years, we can confidently say we’re never going to use a normal sponge again.
Why we love the Redecker Tampico Dish Brush
Normal sponges shed microplastics into your water every time you wash your dishes, which isn’t great for the ocean or your own health. Plus, sponges are a haven for bacteria and experts recommend swapping them out every week, which means even more plastic waste that goes to the landfill.
Swapping to a dish brush like the Redecker Tampico Dish Brush is a fantastic way to avoid the waste and general grossness of traditional sponges, and we think it’s better at doing the dishes anyway. The dish brush has a long wooden handle that lets you keep at least one of your hands farther away from the dirty dishes and water while you’re scrubbing away. The handle also makes it great at reaching into containers like bottles or pitchers.
The dish brush head is removable, which makes it easy to put in some extra elbow grease or scrub at awkward angles. The tampico bristles themselves are perfectly stiff and yet malleable, so you can really scrub at caked-on messes without any fear of scratching your nonstick cookware. And when you’re done washing, the brush has a small metal hook so you can hang it up over your sink for quick and easy drying.
While we think a dish brush is the easier, more-effective way to do your dishes, the Redecker brush shines even more thanks to its sustainability. The brush head is made from unbleached wood and tampico fibers, which means it’s completely compostable at its end of life. We’ve found that the brush head tends to last a few months, and you’ll know it’s time to switch out when the bristles get worn down and are splayed out, which makes it harder for the brush to hold soap. Luckily, Redecker sells replacement heads so you don’t have to buy a whole new brush every few months.
While we replace the brush head every few months, we haven’t had to replace the handle in the three years we’ve used this brush. When the day finally comes to get rid of the handle however, it won’t create any waste; besides a few small metal components which can easily be taken off and recycled, the handle is also unbleached wood and compostable.
What we don’t like
There really isn’t much that we don’t like about the Redecker Tampico Dish Brush. It’s better at washing dishes and more sustainable than a traditional sponge, so it’s really a win-win. However, the one difference you might notice is how much soap you have to use when washing. The tampico fibers do a surprisingly good job of holding soap and getting sudsy, but we’ve still had to reapply soap a bit more often than with a traditional sponge. It’s by no means an excessive amount, but we do find ourselves reapplying a small amount of soap every three to four dishes (and if you’re worried about the extra waste of using more soap, try a low-waste soap like those from Cleancult or Blueland).
How it compares to other sponges
We really think the Redecker Dish Brush is the best sponge replacement in terms of both sustainability and effectiveness. However, there are a few other similar options on the market you might be interested in.
There are dish brushes made with plastic, but they aren’t much better than the Redecker brush and you’ll have to throw them away in the trash once they get worn down. The only option that you might consider is a brush that has a soap dispenser in the brush itself, like this one from Oxo, but again, it will eventually end up sitting in a landfill.
There are plenty of bamboo dish brushes available too, which is a more sustainable option than even the Redecker brush since bamboo grows back faster than trees, but some have plastic elements or don’t have a replaceable brush head like the Redecker. However, this one from Eplanita has a similar look to the Redecker but uses bamboo and agave fibers instead of wood and tampico.
We love the Redecker brush and think you will too. Whether you want to reduce your waste however you can or you just think your sponge is gross, this brush is the ultimate tool to make doing the dishes easier and more sustainable.