Thinking Green

Sponges vs. Paper Towels

By: Danny Lipford

Paper towels account for up to 3,000 tons of waste a day. Sponges are a more eco-friendly option for clean up, since one sponge is the equivalent of 17 rolls of paper towels. To kill the bacteria and mold that can grow on sponges, put a damp sponge in the microwave on high for two minutes.

Video Transcript

Did you know that in America, paper towels account for 3,000 tons of waste every day? But most recycling centers won’t accept used paper towels, so they still continue to wind up in the landfill. If you want to do your part to cut down on the one billion tons of waste each year, then switch to sponges for daily clean up. A single sponge can last up to the equivalent of 17 rolls of paper towels. Unfortunately, along with all those kitchen spills, sponges also pick up a lot of bacteria, but here’s an easy way to completely sterilize a sponge. Rinse your dirty sponge in clean water, make sure it’s still wet and then place it in your microwave on the highest setting for about two minutes. Once it has cooled, you have a sterile sponge for cleaning and, besides saving room in the landfills, you’ll be saving some pocket change, too.


Please Leave a Comment

One Comment on “Sponges vs. Paper Towels”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.

  • Marc Says:
    March 29th, 2009 at 9:05 am

    For an even greener option, use natural sea sponges. They will outlast a kitchen sponge, are better at getting up dirt and the best part is that they contain natural enzymes that slow the growth of bacteria. Besides, they look cool! Highly recommend trying one out at least once.

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

 characters available

Sponges vs. Paper Towels