Does it Work? We Tested Those Soap-Free Spaghetti Scrubber Sponges

published Jul 18, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy)

I recently learned something that totally blew my mind: you uh… actually don’t need soap to wash your dishes. Or at least, that’s what one cleaning brand called Goodbye Detergent claims, thanks to their Original Spaghetti Scrub.

What the Heck is a Spaghetti Scrub?

Spaghetti Scrubs are an environmentally friendly sponge alternative. They’re somewhat linguini-like in shape, and the natural abrasives are meant to make it so that you don’t need to use soap (although you can use soap with them if you want to). They’re also made to dry quickly and last for months without any weird odors or mold.

When we tested, they came in two colors: red (peach pits) which are made to be more gentle for general cleaning and nonstick pans, and yellow (corn cobs) which are more coarse for heavy-duty for things like metal pans, grills and cast iron cookware. But the latest design is an all-purpose single scrub that handles all your kitchen jobs.

Get it:

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy)

Initial Thoughts

I have to admit, when I first decided I was testing these—before they’d even arrived in the mail—I was scared. First of all, these things look like noodles made out of sandpaper, and I just thought that was super weird. I did not believe that it was possible to get dishes clean without soap. Actually, I’ll just show you an excerpt of my Slack conversation with Taryn, Apartment Therapy’s Lifestyle Editor so you understand how concerned I was.

(Image credit: Brittney Morgan)

Anyway, like I told Taryn, “Corn cob sandpaper noodles, let’s see what ya got!”

I was slightly less concerned when they actually arrived, just because, while I was still skeptical about the soap thing, once I had them in my hand I saw how they could come in useful—they’re really pliable and coarse for sure, but not quite as rough sandpaper-y as I’d anticipated. Still, I wasn’t sure how they’d actually fare in the sink.

The Test

Honestly, like the silicone sponge I tested months ago, I anticipated that I’d try these weird sandpaper noodles a few times, not really like them, and move on right back to my usual sponge. I’ll just tell you right now: I was wrong. These things are great.

For one thing, they do clean well, yes, even without soap. I have noticed that some particularly smelly dishes (say, a cutting board that I chopped onions on) can benefit from a little soap for sure. And trust me: I smelled things after I cleaned them with the Spaghetti Scrubs before I put them in the dish rack to dry, even when they looked totally spotless. Most of my dishes smelled totally fine!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy)

The Spaghetti Scrubs also got rid of stuck-on food much faster than the coarse part of a sponge or a scrub brush normally does. I also noticed they come in super handy with things that are hard to clean, like smaller jars: if you can’t fit your hand in all the way, you can drop the gentle scrub in, put in a little water (and some soap if it’s particularly messy) and shake it around to get all the parts you can’t normally reach.

While I don’t agree that you will be saying goodbye to soap completely if you swap out your usual sponge for a Spaghetti Scrub, you will definitely use far less than you normally would. I also didn’t vow to get rid of my normal kitchen sponges, because I think a standard sponge comes in handy every once in a while. But overall, I really love these weird little scrubbers.


Ease (and Enjoyability) of Use: 10

While I will admit that these scrubbers do feel weird in your hand at first (especially if you wear gloves) using them really isn’t any different from normal dishwashing by hand. They’re super straightforward, and like I said, they work well.

Cost-Effectiveness: 9

For $12.95, you get 2 scrubs. Sure, that’s more expensive than your standard pack of kitchen sponges, but considering these Spaghetti Scrubs can last months (for the record, I’ve been using mine for over a month now, and they still look, work and smell totally fine) and you’re really supposed to toss a normal sponge after a week or two, along with the fact that you use way less soap with these, I feel like they end up equal and these are totally worth it.

Final Grade: 9.5

I may have gone into this experiment a little afraid, but I wound up really loving these. They scrub better than anything I’ve ever used before without leaving scratches, they clean surprisingly well, dry quickly and last a lot longer than normal sponges do.

Get them:

Have you ever used a Spaghetti Scrub?