Over the years, we have made some efforts to reduce the amount of waste that accumulates in grocery stores. We are switching to reusable plastic or paper bags at the checkout, moving away from single-use plastic bags in the grocery department, and even trying to buy in bulk whenever possible. However, one trip to the grocery store still creates a lot of waste. One thing we often throw in the trash is a mesh grocery bag, usually filled with avocados, stews, and lemons. This got us thinking about how we could repurpose the mesh to give it a second life, and luckily there are a lot of ideas out there.
        One of them is a dishwasher. Chances are you already have most of what you need. An old sponge and a few zip ties can make an inexpensive cleaning sponge in just a few minutes. Of course, most store-bought canister scrubbers cost less than $5. But with a big bag of zip ties and a bunch of mesh bags from an old grocery store, you can make countless recycled sponges for cheap or free!
        As mentioned, for this ship you will need three things. We paid almost $7 for a 2-pound bag of lemons and 100 packs of heavy-duty 8-inch Walmart zip ties. We also had a few leftover PANYEE plant sponges from Amazon. However, any old sponge will do for this craft.
        To experiment, we first made a scrubber on the kitchen table. Our lemon mesh bag is huge, so we cut it in half and knitted it two ways to make two sponges. For our first sponge, we wrapped it in candy style, folding the mesh to create two free ends on the shorter edge of the brush. Then we zipped up the sides and cut them to length. Then, to make the second cleaning pad, we wrapped the mesh around the sponge where the ends met in the center. We tied it on top twice with two zip ties, threading them through a few holes to make sure it was secure. To test the biscuit, we experimented with a small saucepan used to make pasta, a frying pan topped with dried bolognese pasta, and two non-stick panini press plates topped with boiled ham and Münster cheese. We just tried it in the small stainless steel sink in our apartment with Dawn dishwashing detergent and it worked great for testing.
        Assembling our dishcloth is very easy. Our only issue was how messy the process turned out to be. When we cut open the package and peeled off the sticker, small yellow shards fell on the counter and floor. After that, we sweep them up and throw them away, but these little pieces of plastic can be dangerous for children and small animals roaming around.
        Although we have only used two methods for tying the mesh to the sponge, there are many other methods you can use to suit your needs. However, of the two we have made, we prefer the top knot method over the candy-wrapped scrubber that sometimes scratches the pan due to the placement of cable ties. This can be avoided by securing the net with soft yarn or by tying knots at the ends of the net bag. During the very process of washing dishes, we encountered several pitfalls. Even though the sharp plastic cable tie slightly scratched the surface of the dish, the rest of the scrubber worked fine. We were amazed at how easily the mesh bag and sponge loosened up stubborn food and grease.
        Our experimental results are quite simple. Our homemade scrubber takes less than five minutes to make, all of our materials are cheap or free, and it performed well during testing. Considering the effort, cost, and benefits of recycling common food waste, we think using food mesh bags as pot scrubbers is a win!
        After cleaning our non-stick pan, frying pan and two panini pans, they looked nice and clean with no residue. Of course, this wiping trick won’t necessarily speed up the dishwashing process, but it won’t slow it down either. The pads managed to brighten our dishes in about the same amount of time it would normally take to wash pots and pans. To be honest, we didn’t notice much of a difference between the DIY dishwashing sponges and the ones we’ve tried at the grocery store in the past. After washing and rinsing, we let the dishes dry on the dish rack and wrote to all our friends about this simple yet effective cleaning tip.

Post time: Aug-06-2023