How To Sew An Unsponge
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Sewing

How To Sew An Unsponge- Reusable & EcoFriendly!

Tired of tossing sponges every few days because they smell like mildew?

Today I’ll show you how to sew an unsponge. They are reusable, washable, eco-friendly, and quite adorable!

Our farmhouse does not have a dishwasher. I know that’s unheard of anymore but that means twice a day someone is grabbing a sponge and scrubbing dishes.

We were buying a Costco sized pack of sponges multiple times a year and we didn’t even like them. What a waste of money!

I’ve always been a fan of reusable, which led me on to my search of what they call “unsponges“.

I contemplated purchasing some but quickly realized I could pretty easily sew my own unsponge using scrap pieces of fabric.

This is a win/win for me! Not only is it essentially free for me to make, it’s also a scrap buster!

They are super easy to make, even for a beginner, and you can whip out quite a few in just an hour of your time. Now to be completely honest, these do wear down just like regular sponges and so twice a year I sit down and sew replacements. But an hour of my time and 10 sponges can last me an entire year!

Materials Needed To Sew An Unsponge

Once you’ve dug through your scrap bag and found the material you’d like to use start cutting your rectangles. I made these 5.5in x 3.5in. This is a personal preference, you could make them as long or wide as you’d like.

You’ll need one piece of cotton, this is your decorative top layer of fabric. For these, I used scraps from a fall-themed quilted table topper I made last year, and a Farmall quilt I made kid 4.

You’ll also need nylon mesh fabric. I usually dig through the remnant bins at Joanns and grab what they have in there. You could also use the mesh from produce bags, or my personal favorite, those bags of frozen popsicles the kids love. You are going to want to have a double layer of this on your sponge so cut two. They can sometimes tear on knives and forks if you’re not careful so a second layer is helpful at giving it a bit more life.

When I first started making these I struggled with filler. I trialed one shoving it full of the nylon mesh thinking it would dry out faster but behave more like a sponge. I ended up really loving flat ones that I used just a layer or two of absorbent material for the middle. As a quilter, I have a lot of batting scraps that are perfect for this, but a double layer of flannel would work just as well.

The final layer is Terry cloth. This makes it perfect for wiping down the counters once the stacks of dishes are washed.

sew an unsponge layers
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My cut layers of fabric for unsponges

Here is the order of your layers. Cotton face up, two layers of mesh, one layer of terry cloth, and then the filler on the very top.

I line them all up and clip them together. I used to use pins for everythign but these sewing clips are not only inexpensive but life-changing if you do any amount of sewing.

You are then ready to start sewing! Sew three sides together leaving one short end open.

Once you’ve sew the three sides you’ll want to trim your edges. Notice how I diagonally cut the corners? This will help your corners look more defined.

Once it’s trimmed go ahead and flip your unsponge right side out, making sure the mesh is the top layer, and Terry cloth the bottom.

Now fold in your open edge and clip together.

You’ll close your open-end while topstitching your unsponge. If you haven’t trimmed your edges back this can be quite a few layers for your machine to sew through. Take your time and make sure you have a new, sharp needle on your machine.

And that’s it! Easy-peasy!

Here are my new finished sponges! Ready to wash and use!

Care Of Your Unsponge

I’ve been using homemade unsponges for a year now and I really do prefer them over disposable sponges. I usually only use them for a day or two before washing. This means I make quite a few to have on hand, but also means no more mildew sponge smells in the house!

I just throw them in with a regular load of towels, wash and dry, and they are ready to go again.

Do not use softeners on your sponges as they block the absorbency, and take care when washing utensils as they are often the cause of torn mesh.

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