Never wanting to waste and always out to conserve, I’m forced to get a little creative when finding new uses for all that random plastic debris that somehow seems to find its way into our homes. Even when we try to avoid plastic like it’s the plague, there’s always something sneaking in. Say, for example, that certain type of produce bag that’s often used to hold garlic, ginger, shallots, and the like.
These particular produce bags are popular at many chain grocery stores, and depending on where you shop, they can be almost unavoidable. The bags are always compact in size and course to the touch. Their diamond mesh has a pretty tight weave, and the plastic is tough and wiry. You know the type, right? They’re almost always small, around the size of a deck of cards. Or maybe a sponge. Oh hey, a sponge!
They actually look a lot like a sponge! And with their built-in scouring surface pattern, combined with their especially sturdy plastic composition, they provide the perfect stand-in for a typical store-bought scrubbie/scouring pad. Up-cycled, DIY, and totally eco-friendly. Plus – and this is a very big plus – unlike Brillo and SOS pads which are made with animal-derived ingredients, your homemade scrubbie will be completely cruelty-free. Here’s how you can make it:
1. First, you’ll need to accumulate a small collection of little mesh produce bags (the course plastic only, not the thin wispy stuff). Start stockpiling until you saved 7-10 of them. Make sure that you cut them open across the top with scissors instead of just tearing a random hole. This will ensure that things are easier later on.
2. Choose one baggie to act as the sponge’s exterior. It really doesn’t matter which one, unless you have a shape or color preference. Stuff all of the other baggies into the chosen exterior baggie. Pack them tight, and use your fingers to massage them into place so there aren’t any large bumps or gaps.
3. Sew up the seam along the open side, keeping it as tight as you can. You can use dental floss for this, and you won’t even need to use a needle. But of course, you can also use a needle and thread if you prefer.
And that’s it, you’re finished! Now you can use your scrubbie on your soiled pots and pans, your food-stained bake ware, and even on some stovetop spills. But a word of warning: for the truly tough, crusted, and caked-on foodstuff, you’ll want to give the dishes a good solid soak prior to scouring. These little scrubbies are mighty awesome, but they’re still just made of plastic. A bit of prep and some elbow grease will always go a long way.