Make your own 100% eco-friendly sponge

Synthetic sponges replaced natural sponges in our homes a long time ago. However, these petrochemical industry-produced products are not biodegradable and contribute to plastic pollution. Not only will your sponge not be recycled when you throw it away, but the plastic microparticles that shed during everyday use, end up straight in the oceans... and that’s without us even mentioning the chemical treatments!

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There is, however, an eco-friendly alternative! The tawashi, a Japan-created product, is a small washable and reusable sponge. You can make these cotton-crocheted or acrylic-knitted products yourself from old clothes.

Simple instructions for making a tawashi

> The weaving board

Materials needed: a wooden board, approximately twenty flat head nails (20), a hammer, a ruler and a pencil.

1. Draw a 16 cm square on the wooden board.

2. Mark every 2 cm (5 per side).

3. Drive in the nails at the marks to obtain a row of 5 evenly-spaced nails on each side of the square (with no nails in the corners).

> Tawashi sponge

Materials needed: an old jumper, tights, leggings, socks or anything else you can get your hands on. Do not hesitate to use your children’s tattered clothes as this is a good way to involve them and show them that materials destined for the bin can actually be reused. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to opt for multicoloured items or flashy colours as these will appeal more to children.

1. Cut 10 thin strips out of the sleeve of the jumper, leg of the leggings, or whatever garment you have chosen to use.

2. Horizontally thread the first 5 strips on the left and right rows of nails.

3. Do the same on the other side by weaving the second set of strips with the first (a type of weave: one below, one above and so on).

4. Remove a loop from its nail and pass it through the next ring, and so on until you have gone all the way around.

5. Secure the last loop which will be used to hang your tawashi.

You will soon swear by it! This scratch-resistant sponge can be used in the kitchen or bathroom for cleaning or washing dishes, and is also suitable for removing makeup or children’s baths, etc.