Few things excite me more than new cleaning supplies. Think I’m kidding? I promise you, I’m not. Still, when the woman who would eventually become my mother-in-law put two weird, hard washcloths in my Easter basket a decade ago, I was skeptical. They were too small to be actual washcloths and too scratchy to use on my skin anyway. The loud colors and ’90s-era patterns didn’t exactly fit the minimalist aesthetic I was going for at the time either. But I’m not a jerk, so I politely thanked her for the gift. Then I asked her what I was supposed to do with them. She excitedly replied—“clean!”—before explaining that they were a flea market find and the seller had raved about them so she thought I might like them too. Well, she was wrong; I don’t like them. I love them. But it took me awhile to get there.
I learned the colorful cloth was called a Euroscrubby and that it was a multipurpose scrubber made in Poland. Because I was due for a new dish-scouring pad, I put one Euroscrubby next to the sink and tossed the other into the cabinet down below. Much to my surprise, I ended up using the first one for more than a year (I sanitized it regularly, of course). It was my go-to scrubber for anything my yellow cellulose sponge couldn’t handle. I used it on crusty sheet pans, sticky saucepans, and vintage Pyrex with baked-on cheese. I even used it to scrub my enameled cast-iron Dutch oven and the single piece of nonstick cookware I had at the time.
After about 14 months, my Euroscrubby softened up and started to feel more like an actual washcloth than a scouring pad, so I busted out my backup and held on to the tag, hoping my mother-in-law would be able to pick up more next time she visited the flea market. When I mentioned it to her at Christmas the following year, she couldn’t quite remember where she got it, and since I’d imagined a little old Polish lady weaving these things in her kitchen, I turned to Etsy. I didn’t find any Euroscrubbies there (though you can now), but I was thrilled to find a three pack on Amazon.
It took me two years to work through that first three-pack. And according to my Amazon order history, I reorder about every two years. My most recent order came a little more quickly, but that can be explained by the fact that during lockdown, I decided cellulose sponges were just too disgusting (especially because my husband often left them dish-waterlogged in the bottom of the sink) and I quit using kitchen sponges altogether. Now the Euroscrubby is the only thing I use to hand-wash my dishes. It’s gentle enough for my ceramic-coated Greenpans and tough enough for my stainless-steel sauté pan. The best part is that it’s super easy to wash. I usually put it in the dishwasher, though I’ve also put it in the washing machine with my kitchen towels. When I soak my sink with laundry detergent to keep it bright white, I also soak the Euroscrubby.
A handful of reviewers on Amazon have complained that Euroscrubbies are too hard, and I can confirm they’re a tad stiff right out of the package. They just need to be broken in a little before they’re perfect. You can achieve this by using them for a few days, or if you want to speed things up, toss them in the dishwasher or washing machine with your next load. While you’re tossing things, you can go ahead and toss away your nasty dish sponge for good.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious