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Everything You Need to Know About Using a Scouring Pad for Cleaning

Discover how you can maximize a scouring pad for cleaning around the house! Today, we’ll show you how to choose the ideal scrubbing pad for specific household cleaning chores.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

Using a Scouring Pad for Cleaning

Despite having a cleaning routine for our homes, most of us would admit that we don’t spend much time choosing scouring pads. However, if you hate doing the dishes, getting the ideal cleaning materials would make the chore less tedious. Besides, using the right scouring pad for cleaning will help you avoid kitchenware damage.

In this article, we’ll show you the types of scouring pads to use for different cleaning purposes. We’ll also teach you how to maintain and disinfect your cleaning materials. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Scouring Pads for Cleaning?

It’s uncommon for anyone to ask, “What is a scouring pad?” However, we won’t judge you if it’s your first time seeing one. A scouring pad for cleaning is mesh with either a plastic or metal surface. Here are the most common types you’ll see in the market:

  • Microfiber scouring pads – These have non-abrasive and soft materials, which make them ideal for cleaning delicate items or surfaces. You can use them to avoid etching or scratching when you’re cleaning cloudy glasses or stainless steel appliances. 

  • Sponge scouring pads – You can get these when you need a cleaning material with an absorbent side and an abrasive pad. You’ll have two features that will allow you to deal with minor and tougher stains.

  • Non-scratch sponge scouring pads – These are another type of scouring pad that has a non-abrasive side for scrubbing and another side with a soft sponge. They are perfect for cleaning materials that need gentle cleaning. For example, you can use a non-scratch scouring pad for porcelain, glass and cutlery.

  • Galvanized scourer – Locally referred to as steel wool, galvanized scourers have fine steel fibers. They are quite abrasive, making them ideal for scrubbing off baked-on food debris, stubborn grease and tough stains. Steel wool cleaners are commonly used on pans and pots.

Image of a scouring pad

How to Choose the Right Scouring Pad for Different Cleaning Tasks

You must admit, cleaning can be stressful. According to an ACI National Cleaning Survey, about 28% of the population spends at least seven hours a week cleaning.[1] Imagine how tiresome and tedious that is! However, household chores will be a lot easier when you use the right scouring pad for specific cleaning tasks. Moreover, consider the unique tidying-up requirements for every area in your home. Here are our tips:

Cleaning in the Kitchen

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If you have glass surfaces or non-stick cookware, use soft sponge pads or non-scratch scouring pads. You can use them to clean and sanitize kitchen tools and equipment without scratching or etching them. Meanwhile, for items that require heavy-duty cleaning, use steel wool scrubbers. They are perfect for tough stains on pots or ovens.

Cleaning in the Bathroom

When you’re cleaning fiberglass surfaces and porcelain sinks, use non-scratch scouring pads. They effectively remove hard water stains on glass and soap scum around the bathroom. Besides, their non-abrasive texture allows you to clean without worrying about damaging surfaces.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning

Accidents happen, and sometimes, you may forget you’re cooking something in your pot. For burnt-on food debris, you can use steel wool scrubbers. You can also use them for cleaning stainless steel appliances with stubborn stains.

cleaning with a scouring pad

How to Clean and Maintain a Scouring Pad

Studies have shown that domestic kitchen sponges can harbor disease-causing pathogens.[2] Ideally, you should replace your scouring pad for cleaning every week. Even so, you must regularly disinfect and clean it to ensure your family’s safety. So, after using your scouring pad, follow our guide on how to clean and disinfect a sponge:

  1. Wash your scouring pad with dish soap. Then, rinse it while removing dirt and debris.

  2. In a basin or small container, mix two tablespoons of Domex Thick Bleach with warm water.

  3. Soak your scouring pad in the solution, then leave it there for about 20 minutes.

  4. After 20 minutes, rinse the scouring pad under cold water. Wring it until you’ve taken the excess water out.

  5. Let the scouring pad air dry or hang it on your clothesline under the sun.

Quick Tip: You can also disinfect your scouring pad by soaking it in water and putting it in the microwave oven.

Optimize Cleaning with the Right Scouring Pad

Choosing the ideal scouring pad for specific cleaning chores will make the task easier and less tiresome. Because you’re effectively removing dirt and grime, you’re spending less time cleaning. 

For more cleaning hacks around the house, read Cleanipedia’s blog! Make sure to check out our guide on how to clean makeup sponges to keep your personal hygiene in check.

Frequently Asked Questions About Scouring Pads

Q. What are the uses of scouring pads in cleaning?

Scouring pads are effective in removing debris, hard water stains, soap scum and other stubborn dirt.

Q. How do you clean a scouring pad?

You can clean a scouring pad using dish soap. If you want to disinfect it, you can soak it in a mixture of bleach and water for about 20 minutes. Make sure you wring and air dry the scouring pad after cleaning it.

Q. Can I use a scouring pad on dishes?

A non-scratch scouring pad is ideal for cleaning delicate materials like porcelain, ceramic and glass dishes.

Q. What not to use scouring pads on?

Steel wool scrubbers should not be used on delicate surfaces like glass. Moreover, you shouldn’t use it on finished and painted surfaces. Doing so will damage the material and leave scratches and discoloration.


1. 2018 ACI National Cleaning Survey Results: Time Spent Cleaning | The American Cleaning Institute (ACI). (n.d.). https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/newsroom/surveys/2018-aci-national-cleaning-survey-results-time-spent-cleaning

2. Marotta, S. M., Giarratana, F., Calvagna, A., Ziino, G., Giuffrida, A., & Panebianco, A. (2019). Study on microbial communities in domestic kitchen sponges: Evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii and Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) producing bacteria. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.7672

Originally published