My Recycled Kitchen Scrubbie

by Frugal Babe on March 1, 2012

The scrubbie I use at the kitchen sink has been dead for quite a while.  Today it fell apart and I could no longer ignore the fact that I probably should have replaced it about a month ago. 

My next shopping trip is scheduled for March 12th.  That’s a long time from now.  And I have to wash a lot of dishes between now and then.

Then I remembered how my mother used to make her own scrubbies out of mesh produce bags.  Most of my produce comes loose, but if there’s a sale that makes the bagged stuff a better deal, that’s what I buy.  And I just happened to have come across such a sale the last time I shopped.  I had a big bag of grapefruit on the counter, in a nice red mesh bag.  So I dumped them into a bowl and made the bag into a scrubbie.

IMG_4087

Nothing fancy, obviously.  I just folded the bag over on itself until it was the size and shape that I wanted.  Then I sewed around the edges using heavy duty thread (it’s almost like dental floss, which would also work great for this project).  I did it in about ten minutes, standing in my kitchen with little boys playing under my feet.  Definitely a “beginner” level sewing project – aren’t those the best kind?

I just used it to wash a sink full of pots and pans, and it worked great.  Admittedly, this isn’t going to save a lot of money.  Scrubbies are a few dollars at most, and usually a lot less.  But what I like about this was that I was able to avoid going to the store (sticking to my scheduled grocery shopping trips is a big part of my strategy for reducing our grocery bill), and I also kept a little chunk of plastic out of the garbage.  Reusing is the best form of recycling, and every little bit counts.

Do any of you do this?  Or do you have other things that you do with mesh produce bags?  Seems like a waste to throw them out, so share whatever ideas you have!

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  • Jacci

    We use them to sling cantaloupes and watermelon that we grow vertically in our garden. I do have two bags of cuties and will try your scrubbing pad. Great idea!

  • Frugal Babe

    I love the garden idea!  When we grew tomatoes hydroponically in our crawl space a few years ago, we used netting to make the vines grow up rather than sprawl all over the place.  This stuff would have worked great for that too.

  • Navyadwkr

    Obviously I am focusing on the wrong thing in the picture , but my husband and I never did wedding rings / engagement rings when we got married (it was all about a piece of paper back then) and now that it has been 3 years and I am finally pregnant and we have some money saved ..well we decided that we would like to buy each other rings. Since I have read so much about your engagement ring, if it is not too personal, would you share a picture of it?

  • Catherine

    I almost bought a mesh bag covered sponge at Tuesday Morning once. Then I thought (as I usually do), I could make that. I went home and inserted my sponge into the mesh and used the edges of a hot iron to seal up the mesh so it fit perfectly over the sponge.

  • Frugal Babe

    Great idea!  The iron trick would be even faster than my quick sewing job too.

  • Frugal Babe

    Congratulations on three years of marriage and on your pregnancy!  There are all sorts of awesome and unique rings on sites like etsy, but if you’re interested in a traditional-looking ring without the traditional price tag, a synthetic diamond might be just what you’re looking for.  Here’s a picture of my ring: 
    http://frugalbabe.com/?attachment_id=1985  It’s more expensive than it was five years ago, because gold is a lot more expensive now.  But it’s still a lot less expensive than a comparable mined diamond would be.  My ring is just a tiny bit more than one carat, and I think it’s a perfect size.
    I hope you find rings that you love and that also fit your budget!

  • Meg

    LOL.  I looked at her rings too!  FB – Thank you for posting the link to your ring again.  I was going to search for it, but I noticed this post first.  My engagement ring is a real diamond that was purchased at wholesale pricing, but my wedding band has always been a cheapy. Right now, I am wearing a Diamonique wedding band and have had it for several years.  It’s looking pretty rough. 

  • http://sparing-change.blogspot.com/ Meg

    This is awesome! I have a mesh bag from potatoes in the pantry now.  I will start making these! Thank you for the idea!

  • http://assistanceforsinglemothers.com/ Single Mother

    I did not even know something like a kitchen scrubble could even be recycled

  • Cathy

    I do this, too, though I don’t make it so nice.  I simply fold it up and hold it that way with a rubber band recycled from when we buy asparagus.

  • Navyadwkr

    Thank you so much. I am indeed looking at a traditional looking ring :) and I absolutely love yours! I am a fan of yellow gold though, apart from that, I must say that your ring is so simple and elegant at the same time. That is the kind of look I am going for as well. Also, I am looking for similar wedding bands for me and the hubby.. Hopefully we will find one that we both will like without breaking the bank!

  • Ms Life

    I grew up in in a poor home in Zambia and I had never actually heard of store bought scrubbies until I started working.  We always cut up corn meal bags which we used for washing plates.  They worked wonderfully and lasted long.   

  • Frugal Babe

    Thanks!  I hope you find just what you’re looking for :)

  • http://www.digsewgrow.com/ Susan

    When I go to use a new scrubbie, I will take some sturdy thread or dental floss and do some stitches throughout. This keeps it together longer, and in my opinion, makes the overall scrubbie last much longer because it doesn’t get unraveled and unruly as fast.

  • Navyadwkr

    I have grown up in a village in South India. Over here, we have coconut plantations that grow coconuts all round the year due to our tropical weather conditions. So our frugal way to go for a kitchen scrubbie was to use the left over coconut scraps (similar to what Tom Hanks used to light a fire in the movie Cast Away) to scrub the food particles from our plates using a mixture of Shikakai (
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_concinna - a natural herb having foaming properties). Buying a soap was a luxury from a nearby town. But buying scrubs were unheard of! 

  • Frugal Babe

    I used to buy scrubbing pads made entirely of coconut fibers.  They last a long time, don’t trap food particles the way tightly woven scrubbers do, and they just sort of break down naturally over time.  By the time they’re ready for the compost bin, there’s not much left of them.  Those are my favorite store-bought scrubbing pads, although I think I’m sold on the idea of making my own out of mesh bags now!

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