Trader Joe’s French POP-UP SPONGES

” INSTRUCTIONS: Dip in water before use” (pretty funny, huh?!)

Made From Natural Vegetable Cellulose. Product of France. A pack contains 12 thick natural sponges squished completely flat. They blow up in water in two seconds and watching them pop up is like magic!

When I first saw these and looked at the price I immediately thought “wow that’s expensive”. A pack is $7.99. However I then “did the math” on them. Since there are 12., the cost of a sponge works out to about 67 cents each, right? A sponge may last a month. I thought if a sponge lasts a month (or hopefully, even more) the pack contains about a year’s supply or more, in which case they don’t seem quite as expensive over the long run. I decided to buy them and guess what? They turn out to be FANTASTIC sponges. They are high quality “natural” sponges. These blow up from a thin little sliver to a big sponge an inch thick almost magically the instant you put them in water. The sponge make tons of bubbles and quick work of dirty dishes. My wife thanked me for finally buying good sponges (as opposed to my dollar store ones) and made me promise to buy them again, hopefully in a year we think. End result is these are actually quite worth the 8 bucks (but really 67 cents each) and are a decent value for this quality. BTW every other week, I give a sponge a rinse in very diluted bleach (1:10) and soap. I squeeze it over and over and sponge gets a almost brand new refresh (the filthy water is shocking even when your sponge seems clean). Be sure to rinse it really really thoroughly after this with lots of water to get out all the bleach if you want it to last.

When you’re ready to use, soak one in water and watch it pop up before your very eyes into a Sponge about 4 inches wide, three inches long, and an inch high!

Trader Joe’s Liquid Dish Soap

I liked this Liquid Dish Soap that TJ sells under their own brand.

This is the LAVENDER TEA TREE SCENT version. They also sell a Citrus scent version. It’s clear, meaning no dyes. Is Dawn blue naturally? I think not.

I imagine this stuff is probably comparable to one of those crazy expensive dish soaps you see in Whole Foods that I will never let my wife buy (“Seven dollars for dish soap?! You’ve got to be kidding me. Don’t worry I’ll pick some up at the dollar store next time I go. “) And yes I do frequently buy the huge bottles of dish washing liquid at the dollar store. 40 ounces for a buck. Now I do recognize they are more “watery” and I have to put more on the sponge more often but its just going down the drain anyway, quite literally.

Anyway to make my honey happy, I “splurged” and got a bottle of TJ’s Dish Soap It’s $2.99. You can tell instantly this is thicker than my $1 soap. Turn it upside down and see how fast it takes a bubble to rise. I tried it out washing up and this does a good job, it made a lot of foam that lasted. It smells quite nice (lavender and tea tree oil).  I can tell I don’t have to use as much soap as often as I do with my Dollar Store stuff. I’m sure its really some famous brand sold under TJ’s label at half the price the name brand usually costs, as is typical with some Trader Joe’s products. A big thing on the internet is guessing who really makes a product TJ sells (for example Annie’s Mac and Cheese vs. TJ Mac and Cheese) Anyway for $2.99 I will probably now buy this soap from now on. OK perhaps in addition to having one of the big bottles of the cheap stuff under the sink just in case we run out. Old habits die hard.

LAVENDER TEA TREE SCENT – made from plant derived cleaners Biodegradable. Hypoallergenic. Cuts Through Grease.

A 25 oz bottle is $2.99