Zorb – The Perfect Fabric Choices For Your Unsponge

What words come to mind when you think of “Sponge”?


The word most synonymous with “sponge” can easily be claimed to be “absorbent”. That is what we all tend to think of when that word enters our heads. We don’t know about you, but here at Wazoodle we collectively envision a pool of water being sucked up into the springing sponge, soaking in each droplet until the space underneath is clear. When you think of a sponge in your mind, do you conjure up a similar scene with a classic yellow, pink, blue or maybe green cellulose or some-kind-of-plastic entity in the starring role? We know, this is the vision nearly all of us share. But what if there was a shift to this perspective? What if instead of that classic sponge we re-create the being to reflect our moral center? This is where the concept of “unsponge” enters the scene & with it a name that too can be claimed as synonymous with that term within the sustainable community – “Zorb”. 


What makes Zorb the go-to fabric for optimal unsponge construction?


Our Zorb Original fabric soaks up to 10 times its own weight in liquid in under 2 seconds and it does so 20 times faster than any other fiber. Imagine an “unsponge” constructed with this massively absorbent core? You would be unstoppable. A cleaning machine. When you first stumble onto the DIY blogs featuring the how-to for creating your very own “unsponge” you will see the sustainable swap being marketed as a means to clear out your fabric scrap drawer. People gather materials ranging from old t-shirts to flannel to loop terry. We’ve come across cotton quilt batting as well as those innovative souls who dreamt up using mesh produce bags as the scrubby side to their cleaning problem solution. It is an ideal problem to solve with upcycling for sure. However, if you take your “unsponge” a little more seriously, you may find yourself leaving upcycling for your other creative ventures and turning towards the super products that comprise our Zorb brand line of fabrics. 


How to take your unsponge from fine to fantastic


Let’s say you have already made an “unsponge” or two and they went just fine during the making process. You had a great time spending a half-hour or so bringing your creation to life and you eagerly rushed to your kitchen and began cleaning every plate you could get your hands on. You may have noticed that the happy feeling only lasted a short while and was swiftly replaced with a bummer state when you went to happily clean your dishes a few weeks later just to find a misshapen mass of cotton fabric pieces barely kept together. Fraying, pulling away from the stitches, insides peeking out the side seams from overzealous scrubbing sessions and the overall absorbent efficiency worn away. That is a crappy state to exist within for sure. So how can you keep the happy tingles from your initial creative state and make it last through many more wash cycles? You can invest in the eco-friendly Zorb Original for the sponge core as a start. Two layers of Zorb Original will replace eight layers of flannel, six layers of french terry, and five layers of organic fleece. 


What makes Zorb so special?


Zorb Original is made from a blend of bamboo, cotton, and polyester fibers, which gives it the ability to absorb to the nearly magical-to-watch level that it does. In addition to its absorbency, Zorb Original fabric is also durable, breathable, and quick-drying. Qualities such as these  make it an ideal choice for use in “unsponges”, which are designed to be used repeatedly and must be able to withstand frequent washing. Now, if used alone Zorb loses its superhuman strength and falls apart in the washing machine. But when paired with two outer layers, it is unstoppable. Originally we thought to use our ProECO Organic Cotton Interlock fabric as the outer layers for our own “unsponges”. After analyzing our fabrics and taking inventory of the best candidates for the outer layer job, as well as our very own version of a “scrubby” side, we came to the conclusion that though our organic cotton interlock would recreate the atypical t-shirt used for the outer shell of the “unsponge” in most DIY tutorials, this could be deemed inferior when compared to the cleaning ability of the loop terry construction of our Zorb Microfiber Loop Terry fabric.


What role does microfiber play in an optimal unsponge construction?


Microfiber is a type of synthetic fabric made from polyester and nylon fibers. It is known for being very absorbent, with the ability to hold up to seven times its weight in liquid. Microfiber is also designed to trap dirt and debris, making it effective for cleaning tasks. Ours is comprised of 100% polyester and  It works 20 times faster than materials like bamboo, cotton, and hemp knits. The fibers are constructed to distribute moisture and hold that moisture within the fabric. Literally perfect for working caked on gunk crusted onto your supper plate off with minimal effort. But what about the really tough stuff? For our “unsponge” scrubby side we thought really outside of the box and we landed on our SnapAid – Snap Reinforcement Fabric. This 100% polyester reinforcement mesh has an acrylic finish for a firm & stiff hand, stabilizing and adding body to your fabric. You really can’t ask for anything more than that for your side meant to encounter your toughest cleaning problems. Full disclosure, we have not run tests of this scrubbing side on different surfaces, do not use it without testing a small and inconspicuous patch first. 


Why does a super absorbent core matter in my unsponge?


Why is having such an absorbent core as well as outer shell so important for the functionality of an “unsponge”? Having a highly absorbent center core is important for an “unsponge” because it allows the sponge to effectively absorb and hold onto liquid, making it more efficient at cleaning up spills and messes. When the sponge is pressed against a surface, the absorbent center can soak up liquid, helping to prevent spreading or smearing of the mess. The absorbent center also helps to reduce the amount of liquid left behind on surfaces, which can help prevent streaking or water damage. Pair that function with the construction of our Microfiber Loop Terry fabric that locks in dirt and debris and you have an idyllic pairing of function and form. 


Easy to follow best practices guidelines for increasing the life span of your unsponge


Before you rush off to order your fabric and make your first or repeat round of “unsponges” take a look at these simple care instructions. Following this guideline will help you extend the life of your fabric and thereby the life of your “unsponge”. 

Here are some tips to help you keep your Zorb Original “unsponge” in good condition:

  1. Rinse the “unsponge” with water after each use to remove any dirt, debris, or cleaning solution.
  2. Machine wash the “unsponge” in a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach, fabric softeners, or any harsh chemicals as they can damage the fabric.
  3. Tumble dry the “unsponge” on low heat or air dry it. Avoid using high heat, as it can damage the fabric and cause it to lose its absorbency.
  4. If the “unsponge” becomes heavily soiled or stained, it may benefit from a pre-treatment with a stain remover before washing.
  5. To help the “unsponge” maintain its shape and absorbency, it’s recommended to avoid using fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or any products that contain silicone or other coating agents.
  6. Replace the “unsponge” when it begins to show signs of wear, such as fraying or losing its shape.
  7. Use the “unsponge’ only for its intended purpose, such as cleaning dishes or surfaces, and avoid using it for heavy-duty cleaning tasks.


Take 5 seconds & always be in the know!


Be sure to take a quick moment to click our YouTube button at the top of the page to head to our YouTube channel and subscribe to be notified when we post new videos, like our upcoming video of us creating our very own “unsponges” in a tutorial style that’s quick and easy to duplicate on your own at home. We aren’t going to get into the steps of making your “unsponge”. We advise you to use between two and four layers of Zorb Original for the core. You can use a variety of our fabrics for a great outer shell. Play around and see what you prefer. To get to know each of our fabrics, start your journey with a swatch. These 4×4 pieces of fabric are large enough for many creative applications beyond just being a means to an ends for familiarizing yourself with each fabric. One of the many ways you can use a swatch is to construct your “unsponge”. Each swatch runs $2 and can be purchased on the product page for a specific fabric by setting the length option to “swatch”.

So, why does any of this matter – why should I create an unsponge to replace my current mass produced sponges?

Before we wrap up our Zorb adventure into “unsponges” we wanted to reflect on why it matters that you are making an “unsponge” to replace your unsustainable current throw away versions. The current mass produced versions end up in the trash, as they are typically not recyclable. The production process for sponges can vary depending on the type of sponge and the manufacturer. However, in general, the production of synthetic sponges, which are typically made from petroleum-based materials, can require significant amounts of energy and fossil fuels.

The manufacturing process for synthetic sponges involves extracting and refining petroleum, which is a fossil fuel, and then using it to produce the plastic materials that are used to create the sponge. This process can consume a significant amount of energy, which is typically generated from fossil fuel like coal or natural gas. On top of that add each individual product’s carbon footprint. The amount of miles it had to travel to reach you. The typical journey from China to the United States is about 5000 miles. That’s a lot of petroleum based fossil fuels to facilitate that trip.


Now that you know, it’s up to you to help be the change this world needs


Now you can see the full picture of the impact a simple sponge can have on Mother Earth. Intervening with fabrics made in the USA, whose carbon footprint in terms of miles traveled to reach you maxes out at the 500 mile mark, can make a big difference. If everyone thought the same way and utilized eco-friendly fabric for creating their own “unsponge” we could be the change that needs to happen. Here are some quick departing facts that outline the reasons why using a homemade “unsponge” is worth it versus opting for a mass produced version. 


Key take aways for the benefits of usponges versus mass produced sponges


  1. Eco-friendliness: Unsponges are often made from eco-friendly materials like cotton, bamboo, or hemp, which are sustainable and biodegradable. Regular sponges are often made from synthetic materials like plastic, which take a long time to break down and can contribute to plastic pollution.
  2. Less waste: Unsponges can be washed and reused multiple times, whereas regular sponges are often disposed of after just a few uses. This means that using an “unsponge” can reduce the amount of waste you generate over time.
  3. Chemical-free cleaning: Unsponges can be used with natural cleaning solutions like vinegar or baking soda, which are less harmful to the environment than many commercial cleaning products. Regular sponges may contain harsh chemicals that can be released into the environment during use or disposal.
  4. Local production: Making your own “unsponge” at home reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping, as you don’t need to rely on mass-produced sponges that are often shipped from far away.


Questions? We are here to help


Have questions about this blog or our fabrics? Feel free to reach out to us at support@wazoodle.com Our fabric experts are happy to guide you as you navigate your fabric journey. What you are doing matters and we are eager to help. Have a Zorb creation? Please share it on our Wall of Creations. We love to showcase all the amazing pieces our community of makers create.  

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