Why I like brillo pads

Amazing what these little suckers can clean.

At the end of its life.


1. They clean well from sinks and bathtubs to dried food I cannot get off the dishes.

2. Once all the soap is used up, I can continue to scrub with them.

3. They are made of steel wool so decompose quickly and I can throw them in the compost to add iron. Often times, there is nothing left of it at all by the time I finish but a sprinkling of rust in my soap dish.

4. They don’t come in plastic packaging. The box they come in can be recycled, composted or cut up to make more business cards for this blog.

5. They are fairly cheap.

6. I buy the product, use itΒ AND the packaging it comes in, so there’s nothing left to throw out. I’d consider this zero waste.


1. They do scratch plastic and can scratch certain surface areas, so be careful.

2. We cannot put too many in the compost or our lovely soil will have too high a level of iron content.

Pros outweight cons. I’m using them to clean with, and am pretty happy about it. What product do you like?

16 responses to “Why I like brillo pads

  1. good little things Brillo pads and they smell nice…I always used a product called Vim which is a powder abrasive. It was very popular many years ago, even my Mum used it..then it disappeared and all chemical cleaners became popular and dear old Vim went the way of others before him. Now in Bulgaria I have a product called Clean Maximo which is identical to Vim, so me and my ‘Vim’ are now reunited in the heaven of clean sinks etc

  2. I’ve never tried the Brillo pads. I buy steel scrubbies – they last almost a year before they get too ragged to use anymore. I don’t think they would be compostable though – I do have to throw them out. Works great on pots and pans and my sink.

  3. My brillo gets rusty, I squeeze out the water but that squeezes out the soap.

  4. I’m with you on the Brillos. Great!

  5. I do have a brush with long handle for dishes. In addition to that I use small cloth towels to clean the sink or counter or not very messy plates. Every few days I throw them in the washing machine with dirty clothes and re-used them again. It works great! πŸ™‚

  6. while building an erosion control dirt shelf in the steep slope, i incorporate all manner of (eventually) compostable material…brillos, scrubbies, tin cans, leather and cotton cloth of any last stage clothing..which i bury under sand and weeds..within a few short months, it’s all ground..covered with pumpkins and cantaloupes, sweet potato vines etc..
    to avoid using toxic soap pads unnecessarily, i put hot water in pans add a spoon of baking soda and wait a while, then brush the gunk off easily..same for dishes..soak-soak-soak! smart or lazy?

  7. Thanks for the good ideas and comments! Claudia, in order to keep the rust off mine, I’ve found you have to use them fast. When they do rust, they still work but will leave a rusty rim in your sink which then must be cleaned out. Eek. I’m thinking this Vim is similar to Comet. That stuff cleans like a charm, I just don’t know what’s in it….hmmmm….
    I think I’m going to try Nadine’s “smart + lazy” version with the baking soda. I have plenty of that!

  8. I love a good Brillo scrub, but hate the way they feel when I’m using them! I dunno, it’s a sensory thing. I use them anyway!

    How do you re-use the packaging? I’m curious!

    • Lindsay, sometimes I recycle it, but most of the time I cut up my own business cards for this blog from those type of boxes. I have a stamp with my name and info on it which I put on the back, and that way I don’t have to buy busines cards. No one’s thought I was selling or advertising Brillo pads yet! Ha! It’s a great way to show people that anything can be reused and perfect for the blog. And it’s a colorful card! πŸ™‚

      • ha, the recycled cards, i have gotten many a smile from my artful post cards, and notes cut from solid cereal or chicory boxes in france, and i have been known to purchase the most colorful food boxes to cut up and re-purpose after consumption of course..
        now i would order a stamp if only i needed to keep contacts..do they have recluse stamps? hibernator lady?

  9. Putting into your compost? Brilliant! Try using tin-snips (big STRONG industrial scissors) to cut the puff into smaller, more manageable pieces for your compost to “digest.” Everything breaks down better when it’s just a bit smaller.

  10. Shannon! Thanks for the tip about the tin-snips! πŸ™‚

  11. No, Nadine, no hibernator lady stamps, but I’ll keep my eye out. It’s a business card with the blog site on it and an email. But sometimes I wonder for how long. Every day the recluse stamp looks more and more appealing. πŸ™‚

    • can you imagine how much green mileage your little recycled cards can get? the gentlest impact is most effective, no preaching, just DIY example with a dash of good humor —leave your colorful tracks in every farmer’s market and health food store, in super-markets, in parks and theatres…
      you may have to cut up your friend’s cereal boxes too.

  12. Nadine—I didn’t even think of that! Maybe I could leave some at the State Fair this year too? I’d better get to cutting! My supply is getting low! πŸ™‚

  13. A fellow blogger here, found your site via Redaxscript, and I
    have a piece of advice: write more. Honestly, it appears as if you depended on the clip to drive your point home.
    It’s obvious you know your stuff, so why not use your knowledge to write something more substantial and leave the video as something secondary (if there at all)?

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