We tested three internet-famous methods for cleaning your dishes — here's what worked best

Dillon Thompson
·4-min read

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TikTok users can’t stop talking about the “sponge caddy.”

At least, some of them can’t. Several videos of the dish-cleaning gadget — which holds your sponge and dispenses dish soap all at once — have gone viral on the app. Some have even called it “life-changing,” or a “must-have.”

But how well does a sponge caddy really work? And, more importantly, does it really make cleaning dishes easier than using, say, a washcloth or a dish wand?

To figure that out, In The Know’s editors put together a good, old-fashioned dish-cleaning competition. We snagged a two-in-one soap dispenser caddy on Amazon, then compared it against two other methods: a rag and a soap-dispensing dish wand.

To see what happened, check out the video above or keep reading below.

How well does the sponge caddy work?

We compared our dish-cleaning methods on three factors: price, aesthetics and how quickly they could clean up a full set of dirty dishes. Here’s how the sponge caddy held up.

Hung Kai 2 in1 Dish Soap Dispenser Caddy, $10

Credit: Amazon
Credit: Amazon

Price: The sponge caddy costs $10, making it the most expensive of our three methods. However, it does conserve dish soap by keeping a pool of soapy water in its base — which over time, can save you plenty of cash.

Aesthetics: The caddy was a big winner here. The gadget sits cleanly on the counter, and can fit anywhere you want it near the sink. It also saves you from having to sit a damp, dirty sponge on any of your kitchen surfaces.

Speed: We have a winner here! When it came to speed, this gadget cleaned a full set of dishes (a plate, cup, bowl, fork, knife, spoon and skillet) in just one minute, 37 seconds. That was our fastest time by far.

How did well did the dish wand work?

We bought a cheap, soap dispensing dish wand from the grocery store to compare. In theory, this gadget had a good chance to beat the caddy, since it can squirt out dish soap as it cleans.

Price: The dish wand we bought cost $4, but you can find other models on Amazon.

Aesthetics: The wand isn’t messy, exactly, but it is hard to find a place for unless you have a hook for it. For that reason, it lost out to the sponge caddy here.

Speed: The wand faired pretty well, finishing our dish set in one minute, 55 seconds. That was our second-fastest time.

How well did the washcloth work?

For our final option, we threw it back with a dish-cleaning classic: a wet rag and a bottle of dish soap. Here’s how our “old-school” method performed.

Price: $0. We considered this a freebie because if you don’t have a washcloth somewhere, you have bigger problems.

Aesthetics: The rag came in last here. It was gross, messy, wet and tough to find a place for. Not the best kitchen accent, in our opinion.

Speed: Last place again, unfortunately. The rag was our slowest method, finishing in two minutes, 15 seconds thanks to its inconvenient shape and the fact that we had to apply dish soap separately.

Final verdict?

The sponge caddy was our clear winner. The gadget placed first in two of our categories, winning out in both speed and aesthetics.

And, for just $10 (that’s including three sponges, by the way), it wasn’t a horrible dent in the old wallet. If you’re looking to shred through some dirty dishes like an Olympic track athlete, this is your best shot.

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If you liked this story, check out our article testing out the internet’s four favorite phone-cleaning methods.

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