At the top you can see the brand new wool scrubby, and just underneath is the same scrubby a few weeks old, with the hemp thread I added for extra scrubbing power. To the far right is the 6 month old scrubby, after many trips through the microwave for disinfection, and lots of dish scrubbing. It held up fantastically! A few days after this last photo, a hole finally wore through. The effectiveness did diminish in the last month or so, as the wool and hemp degraded. A full busy household might want to replace theirs more frequently. A soft pressure is gentle enough for no-stick cookware, and firmer pressure for less delicate pots and pans.
There are some tips I discovered to make it work better:
- I think most people’s instinct would be to bear down when scrubbing. Counter-intuitively, I find that a firm side-to-side pressure works best. Focus on sliding the scrubber back and forth, rather than pressing down, rinsing off the bits that release easily so you can see what’s left.
- Barkeeper’s Friend is…well…your best friend. The main ingredient is oxalic acid, and it will help release stuck-on particles of food. Sprinkle and scrub, or for really stubborn jobs, sprinkle, moisten with water to make a paste, and let it sit for a while, then scrub.
- Be patient. With the rice cooker, I’ll usually soak it in some soapy water first, and then loosen the heavy particles with my dishgloved hands. Next I scrub with my wool and add Barkeeper’s Friend to any stubborn spots. Sometimes there’s still some diehard bits left. Those get a Barkeeper’s Friend paste layer, and I just clean it off an hour or so later. Sparkly.
These wool scrubbers will definitely be a permanent addition to our household. My next step will be to try making my own from some wool batting. I found the rectangle shape a bit too floppy, and I’d like to try a round shape instead. These scrubbers have replaced the synthetic kitchen sponges we used to buy and greatly reduced our steel wool usage, too.