A Dishwashing Glove That Doesn’t Smell?

An innovation in dishwashing is something that will always get my attention, especially one that promises “no more stinky sponges or cloths.” Because if there’s one thing I hate about washing dishes, other than the actual washing the dishes part, it’s the struggle to keep both dishcloths and gloves free of odour. 

No matter how often I wash a dishcloth or how long I let it dry, it stinks. I’ve tried cloths in various materials and none seems any less prone to odour than the others. Same goes for gloves. I’ve tried latex and nitrile, gloves with moisture-wicking linings and antibacterial properties, and versions for sensitive skin. All trap moisture within, which festers until the inevitable odour emerges and seeps into my hands. Combatting the moisture issue is almost impossible. Anyone who has tried knows how difficult it is to turn gloves completely inside out to dry, then back again for the next sink full of dishes. And that moisture also has an impact on most glove linings, causing them to decompose and crumble. 

So when I saw a silicone “scrubbie” glove, pictured below, on the Kitchen Stuff Plus website, I was intrigued. It’s probably obvious how it works, but, to quote the website: “Simply apply detergent in the palm of your hand and scrub dishes directly. Then, rinse your gloves and lay them out to dry!”  

For the record, I’m not generally a fan of silicone. I have had all bad experiences when using it for baking and find I have to be very selective when buying silicone utensils, since the cheaper ones tend to degrade rather quickly. But I have had good luck with silicone pastry and basting brushes, which are similar in structure to this scrubbing glove, so I decided to give the glove a shot. (It’s listed as a new product on the vendor’s website, and it is new to me. It’s quite possible that other versions have been around longer so this one might not be quite as groundbreaking as I think.)

Does It Work?

I’ve been using this scrubbing glove for several days now. While it definitely takes some getting used to, it works surprisingly well. (They are sold individually, so I just bought one to see what I thought of it. The glove is ambidextrous, so you can use it whether you are right- or left-handed.) 

I use a sink of soapy water, as I always have, and find I don’t always need to apply detergent to the glove, but I have when faced with a particularly dirty dish. Cleaning something like a whisk is really easy, since the little silicone spikes of the glove get into small spaces. The glove is fairly thick too, so wiping down something like a cheese grater feels safer. The silicone is, of course, non-abrasive so you can clean non-stick pans without worry about damaging them. With spikes all over the fingers, you can reach inside narrow glasses or small measuring cups easily. And the scrubber on the palm of the hand is great for plates and frying pans. 

Being rather sloppy in the kitchen, I have dropped this glove into water more than once. I have hung it to dry and it has remained odour-free inside. As one would expect, bits of food can get stuck in the little spikes. Most rinse away easily, but I bake a lot of bread and find that dough remnants are tricky to get out of the spikes, although I suppose it’s no more difficult than removing dough from a dishcloth. On the downside, the glove can be, in the words of my son, “a hair magnet.” And, yeah, that’s a little gross, but, again, the same thing can happen with dishcloths. 

The most immediate failing, noticed by my sons and husband, is the size of the glove. They all found it tight. I generally take a medium kitchen glove–my hand is about 8 cm across at its widest point–and this silicone glove fits me fine, but anyone with a bigger hand will have difficulty with it. (Note to the manufacturer: men do dishes too, so you might want to make this in multiple sizes.) I also have concerns about the durability of the glove. On my first day using it, two of the little spikes fell off; none since then though.

The Bottom Line

For now, I give it a tentative thumbs up, but will hold back a full recommendation until I’ve seen how long it can withstand the rigours of daily dishwashing. I’ll post an update in the future to talk about how this glove holds up, but if you’re looking to solve an odour problem with your dishcloth or rubber gloves, for $6.00, this silicone scrubbing glove might be worth a try.

Months Later

As I feared, this thing is sitting in the cupboard beneath my sink, hardly used. It is a good idea, but I haven’t been able to make a habit of putting it to use. It is a little cumbersome and uncomfortable and just doesn’t feel natural yet. I’m going to give it another try, because dishcloth odour is still a problem, so we’ll see if I can get used to it this time.

Dishwashing scrub glove

Where to Buy

My glove is made by Luciano Gourmet and available at Kitchen Stuff Plus for $5.99CDN. That store also stocks similar gloves by Joie, sold as a pair, for $9.99CDN. I haven’t tried the Joie version so can’t speak to its quality.

Image of dishes: 96034685 © Artur Balytskyi | Dreamstime.com

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