Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Is It Worth Paying More For Cleaning Products?

Testing Scotch-Brite Against Cheaper Products

Scotch-Brite is a company that produces cleaning products that are a little more expensive than many other  brands on the market.  In this economic climate, I have been challenged to find out if it is worth paying a bit extra for cleaning products and whether buying cheaper brands is a false economy.

I was sent a selection of Scotch-Brite's products, along with some of their competitor's products so I could test them for durability and efficacy.  I want to find out whether it is sometimes worth paying a bit more initially and whether I'll be saving money in the long run.

Heavy Duty Scourers

Scotch Brite

Scotch-Brite's Heavy Duty Scourers retail at £1.15 for a three pack, which makes them about 38p each.  I was comparing it against Product A which sells at 30p each as part of a four pack and Product B, also 30p but sold in a three pack.  The first difference that I noticed was that the Scotch-Brite scourer felt much thicker and denser than the two other products.  I personally hate the feel of scourers, they make me cringe, so I usually leave scoring to my husband, but in the name of reviewing I gave them all a try!  The biggest difference was that the Scoth-Brite scourer was much more absorbent than the competitors, which really came into its own when scrubbing down the work surfaces.   It was also very effective and hasn't yet shown any signs of disintegrating.  I am still not a fan of the feel of these scourers, but for an extra 8p, the quality and usability of the Scotch-Brite was definitely better.

Scotch Brite

Multi-Purpose Non-Stick Scourers

The Multi-Purpose Scourers had the biggest price difference of all the products.  Scotch-Brite's premium Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge cost £1.15  The others cost 15p each for Product A and 17p for Product B.  A and B are almost identical (except for the colour) with a synthetic sponge base and a stuck on white scouring layer.  The Scotch-Brite scrub sponge is a very different product.    The wave shape makes it very ergonomic and easy to hold.  The sponge side is thick and dense and the scourer feels strong and claims to scour 50% faster than other scourers and is recommended for use on premium cookware.  It works a treat with its delicate cleaning sponge side and its tough scouring side.  It takes up the bubbles from the washing up water and makes a good foam for cleaning up.  It is really gentle but a powerful cleaner! The scourer is easy to rinse through after use.  The cheaper ones seem to clog and disintegrate after a few uses. 

It is definitely much better than the flimsy, lightweight cheaper products, but you have to take into account the fact that you could buy seven cheaper ones for the cost of one Scotch-Brite one.  Will seven cheap ones last longer than one premium one?  Or does the quality of the longer lasting, tougher scrub sponge justify the expense?  I think if you have some top quality cookware that you want to protect and keep clean, it is worth the investment, but for everyday lightly soiled plates you can get away with using the cheaper ones, although they are nowhere near as nice to use.

Scotch brite

Sponge Cloths

The Sponge Cloths from Scotch-Brite cost £2.49 for a multi-coloured pack of five.  With a stripy finish on one side and a spotted finish on the other side, they are thick and really soft to the touch.  Product A and B, both retail for £1.30 for a four pack equating to 33p each, as opposed to 50p each.  A was noticeably thinner and felt drier and less springy.  It only had one textured side.  B was almost as thick but less soft and had a waffled texture on both sides.  When it comes to absorbency, I put the three sponge cloths to the test using a glass full of water 'spilled' into a tray, replicating a common household accident that occurs regularly in our home!

Product A performed quite poorly sucking up only about half of the water.  It also didn't hold the water it had absorbed very well and it run from the bottom corner.  The Scotch-Brite sponge cloth and Product B both did really well, mopping up and holding the water well with just a little bit of leakage when picked up.  The Scotch-Brite product actually claims to hold ten times its weight in water which I'd say is pretty accurate.  However, the one big difference between Product B and the Scotch-Brite sponge cloth was the flexibility.  It was far more easy to wring out and felt nicer to use.  Product B was a bit stiff and felt slightly brittle on drying out.  The Scotch Brite sponge cloth is definitely more durable and out performed the competition.

Scotch Brite


It's been quite an eye-opener testing these products against each other.  Saving money is a huge consideration to me and my family.  We can't afford to be frivolous anymore, but sometimes paying a few extra pence can be more cost effective in the long run.  Using cloths that are not up for the job will end up being a waste of cash and make household chores more difficult. Taking environmental impact into account, I'm happy buying products that last a long time rather than constantly re-buying and disposing of cheap alternatives. Weighing up the pros and cons and making an informed choice is the wisest plan of action.  But sometimes, it definitely pays to go with the better quality, more expensive product if it is going to outlast and out perform the cheaper alternative.


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