Unbleached Greek Sea Sponges
We pride ourseves on holding the largest selection of natural unbleached Greek sea sponges in the UK. Not only do we have all the useful species from the traditional bath Honeycomb sponge; tiny make up and foundation sponges, but also GIANT sponges.
All sponges come from Greece, are hand harvested by specially trained divers under licence, they are all unbleached. Throughout the ages, Greek sponges have always been regarded as superior in quality and so all of our sponges are Greek. This means our sponges are sustainable, non polluting and they last longer than their bleached counterparts. After the sponge is ‘cropped’ a replacement sponge grows. The process is somewhat akin to the pruning of plants. The process is fully sustainable and it means that when you get a sponge from us, the rest of the organism is still growing in the sea!
Sponges have been collected for thousands of years for cosmetic, personal, household, animal, medicinal and craft uses. They are valued for their incredible water holding capacity, for their long use lives and for the ease with which they can be cleaned. Humans have always marveled at the beauty, special feel and the unique properties of natural sea sponges.
For the body, nothing quite compares to a natural sea sponge for gentle exfoliation, for washing the face and body, for removing make-up, for bathing the delicate skin of babies and children or for adding vigour to a shower or luxury to the bath. Our sponges can be used with soap to create a foamy lather and with water for abundant rinsing. We like to use sponges when we wash in clay or exfoliate with hemp oil soap and sponges can also be used for professional massage. Sponges also excel at cleaning, reaching into every nook, cranny and crevice and their fibrous surface is similar, albeit easier to clean than microfibre cloths. They help to transform washing, bathing, shower or cleaning into a joyous experience!
Why Choose a Sea Sponge?
Natural sponges are wonderful to admire, hold, use and care for, plus they are brilliant at washing and cleaning. The surface of the sponge is covered in tiny protrusions of ‘fibrin’ which give natural sponges superior cleaning power over artificial sponges. Sponges are amazing for washing, bathing and showering, optimizing the condition and feel of the skin as nearly every species gently exfoliates dead skin and polishes the living skin. The hands alone, just can not accomplish this! We use the hemp oil soap to prepare the skin for exfoliation. Natural sponges are easy to clean and with good care and task appropriate use, they should last much longer than their synthetic counterparts.
Why Choose an Unbleached Greek Sea Sponge?
These sponges are unbleached making them suitable for use on sensitive skin. Unbleached sponges are more durable than bleached sponges and they do not disturb the healthy flora on the skin and of course an unbleached sea sponge not cause pollution during its processing. Children are fascinated by sponges and we have met adults in the 90’s who still remember being bathed with a sponge and they can still identify the some type of sponge they used from among our range! Sponges make a lasting impression upon children and adults. Everyone adores using them. Perhaps it might help children who normally protest at bath time to enjoy their bath more?
How to Wash A Sea Sponge
Wet a very grubby sponge in hot water, massage real soap into it, such as our naturally anti-bacterial hemp oil soft soap. Leave the soapy sponge to stand for a few minutes and then rinse the sponge in hot water. If there are any trace of soap left in the sponge, give a further rinse in vinegar water. To sterilize a sponge—Soak a cleaned sponge in a bowl of hot water containing salt, vinegar or bicarb; or essential oils such tea tree, thyme, cloves, grapefruit seed extract, etc. Then rinse the sponge.
Strange Facts about Sea Sponges
- Genetically sponges are 70% related to humans
- Many scientists believe that all animal life evolved from sponges
- There are over 5000 different species of sponge and 7 species are commercially useful
- Although sponges have the genes for organs they do not possess, such as a heart, mouth, eyes, they are not switched on
- Sponges have amazing powers of regeneration and reorganization. Apparently you can take two whole living individual sponges, pass them through a silk mesh i.e. make them very small, place them back in sea water and they will reform into the two individual sponges again. Please don’t try this at home!
- Although sponges appear to be rooted to the spot, some of them can move slowly to find a better habitat. As they move across uneven surfaces they can reorient their own internal body structure to suit their new habitat.
- People have always debated whether sponges are plant, animal or something in between. Since 1765 they have been classified as an animal. Unlike most other animals, they have no detectable sense organs neither do they have a nervous system.
Please Note sponges are measured when they are wet and fully expanded. So if the sponge you receive seems a tiny bit smaller when you receive it, after the first time it is wetted, it will reach its true size.
Historical and Other Odd Uses for Greek Sea Sponges
- Helmets and armour were padded with natural sea sponge (elephant ear).
- Cleaned and damped sponges have been used by menstruating women to capture their flow (silk fina 3+). I have not found these practical myself and prefer the Femmecup.
- Sponges were also used to administer spermicidal medicines for contraception.
- Surgeons used sponges to absorb blood and body fluid.
- The Romans used ‘spongia’ – sponge on a stick, instead of toilet paper. They were cleaned in red wine vinegar.
- Homeopaths make preparations from toasted sea sponge.
- Scientists are trying to create new medicines from sponges.
- Sponges are used in bushcraft to collect water and moisture from stone hollows, stems of plants etc.
Greek Sea Sponges and Sustainability
All of our sponges are collected in a sustainable manner by licensed sponge divers. They always aim to cut the sponge so that it can regrow again.
1. Choose the right species and size of sponge for the task. Don’t hesitate to call us for advise! 2. Wet and soften the sponge before use—Immerse the sponge in water and squeeze it several times. 3. Use the sponge for your washing or cleaning adventures. But keep in mind , it a sponge, not a scouring pad, so be kind to it so that it enjoys a long life. 4. Clean the sponge when necessary. 5. Allow the sponge to air dry after use. 6. Never wring a sponge, but squeeze it instead and also never place the sponge in scalding or boiling water or somewhere really hot like on a radiator or heater. 7. Keep your sponge away from pets!