Sea sponges are among nature’s most curious organisms. They have been collected for thousands of years for cosmetic, personal, household, animal, medicinal and craft uses. Sponges 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. Throughout the ages, Greek sponges have always been regarded as superior in quality and so all of our sponges are Greek. They are harvested by hand by specially trained sponge divers, and after the sponge is ‘cropped’ a replacement sponge grows. The process is somewhat akin to the pruning of plants. The process is fully sustainable.
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. They help to transform cleaning into a joyous experience!
Why Choose a Sea Sponge?
- Natural sponges are a joy to see, hold, use and care for plus they are brilliant at washing and cleaning. The surface of the sponge is covered in tiny protrusions 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 exfoliates dead 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.
- 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.
- 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 Use and Care for Your Sponge
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—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.
5. 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.
6. Allow the sponge to air dry after use.
7. 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.
8. Keep your sponge away from pets!
Choosing a Sponge
Here is a video to help you select the best sponge for face care and for bathing / showering.
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.
Also I have not been able to fit all of the sponges on the drop down menu, so if you would like a sea grass, hardhead or macho fina sponge could you call us on 0800 023 5008 or email please?
|Type||Size in inches and Price
|Fina Silk, Fina Silk, Fine Silk
|Soft body texture. Silky soft surface. Durable, very evenly formed sponge, springy, tiny pores, absorbent. These tiny sponges, generally have a flat profile.||Make up removal and application. Detail craft work. Detail cleaning.Three sponges in a packet|
|Silk Fina||2+ inches
|As above, but more hard wearing.||Make up removal and application. Detail craft work. Detail cleaning. Baby Bath.Two sponges in each packet|
|Silk Fina||2.5-3 inches
|As above, but more hard wearing and with a firmer body texture.||Baby Bath, Face Care, Cleaning.One per pack.|
|Silk Fina|| 4+inches
|A firmer body texture. As the Silk Fina Sponge grows, the surface becomes more furrowed. Due to the fine mesh, they need good drying conditions.||Bathing. Showering, Baby Bath, Face Washing. Cleaning. Washing Up.|
|Silk Fina|| 5+inches
|The surface is often furrowed with a firm body texture. Still with a silky smooth surface.||Bathing, Showering, Cleaning.|
|Silk Fina||6+ inches £25.00||Mostly furrowed.||Bathing, Showering, Cleaning.|
|Silk Fina|| 7+
|The surface is more furrowed. These are very attractive sponges.||Bathing, Showering, Cleaning.
The larger sizes need optimal drying conditions.
|Silk Fina||8+ inches £40.00|
|Silk Fina||9+ inches £50.00||These are generally ‘bulky’.|
Spongia officinalis dura
|Medium body texture. Firm exfoliating surface. Slightly open structure. Rounded with very small cut mark, several osculum up to 1cm. Very attractive natural yellowish-brown.||Exfoliating, washing, dry skin massage, bath, showering.|
|As above.||When exfoliating, hold this species of sponge with two hands.|
|Sea Wool, also known as Sheepswool Sponge
|Very soft body texture. Very soft surface texture. Feels like sheep fleece. Extremely absorbent. Easy to control water absorption and release. i.e. non-drippy. This size can be used with one hand. The larger sizes require two hands. Delicate – quite low tear resistance.||Great for face washing and strip washing and baby care.Great for detail cleaning around fittings, mouldings etc because you can exactly control the moisture level.Also used by potters, craftspeople and artists such as water colour painters.|
|As above.||Ideal for applying soapnut liquid or seaweed extract to the hair. Slower to dry than other sponges, so these sponges need good drying conditions. Squeeze gently.|
|Sea Wool||5+ inches£20.00||As above.||Squeeze gently. Very delicate.|
|Honeycomb Sponge, Horse Sponge
|A soft and flexible body structure. Attractive, and most commonly associated with luxury bathing. From the side they look like Swiss cheese. These sponges are the easiest to wash and air dry.||Baby care, face washing. These sponges are the easiest to wash and air dry.|
|At this size, these sponges are stronger than they look. They are the archetypal bath sponge.||Baby care, face washing. In nature these sponges can grow very large (too large to use), so|
|Soft but remarkably durable.||Bath, shower, spa, large pets, housework, car washing, windows. Most of the medium and large honeycomb sponges have been cut into practical sizes. The cutting reveals the strong honeycomb structure and retains a ‘cleaning surface.’|
|My favourite bath and shower sponge!||Bath, shower, spas, large pets, housework, car washing, windows.|
|Needs two hands to squeeze and wring.|
|Decorative, but still usuable with two hands.|
|Honeycomb||The Giant Honeycomb|
|4-4.5 inches £12.00||A firm body structure. A good exfoliating surface. Very even texture, absorbent, fine fibrous mesh, generally smooth but some with regularly spaces tufts and ridges. Due to the fine mesh, needs good drying conditions.||Exfoliating, Showering, Bathing, Pet Care. Too harsh for face care.|
|Macho Fina||5+ inches £15.00||Often more tufted and ridged. Can split if rubbed too hard without whole hand support, so a the Nettle and Copper Exfoliating glove could be a better option for vigorous exfoliation.|
|Macho Fina||6+ inches £20.00||Often more tufts and ridges, very attractive. Again resist the temptation to use it too vigorously or it will split. Would you be better off with a Nettle and Copper exfoliating glove?||You will need to be quite strong to squeeze this sponge.|
|4 inches £5.00||Medium body texture. A fairy course and irregular ‘wild’ somewhat scruffy surface texture. A large and open fibrous mesh, some with protruding filaments. Sea grass sponges are not the least absorbent of sponges, but they are fast drying. Neither is this sponge type the most durable. Found at 2-5m depth.||For general purpose use, but not strong.|
|Sea Grass||5 inches
|Elelphant Ear|| 7-9 inches
|A ruffled surface, strong, easy to dry. A flat convex disc like body.||Bathing, showering, massage.|
|Elephant Ear||11-12 inches
|A flat dome shaped structure. A cut mark slit in the center.||Crafts (i.e.padding for helmets and armour). Can be easily cut into different sizes.|
Historical and Other Odd Uses for 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.