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What is Scrub Daddy and is it worth buying?

We look into the smiling scrubber that's spawned a family of cleaning products and legions of fans. 

Last updated: 22 May 2024


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We're always on the hunt for cleaning products that'll make those cumbersome household tasks a little easier, preferably while lasting a long time and without the need for an arsenal of chemicals. Even if you hate cleaning, products that are affordable, easy and effective are the Holy Grail. 

And with its attention-grabbing name, distinctive smiley face design and expanding range of cleaning products making big promises, Scrub Daddy is certainly capturing people's interest. The brand has racked up 4 million followers on TikTok alone and is a regular feature on the channel's #CleanTok feed which is jam-packed with cleaning tips and videos featuring sparkling cleaning routines.

The brand has racked up 4 million followers on TikTok alone

Scrub Daddy started with one product – the original smiley faced sponge – but has now expanded to a range of household cleaning products including a Scrub Mommy sponge, scourers, erasers, dusters, pastes, a surface cleaner and more. But does the brand actually deliver and is it worth adding to your cleaning routine? 

What is Scrub Daddy?

Self-dubbed "America's favourite sponge" and rising to fame after it was snapped up by an investor on the US entrepreneur TV show Shark Tank, Scrub Daddy is a cleaning sponge with a distinctive shape (and name).

Scrub Daddy launched in Australia in 2017, but has steadily gained popularity since 2020, when Coles started stocking the original sponge.

Made from a polymer foam, the sponge changes texture based on water temperature – in cold water it's hard and in warm water it softens, giving you various textures for scrubbing versus lighter cleaning. 

The sponge changes texture based on water temperature – in cold water it's hard and in warm water it softens

It claims to be scratch-free on over a dozen different surfaces (including glass, non-stick, cast-iron, copper and stainless steel) as well as non-toxic, BPA and latex free, and will remain odour free for up to eight weeks under normal conditions. 

The point of the distinctive smiley face design (apart from being cute) is that you can place two fingers in the Scrub Daddy's eyes to reach the bottom of containers while also cleaning its sides, and you can use the mouth to clean both sides of utensils at the same time.

Where can I buy Scrub Daddy products?

The original Scrub Daddy sponge is $4.50 at Coles and various products in the range are also available from retailers such as IGA, Bunnings Warehouse, Mitre 10, Howard's Storage World and Kitchen Warehouse. 

We also found Scrub Daddy products and the single sponge available through Woolworths' Everyday Market for $12.99 (which is more than double the Coles price).

You can now also buy the original sponge in various colours (including dye free) and shapes, and the Scrub Mommy sponge which is half scrubber, half sponge, as well as a range of other Scrub Daddy cleaning products. However, they're not all available at all the retailers we've mentioned. 

There are a few fans of both the Scrub Daddy and Scrub Mommy sponges in the CHOICE office

Is the Scrub Daddy Magic Multi-Surface Cleaner any good? CHOICE tested 55 multi-purpose cleaners in our latest review, including the Scrub Daddy Magic Multi-Surface Cleaner and it was one of our top performers, notching up a score of 90% in our scrubbing test, which earned it a recommendation from our experts (the top scorers in our surface cleaners review received scores of 95%). At $7.35 for 750ml (98c per 100ml), it was pricier than two of top performers however (such as the Earth Choice Antibacterial Surface Spray which scored 95% and costs 67c per 100ml).

The Scrub Daddy Magic Multi-Surface Cleaner is a non-bleach, vegan-friendly cleaner and degreaser that the company says is suitable for most surfaces around the house, including metal, plastic and fabric (although it recommends testing small areas before using). 

Its ingredients are listed as: <5% cationic surfactants, <5% non-ionic surfactants, <5% perfumes, <5% phosphates, and linalool, d-limonene and citral which give it a lime and mint scent.

Does the Scrub Daddy sponge work?

There are a few fans of both the Scrub Daddy and Scrub Mommy sponges in the CHOICE office. Here's some of the feedback we've heard:

  • "They have the power of a scourer but without the damage."
  • "I really like it and use it every day. It has lasted the longest of any sponge I've used, and is very versatile." 
  • "We use the Scrub Daddy and I think it's lasted the longest out of the sponges we've had. The mouth isn't just cute: it can be used to clean knives, forks and spoons."
  • "I have both the Scrub Daddy and Scrub Mommy and I love them. I also have the Daddy Caddy holder for my sinks."
  • "I love mine, not just because it's cute (although that definitely did play a major part in my initial decision to purchase it) but because it's actually good and does what it says it does."
  • "I've never noticed any damage to anything I've used the Daddy or Mommy on."

Putting Scrub Daddy to the test

One of the spruiked advantages of the Scrub Daddy sponge is its scouring power, which means there's less need to use chemicals while cleaning – always a plus for the environment and your back pocket if in fact true! 

This writer tried the Scrub Daddy sponge on a stainless steel saucepan with fruit and porridge that had been cooked and left to cool for a few hours.

These were the results after some vigorous scrubbing with just the Scrub Daddy and cold water, but no cleaning products:


Before and after scrubbing with Scrub Daddy and cold water: Stuck-on porridge on an old stainless steel saucepan.

There is a noticeable difference in the texture change of the sponge when you run it under cold water versus warm. Within a few seconds of running it under hot water, you can feel the sponge soften, which makes it suitable for lighter cleaning tasks.

If you want to get it firmer for more scrubbing, I just ran it under cold water for a few seconds again and the texture noticeably changed again, becoming harder for firmer scrubbing.

I also tried it on one of our least favourite cleaning jobs: the steam wand on our coffee machine. When you don't wipe the steam wand straight after using it, the milk gets almost 'baked' on due to the heat and can be difficult to remove. 

The sponge didn't remove all the grime completely but did a pretty good job in seconds – and cleaned better than the metal scourer we usually use.

How long do Scrub Daddy sponges last?

Like any product, the Scrub Daddy's lifespan depends on how often you use it. When I trialled it at home, the Scrub Daddy certainly held its shape and remained free of the usual sponge yuckness for much longer than an ordinary sponge. 

CHOICE staff member Kim agrees: "I think it's lasted the longest out of the sponges we've had."

How do you clean a Scrub Daddy?

Of course you can simply run your sponge under water to rinse, however all the Scrub Daddy sponges can also be placed on the top rack of a dishwasher to clean. 

Are Scrub Daddy products worth buying?

When you can pick up a multi-pack of sponges or scourers in the supermarket for under $2, spending close to a fiver or more on one sponge may seem excessive.

However, I'm impressed with the job our Scrub Daddy sponge does, and love the fact that it has lasted longer (and gets less icky) than other sponges, limiting the guilt I feel about tossing old sponges in the bin. Being able to clean things without using as much detergent is also a plus. 

The fact that it changes in texture makes it suitable for a range of cleaning tasks, too, which may also mean you don't have to buy sponges in different materials (and if you really want a sponge and scourer combo, then there's also the Scrub Mommy to try). 

It's also a good testament to the products, that when I asked around, many people were keen to share just how much they love their Scrub Daddy sponge and some of the associated cleaners. 

The Scrub Daddy Magic Surface Cleaner comes recommended by CHOICE experts, scoring 90% in our testing. However, as there are cheaper products that performed better in the testing, there may be better-value options out there. 

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.