Melamine sponges are popular because they can remove stubborn dirt and grime without using any soap. The raw material is a foam made from melamine resin. When combined with water, this kind of sponge becomes a powerful cleaning ally. They're good for screen doors, bathroom and shower, and especially for removing water stains on glass. There are a lot of products available, but not all are equal!
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Kakaku.com for the best melamine sponges available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them for three things:
We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese melamine sponges available online.
There are 3 points to think about when choosing a melamine sponge.
These sponges all look basically the same, but performance varies greatly. Read online reviews (like this one!) and remember that price doesn't equate to quality.
The sponges come in two types: small cubes, and free-cut large sponges.
The small cubes are good for things like removing soap scum on bathroom faucets because they can be manipulated into tight places easily. Big sponges are best for bathroom mirrors and water stains on car windows and such.
We recommend having both types, so you can quickly tackle any cleaning job!
Most melamine sponges are not expensive, but sometimes you get what you pay for. If it takes more than one cube to get the area clean, you're not saving any money no matter how cheap it was. Read our reviews, and if you bought something that didn't work well, try a different manufacturer next time.
We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for effectiveness, ease of use, and durability.
Then, based on our tests, we ranked the top 8 Japanese melamine sponges available online.
Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.
Geki Ochi Poi Poi
Kazuya Motegi's Melamine Cleaner
New Geki-kun Melamine Sponge
Cleaner Eraser Jumbo
mybest's Top Choice! The Best Melamine Sponge!
Perfect for Getting into Corners
Recommended for its Affordable Price
Recommended If You Want to Cut Your Own Size
|Japanese||レック激落ち ポイポイ||茂木和哉のメラミンクリーナー||メラミンスポンジ NEW一撃くん||おそうじ消しゴムJUMBO|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Kokubo Mega Pika Melamine Sponge wasn't durable enough. Although it's pre-cut into little squares for you, it didn't work well and fell apart easily.
Top Value Melamine Sponge actually removed dirt well, but the texture is rough and it breaks apart during use. It's medium-sized, unlike some others that are too big or too small.
Whiz Pika King Free Cut just didn't remove grime and fell apart easily, too. We gave it our lowest ratings for both.
Mokku Beppin-san started to fall apart as soon as we applied force to scrub. It's not dense enough, and doesn't remove dirt well at all.
We put each of the sponges through 3 tests. Then we scored them on a scale from A+ to D.
Our editors wrote on a white plastic bath stool using a permanent marker to reproduce the toughest dirt. We checked how many times we had to scrub to remove it, and whether or not the ink was actually spread around and made worse by the sponge.
Although the results differed by manufacturer, dense sponges made by LEC performed well.
As we used the sponges, we checked how it felt. Was it the right size for most jobs? Was it dense enough to transfer our scrubbing force to the item?
We thought the small cube type was the most convenient. If you're in a hurry, choose that kind. If you're short on storage space, the big one that can be cut by hand may be better. A happy medium is the pre-cut type that can be easily separated without a knife or scissors.
Finally, we checked how durable each sponge was. Did it hold its shape? Did pieces break off? Even if it works well, if it falls apart easily, you'll have to spend more money.
We found that price didn't relate to durability. The best way to check is to touch the product and see how dense it is. Denser is generally better!
Melamine sponges work so well that you may be tempted to use them for everything. Don't!!!
These sponges should not be used on:
Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions for use.
Never, ever use a melamine sponge on your body!
Some people used to think it was a good idea to use these products to clean your teeth, but it's not at all. Using these on any part of your body is very dangerous. No matter how badly you want that permanent marker to come off your child's hands, this isn't the way to do it!
Author: Nao Kondo/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Taisei Hoshino, Koichi Miura
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans