Product Review: Casabella Pet Bowl Cleaner Sponge

25 08 2010

I went to Bed Bath & Beyond last night after work for a little early birthday shopping.  I know, most girls would probably buy themselves a new outfit or a great handbag – don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly done that before.  I chose BB&B because I’m treating myself to a new slipcover.  I’m so tired of our maroon, starting-to-tear sofa and the Shelley can’t decorate the family room because she’s paralyzed by the maroon-iness so I’m using my birthday as an excuse to purchase something to de-ugly the sofa.

While I went to Bed Bath & Beyond mainly for a slipcover, I generally like to peruse their wares (mostly in the Beyond section) to see if anything lights my fire.  Well tonight I found something so simple and fabulous that I had to run home and start writing a blog post on the qwerty keyboard on my phone.  It’s a sponge that’s shaped like a dog bone.  To be specific, it’s Casabella’s Pet Bowl Cleaner Sponge.  Please feel free to gasp in awe.

Bone Shaped Sponge

No more dog/human cross-contamination in my house!

It’s not just a novelty bone-shaped sponge: it’s shaped like a bone so you can easily remember which sponge is designated to clean all of your canine accouterments.  I want Hamlet to have a clean bowl but I don’t want dog food remnants and Ham slobber on the human dish brush, the dishes, or in the dishwasher.  I’m not a germaphobe but I have to draw the line somewhere.  (To review, the line is currently, “ok with Hamlet accidentally French kissing me but not ok with sharing my dish scrubbing brush or dishwasher with his dog bowl.”)

I showed Hamlet the sponge to see what he thought.  It has a traditional cellulose side as well as a scrubby fiber side for those tougher spots.  Hamlet gave it the full sniff-down.

Hamlet sniffing bone sponge 1

He bobbed...

Hamlet sniffing bone sponge 2

He weaved...

Hamlet sniffing bone sponge 3

He stuck his face in between the two sponges.

Hamlet sniffing bone sponge 4

He settled in for a good sniff.

Hamlet sniffing bone sponge 5

"Ok, I'm done sniffing. Seriously, go clean my bowl and stop taking pictures of me."

I gave the bone sponge a quick tour of the kitchen and then put her to work on Hamlet’s food bowl as the test.  I’m embarrassed to show you this picture and therefore have it forever present in the flotsam of the internet, but in the interest of a good before and after and a fair product review, this is the “before” picture of Hamlet’s food bowl.

Hamlet food bowl - before

Hamlet's food bowl before its date with the bone sponge.

I used hot water, dish soap, the bone sponge, and some elbow grease and this is what I turned out.

Hamlet food bowl - after

Hamlet's food bowl after getting gussied up.

You may notice that there’s still some scummy looking stuff on the bowl in the “after” picture.  A close-up shot will give a better idea of what we’re dealing with.

Hamlet's food bowl - after - close up

Not scum or residue, just some sort of tarnish-like situation.

The sponge did a great job of getting rid of all of the food bits, caked on Hamlet slobber (he sometimes sits in the kitchen and licks his bowl like we’ve never, ever fed him; does your dog do this or is mine the only one that thinks that dog licks turn into kibble?), and general nastiness.  However, there’s still something left behind.  It’s not scum, more like tarnish.  I know stainless steel doesn’t get tarnished but that’s the closest analogy I can muster.  It’s not any kind of food or dirt residue, just sort of a discoloration or something.  I scrubbed and scrubbed but I couldn’t get it off.  Now that the bowl is much, much, much cleaner (and therefore safe to mingle with the human dishes), I plan to give it a run through the dishwasher and see if that gets the last of the “tarnish” off.

The sponge definitely did what it was supposed to – clean the bowl.  I don’t blame the scum left behind on the Casabella sponge; I think I had simply let Hamlet’s bowl go too long without a good scrub down.  The sponge was $3.49 for a set of two sponges at Bed Bath & Beyond, which makes them about $1.75 apiece.  If you had a 20% off coupon to BB&B (which you should because they arrive weekly in the mail to every American household), yours would be about $2.79 for the two pack.  You can bet I had a 20% off coupon but I used it on my slipcover.  So it scores points for being affordable as well.  Plus I just think it’s so simple but so stinkin’ smart to have a bone shaped sponge to differentiate it from the human sponges.  Hamlet and I rate it four out of five scrubs.

Quick tangent to tell you why I say “scrubs” instead of something like “stars” or other traditional rating unit.  There used to be a local movie critic who always rated the movies he saw with a clever unit of measure, typically a reference to something from the movie itself.  For example, if you loved “Titanic” you might give it five out of five icebergs, or five sweaty handprints, or five hearts of the ocean (can you tell I like “Titanic”?).  Mike and I then picked up the habit of rating a movie after we saw it and coming up with a clever unit of measure, just like the movie critic did.  (Mike’s clever units are always better than mine, darn him!)  Therefore, for this sponge with its scrubbing power, I’m giving it four out of five scrubs.  Feel free to tell me in the comments if you come up with something better.

I’ll definitely keep using the sponge to clean Ham’s bowl once a week (after being so embarrassed by that dirty “before” picture).  That’s how we’re keeping the pet bowls clean around la casa de Ham.  What do you do to keep your animals’ dishes clean?  Do you have a phobia of mixing the pet bowl with the human dishes like I do?  Do you scour your pet bowls with steel wool or some other burly tool?  I welcome the advice so spill the kibble.

*Casabella did not request that I write this review nor compensate me or Hamlet in any way for it.  My review is a result of my own thoughts and opinions.  I simply happened upon this product while out shopping and thought it would be helpful for other dog lovers to know about.