Will a Natural Sponge Absorb More Water Than a Man Made Sponge?


People have used sponges for both household and hygiene purposes for centuries. Artificial sponges were developed in the 1940s by the DuPont company. Due to their attractive appearance, uniform size and superior absorbency, they have largely replaced natural sponges.

Water Absorption

  • A sponge draws water into itself because its surface is cellulose. Cellulose surfaces attract water molecules because the holes, nooks and crannies of the surface allow water molecules to cling. By contrast, non-cellulose surfaces such as wax or plastic will not absorb water because they do not allow water molecules to enter through their surface. In a sponge, the water spreads out along the cellulose surface and saturates it. This is what makes sponges absorbent.


  • Natural sponges are the skeletons of a simple kind of sea animal. Since ancient times, they have been harvested by divers and dried for household use. Synthetic sponges are made of cellulose derived from wood pulp, sodium sulphate and hemp fiber. Chemical softeners are used to break the cellulose down into the proper consistency, and bleach and dye give synthetic sponges their color.

Why Synthetic Sponges Absorb More Water

  • Natural sponges are products of the environment, and their chemical structure is predetermined. A company that makes artificial sponges, on the other hand, has the ability to adjust the chemical structure of the sponge's plastic. By adjusting the sizes of the holes in the sponge, manufacturers can design sponges that attract the water as efficiently as possible with a given mass of plastic. They can also tailor the thickness of the sponge to give it comfortable elasticity.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit sponge for cleaning image by Serghei Velusceac from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is a Cleaning Sponge Made Of?

    For centuries, the only sponges that were available were those that grew on rocks at the bottom of the ocean. Natural sponges...

  • Differences Between Artificial & Natural Sponges

    People use artificial and natural sponges are for many purposes. Common uses include dishwashing, bathing, home cleaning, car washing and arts &...

  • How to Clean Natural Sponges

    Natural sponges are not manmade, but rather found in seas and oceans. These sponges are cleaned of ocean debris and then packed...

  • Products That Absorb Moisture

    Products that absorb moisture aren't just limited to those that clean up spills and messes around the house. There are an assortment...

  • Things That Are Absorbent

    Absorbent materials are those that can take in other materials — generally liquids. Most materials are absorbent to a certain degree, as...

  • Stones That Absorb Water

    A stone house should be waterproof -- in theory. But this depends on the type of stone used in the building. Stone...

  • Which Fabrics Will Absorb the Most Water?

    Absorbent fabrics are hydrophilic, meaning they attract water. Water attraction is called hygroscopy. Natural fibers like cotton, hemp and bamboo are made...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!