Is the silicone 'Better Sponge' really better?

HOUSTON – Recent studies recommend replacing your kitchen sponge every week to reduce the risk of germs that can make you sick, but the makers of a new kind of sponge say you can save a lot of money by using their product instead.

They claim The Better Sponge lasts longer, never gets smelly and you can throw it in the dishwasher when you want to clean it. We wanted to know if The Better Sponge is really better when it comes to cleaning.

For many families, the weeknight ritual is the same. Night after night, you cook and then you clean. There have been no major advances in the way we do either for decades. Now, The Better Sponge promises to do everything your regular sponge can do without harboring nasty bacteria and smells.

"So gentle it never scratches, but strong enough to clean crusty, baked-on cheese," the announcer claimed in the commercial.

KPRC 2 consumer expert Amy Davis tried the sponge for more than a month. She gave The Better Sponge a real workout with baked on chicken scallopini in her nonstick pans.

No matter what she cooked, the soft silicone bristles weren't tough enough to get the grease and stuck-on food off of her cookware. Davis also noticed she had to use much more dish soap because The Better Sponge is not at all absorbent.

The Better Sponge claims it can help with other household tasks too, like removing pet hair from furniture, but if you're considering it to clean your dishes and cookware, it is definitely not better.

Davis bought The Better Sponge at Marshall's for $6.99. You can find them at Walmart, Target and many grocery stores.