Natural Sea Sponge and Sea Sponges
Shop the largest selection of sea sponges available online. Luxurious natural sponges for your bath & shower, silk sponges for makeup & cosmetics and beautiful large decor sponges.
Our sea sponges are harvested from Florida's Gulf Coast by local Tarpon Springs Spongers. We also import unique sponge varieties from the Bahamas, the Mediterranean Sea and South Pacific Ocean. We proudly offer the largest selection of sustainably harvested natural sea sponges available online.
Learn About Natural Sea Sponges
Ready to experience the luxury of a Natural Sea Sponge?
Select the category below and we will help you pick the right one:
Natural Bath & Body Shop carries more than fifteen varieties of sponges, view our chart to help pick the perfect sponge based on its physical characteristics.
To view more details about a specific type, click on its photo or link.
For more answers about sponges, such as selecting the right size and type of sponge view our Sponge FAQ.
|Type of Sponge||Harvested from||Description / Common Use||Softness||Durability||Porousness
|Prime Sea Wool||Key West, Bahamas||Bath & Body, Babies, Automotive, Household, Saddlery / Pets, good sponge for sponge painting||5||3||3|
|Yellow||Key West, Bahamas & Florida Gulf of Mexico||Bath & Body, Household, Commercial Cleaning||3||2||2|
|Caribbean Grass||Bahamas, Florida Gulf Coast & a hybrid species in Key West||Bath & Body, Household||2||4||5|
|Rock Island Sea Wool||Florida Gulf Coast & occasionally in Key West||Bath & Body, Babies, Automotive, Household, Saddlery / Pets, best sponge for sponge Painting||5||5||4|
|Caribbean Silk||Bahamas only||Cosmetics, larger sizes can be used as Sea Pearls, arts & crafts||2-3||3||4|
|South Pacific Silk||Philippines||Cosmetics||4||1||3|
|Mediterranean Silk||Greece, Tunesia||Cosmetics & Sea Pearls||4||4||5|
|Elephant Ear||Philippines||Arts & Crafts (painting, pottery and more), Cosmetics||4||2||5|
|Glove||Florida||Decorative Display, Arts & Crafts, Gardening||2||3||2|
|Vase||Florida Gulf Coast Only||Decorative Display, Arts & Crafts||2||4||2|
|Wire Grass Vase||All Florida||Decorative, Arts & Crafts, Gardening||1||4||3|
|Finger||Florida Gulf Coast||
Decorative, Arts & Crafts, Aquariums
|Loofah||Egypt, Guatemala, China, Thailand||Loofah is not a sea sponge, rather it is a Ridged Gourd. Its rough texture is perfect for skin exfoliation. Used for Bath & Body and Household cleaning.||1||4||1|
The Sea Sponge is a renewable natural resource.
When sponges are harvested, the sponge divers hand cut each sponge to ensure that more than one inch of the base remains intact. The sponge then re-grows back to its original form within 3-5 years.
Natural Sea Sponges possess remarkable powers of regeneration. Broken of bits of sea sponge are carried by off by water currents and have the ability to settle in another location and re-grow into a clone of the parent sponge.
Studies show that areas harvested actually increase the population density of sponges.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission regulates the commercial and recreational take of sea sponges and through a series of 'crop / harvest rotation', ensure that the harvest of sea sponges never impacts surrounding ocean species.
Here are a few guidelines for picking the right size sponge:
- For bath use, the sponge should comfortably fit into your hand. We have found that the 4"-5" sponges are the smallest acceptable size for a bath sponge, the 5"-6" is usually just right, and the 6"-7" size is great for large hands.
- For large jobs, use a larger sponge. When picking a sponge to use on your Car, Boat, Horse, window washing etc, use a 7"-8" or 8"-9" sponge. For very large hands or very large jobs, you can go with a larger sponge.
- For Sponging, sponge painting or faux finishing, depending on the size of the job, we recommend using a rock island sea wool or prime sea wool sponge (they have the best textures). For size, select a 3-4" or 4-5" for small artistic painting and for larger jobs such as painting the walls of a house, use a 5-6" or 6-7" wool sponge. From experience, rock island sea wool sponges are firmer than prime wool sponges and will give you a more consistent pattern.
When picking your sponges, you will have a choice of cuts or forms. Forms are the complete, un-cut sponge. This means the sponge will have a flat bottom where it was cut from the ocean floor, but otherwise will be round. Cuts are when larger sponges are cut into pieces. Usually cuts will have two flat sides but a round top. For everyday use, cuts are fine. If you wish to proudly display your sponge as decoration, we recommend a form.
Once wet, it is difficult to tell them apart, but besides the price there are distinct differences between Prime Sea Wool and Rock Island Sea Wool Sponges. When they are dry, the Rock Island Wool Sponge will be firmer to squeeze than the prime wool sponges. Rock islands are a denser sponge, which means it will hold more water and for sponge painting it will retain its pattern better. Commercial and household applications we recommend the Rock Island Sea Wool Sponge as it will last longer. For bath and shower, the Prime Wool sponges less expensive and some claim they are slightly softer. Typically a Rock Island premium wool sponge will last about 6-9 months if used daily in the shower, a prime wool may last 3-6 months.
When harvested, sponges are dark brown to almost black in color. After processing with peroxide, the color is bleached away and a yellow-beige sponge is revealed. By controlling the amount of peroxide and processing time, we control how lightly colored the sponges will be.
- For Bath and Body - Wool sponges are the best for bathing, they are soft and will last the longest. Grass sponge is a great alternative, it will not last as long as it is not as durable, but is a better value.
- For Exfoliation - Yellow sponge has a lightly rough texture and is perfect for exfoliating. Of course our Loofah Sponges are great for exfoliating as well as they have the roughest texture.
- For Household cleaning - Use a loofah (not a real sponge), Yellow or Grass sponges for household cleaning. They are value prices and both have a great texture for removing soap scum and dirt.
- For Car and Boat - For car washing we only recommend the Wool sponges which are the softest and won't damage the finish.
- For your Horse - or other large pets, use our wool sponges. Usually the larger the better.
Yes and no.
Caribbean silk and Mediterranean silk sponges have been used for thousands of years as natural tampons by ancient Egyptian, Greek & Roman women of means. The problem is that the U.S. FDA does not officially approve of their use in this way. Because of this, you are welcome to order our Caribbean silk and Mediterranean silk sponges, at 1/3rd the price of our competititors and use them any safe way you would like. Why are we selling them for so much less? We don't include extras such as a carry pouch or a fancy moon calendar, but the cost savings is immense. Giving us a hint on the checkout page 'Comments' section will let us know to pickout the correctly shaped silk sponges for this purpose.
Yes, be sure to wash a new sponge thoroughly and squeeze it all over to ensure there are no foreign objects such as sea shell or limerock in it. If you see or feel foreign objects in the sponge, either use scissors to cut out the impurity or call us for advice or a replacement.
It is advisable to disinfect natural sponges on a regular basis, usually every 2-3 weeks if used daily:
- Rinse the natural sponge or loofah under a cold running water.
- Soak the sponge or loofah in a small bowl filled with 2 tablespoons of vinegar to each liter of water. Leave to soak for 2 hours.
- Remove from the bowl and squeeze to remove excess liquid.
- Set out to dry on a clean surface, such as the bathtub.
- Use again. The sponge should be as good as new.
Unlike their artificial cousins, natural sponges do not live in a pineapple under the sea. The breakdown of our incoming raw sponge shipments is:
- Prime Sea Wool, Yellow, Finger, Vase and Glove sponges come from either Key West or the Bahamas
- Rock Island Sea Wool sponges come from the Gulf of Mexico
- Grass Sponges come from the Gulf of Mexico (Tarpon Springs) as well as the Bahamas
- Silk Sponges come from either the Bahamas (Caribbean Silks), The Philippines (South Pacific Silks) or from the Mediterranean.
Our Divers are licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and only harvest wool, yellow and grass sponges of at least 5" in size by hand-cutting each one.
When the sponges are cut. pieces of the sponge remain on the seabed and within a few years grow back to their full size. Also, some pieces will break off and attach themselves to new areas and grow into new sponges.