But how does it compare to what’s on offer at the Lawson convenience store? 

We’re always on the lookout for weird vending machines that don’t fit the mould of the regular ones that dispense drinks on just about every street corner in Japan.

So the other day, while walking past the Takamastu branch of Duskin in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, we did a double-take when we saw this fun-looking pink machine on the street outside.

Duskin is a super well-known Japanese company that specialises in cleaning equipment, and they’ve been helping people keep their houses clean with cleverly designed products since 1963. Peering inside the window of this machine revealed it contained just one Duskin product, in four different varieties, and that product was…the Duskin sponge!

▼ Clockwise, from top left: Three-Colour Kitchen Sponge Set (Monotone), Three-Colour Soft Type Kitchen Sponge Set, Bath Sponge, Three-Colour Kitchen Sponge Set (Colourful)

All the sponges in the machine came with the approval of an adorable little pup, who could be seen giving us a wink and a thumbs-up on the display panel with the comment: “Once you use it, you can’t stop!”

The glowing recommendations continued on the outside of the machine, where the following was printed:

“Duskin Kitchen Sponge — The Secrets of its Popularity

  1. Durable and long-lasting
  2. Plenty of lather with less detergent
  3. Easily reaches to the bottom of tall glasses

We needed no more convincing — these sponges sounded like true miracle workers! So we popped 630 yen (US$4.49) into the machine and purchased the Monotone Three Colour Kitchen Sponge Set.

▼ Aw, look at that adorable packaging!

On the way home, we popped by a Lawson convenience store to pick up one of their kitchen sponges, seeing as their sponges have been known to receive glowing reviews online. At 168 yen, the Lawson convenience store sponge was considerably cheaper, but which one would froth up best?

The grey sponge on the left in the image below is the Duskin one, while the white one on the right is from Lawson. Both are kitchen sponges with a three-layer structure, but Duskin’s uses a “urethane foam/inorganic antibacterial agent” as its main material while Lawson’s uses a “polyurethane foam/66 nylon non-woven fabric“.

▼ As for size, they were roughly the same in both length, width and thickness.

Comparing the soft sponge surfaces, the mesh on the Lawson one appeared to be much finer.

Turning it over to compare the hard sides, again the Lawson variety displayed much finer holes. How would the differences in mesh weave affect the performance? Well, there was only one way to find out.

Dropping a dollop of dishwashing liquid on the Lawson sponge, we lightly wet it with water and squeezed it two to three times until some fine bubbles emerged. The foam it produced was quite delicate, but ultimately, the foaming was uneven as it didn’t cover the entire surface area.

Using it on a dirty dish, though, the sponge worked to easily clean it with just one wipe — a good performance from the Lawson sponge!

Dropping an equal amount of detergent on the Duskin sponge, we moistened it with water and squeezed it a few times, and this time, much larger bubbles appeared. It foamed up a lot more than the Lawson sponge — look at all that foam!

Using it on a dirty plate, the sponge easily wiped the grime away. Excellent result!

After comparing the two sponges, Duskin’s was far more powerful, and the lather was amazing! Upon squeezing the sponge a few more times, the bubbles it produced felt like whipped cream.

The “plenty of lather with less detergent” claim was definitely true, and we could easily see why the Duskin sponge is so popular. No wonder it has its very own vending machine on the street selling them at all hours of the day and night!

If you’re in the area, we highly recommend buying a sponge from the vending machine. That’s a sentence we never thought we’d find ourselves saying, but after visiting the vending machine that makes wishes come true, we really shouldn’t be surprised by anything!

Related: Duskin
Photos © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]