Emma eats 20 kitchen sponges a day: "Some people go out for a steak, I go out for a sponge"

Emma eats 20 kitchen sponges a day: “Some people go out for a steak, I go out for a sponge”

Emma Thompson, 25, has a somewhat unusual habit. She eats 20 kitchen sponges – a day. She has partaken in this unusual “dish” since she was a toddler.

“I’ve tried to stop, but I can’t. Some people go out for a steak, I would rather go out for a sponge.”

At three years old, she started chewing bath sponges. However, she soon discovered that she liked the taste of kitchen ones better.

Today, she is 25 years old and lives in the English city of Newcastle. She suffers from an OCD disorder called Pica, which causes the sufferer to repeatedly eat strange things that have no nutritional value.

In Emma’s case, it’s all about kitchen sponges. She soaks them in apple flavored dish soap overnight and enjoys one first thing in the morning.

I enjoy the taste of it, I enjoy it more than food, especially when I put dish soap on the sponge. It tastes like apples, it’s quite foamy. As soon as someone mentions it, or when I am washing the dishes or see a packet of sponges in the shop, I just need to have one. It’s a guilty pleasure. Some people smoke – I eat sponges. It’s not a dirty habit, it’s clean,” Emma says to the British newspaper The Mirror.


She eats between 2 and 20 kitchen sponges a day, a habit that costs her about 6 pounds (9 dollars) a week.

“I had tonsillitis”

She sometimes cuts up sponges and take them with her to work in a lunch box.

“I won’t use the sponges if someone else has touched them. My boyfriend thought I was weird at first but now he buys me them,” Emma says.

Eating kitchen sponges soaked in dish soap is not risk-free, but she has not sought help for her condition. She says she will consider doing so if it gets worse and starts controlling her life.

“It doesn’t make me ill, apart from a one off occasion. I had tonsillitis, I couldn’t swallow and I had white spots on my throat. Obviously you are not meant to eat dish soap every day. The doctors didn’t say anything much about it really.”

Even though this is a problem, it’s still a good thing that we live in a world where we can make our own choices. Share if you agree!