SOS Pads vs Brillo Pads | Which is Better?

When your cookware has tough cooked-on food residue, dried grease, and other tough messes, you’re likely reaching for an SOS or Billo pad. Both of these products work wonders at removing the worst messes from pots, pans, and other cookware. But, which is better?

Debating between SOS pads and Brillo pads requires taking an in-depth look at both products. We’re going to review each product, their effectiveness, affordability, and more to determine which is the better soap pad.

If you’re looking for the best soap pad that will give your cookware the best clean possible, then you’re in the right place. Read on to learn all about these two products so you can confidently choose the best one!

What’s the Difference Between SOS Pads vs Brillo Pads?

There are a few differences between SOS pads and Brillo pads. SOS pads contain preservatives, while Brillo pads don’t. However, Brillo pads are stated to contain 29% more soap and 8% more steel wool than similar products.

So, how do these differences affect these products? Let’s dive into some more specifics about each so you can see for yourself which is the better product.

SOS Pads

The ‘s.o.s’ in SOS pads actually stands for ‘Save Our Saucepans’. This product came about in 1918 when cast iron cookware became replaced by aluminum cookware that blackened more easily.

This product has become a popular household cleaner in the US, and now has a handful of variations on their original product.

What Products Does SOS Pads Offer?

Most people think of the original SOS pads, but they actually have a few other pads as well. Let’s dive in and review each of their products.

SOS Steel Wool Soap Pads S.O.S-10002 , Steel Wool Soap Pads, 10 Ct

The original SOS pads are made with durable steel wool and saturated with long-lasting grease-fighting soap. These pads can quickly cut through grease, grime, oil, grill residue, cooked-on food, hard water stains, and so much more! These pads are perfect for cleaning the toughest messes inside and outside your home. This product is also great for your garage with those tough automotive messes. You can get the original SOS pads in three fragrances including original, lavender, and lemon.

SOS Non-Scratch Scrubbers Non-Scratch Soap Scrubbers, Blue, 8/pack (1)

These Non-Scratch Scrubbers are made from non-scratch fibers with grease-fighting soap built-in. They contain all the power of the original SOS pads but are gentle enough to use on enamel cookware and other delicate surfaces. You can use these non-scratch scrubbers on cutting boards, glassware, flatware, serving dishes, and much more!

Clean n’ Toss SOS Pads Clean 'n Toss S.O.S Pads; 15 count

These Clean n’ Toss SOS Pads are made of the same durable steel wool as the originals and contain the same grease-fighting soap. These pads are half the size of the original SOS pads, so they’re perfect for cleaning in hard-to-reach spots. These pads are single use so you can use them on the nastiest messes and simply toss them when you’re done.

How to Use SOS Pads?

SOS Pads are super easy and convenient to use. When you have a tough mess that needs cleaning, all you need to do is wet the SOS pad and start scrubbing! The soap inside the pad will start foaming once it becomes wet, and the steel wool pad will do most of the work for you. Scrub until the mess is gone, rinse the surface or object you cleaned, and enjoy the sparkling clean left behind.

What Are SOS Pads Made Of?

The original SOS pads and the Clean n’ Toss pads are made of the same steel wool and grease-fighting soap. The non-scratch scrubber pads are made of the same soap, which contains biodegradable soaps and detergents, preservatives, a pH buffer, fragrance and color. Instead of steel wool, the Clean n’ Toss pads are made from polypropylene fibers that are safe for use on more delicate surfaces.

Are SOS Pads Toxic?

One of the preservatives in SOS pads is sodium nitrate. This chemical has been linked to causing cardiovascular and blood toxicity. Of course, you would need to ingest this chemical in order for it to cause toxic effects in your body.

SOS pads are safe to use as long as you’re using them properly. They do contain some toxic ingredients, so you should never ingest any part of these pads or leave them unattended around pets and children.

Brillo Pads

Brillo pads were first patented in 1918 when cast iron cookware began to be phased out with aluminum. All Brillo pads and other products are made in the US. This company has been family owned for four generations, and their company places a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Their Brillo pads come in boxes that are 100% recyclable and made from 30% post-consumer recycled material. They also run two zero waste facilities in Michigan and Ohio.

What Products Does Brillo Pads Offer?

Brillo’s original pads are well known, but they have some other pads as well. Here’s a quick rundown on each of the Brillo Pads.

Brillo Steel Wool Soap Pads Brillo Steel Wool Soap Pads, Long Lasting, Lemon Scent Cleaning (Lemon, 10 Count (Pack of 12))

These recyclable pads are made with 29% more soap and 8% more steel wool than other steel wool cleaning pads. The original Brillo Steel Wool Soap Pads are designed with uniquely bonded edges that help it maintain its shape even after heavy use. These pads are great for cutting through grease, grime, and other tough messes around the home. This product comes in an original and lemon fragrance.

Brillo Single Use Steel Wool Soap Pads Brillo Single Use Steel Wool Soap Pads, Smaller Size Original Red Scent, 15 Count (Singles, 15 Count (Pack of 12))

When you have a particularly tough, greasy mess, then the Brillo Single Use Pads are the perfect choice for the job. These pads are half the size of the originals, so they’re able to get into even the smallest nooks and crannies. This product is great for use on grills, pots, pans, and baking sheets. Just like the original product, these pads are 100% recyclable.

Brillo Strip & Shine Steel Wool Balls Brillo Strip & Shine Steel Wool Balls, Soap Free Cleans, Shines and Polishes (Strip & Shine, 6 Count (Pack of 1))

The Brillo Strip & Shine Steel Wool Balls are soap-free and compatible for use on furniture and other durable surfaces. You can use a little mineral oil with these balls, or use them by themselves to give the surfaces and furniture in and out of your home an amazing sheen.

Brillo Heavy Duty Steel Wool Soap Pads Brillo Heavy Duty Steel Wool Soap Pads, Original Red Scent, 10-Count

When you have a particularly tough mess, it’s time to reach for the Brillo Heavy Duty Pads. These pads are made with double the amount of soap and steel wool so they can eliminate even the toughest messes. The anti-rust formula will help restore grills, baking sheets, and other surfaces to a brand-new shine.

How to Use Brillo Pads?

Brillo pads are super easy and convenient to use. There’s no need to pre-soak your baking sheets or apply a ton of elbow grease while cleaning your grill with these pads. All you need to do is wet the pad to release the soap and start scrubbing! Make sure to thoroughly rinse the surface or object you cleaned when you’re finished.

What Are Brillo Pads Made Of?

Brillo pads are made with very limited ingredients. The only things that go into making these products are steel wool, soap, fragrance, and colorant. The minimal ingredients are what helps Brillo Pads be 100% recyclable and maintain a high-quality product.

Are Brillo Pads Toxic?

The soap in Brillo pads can cause serious health problems if ingested, but their ingredients aren’t toxic. So long as you use Brillo pads as intended, then you shouldn’t experience any adverse health effects. Just make sure you don’t leave these pads unattended around children or pets because accidental ingestion will require emergency medical attention.

Comparison Questions (SOS Pads vs Brillo Pads)

Which Soap Pad Lasts Longer?

Brillo pads and SOS pads are made with very similar ingredients and are made to be used on the same types of surfaces and objects around the home. Determining which pad will last longer comes down to the slight difference in their ingredients.

SOS pads contain preservatives, and Brillo pads don’t. These preservatives are meant to keep the soap in the SOS pads from breaking down even when they’ve been stored for a significant period of time. For this reason, SOS pads last longer than Brillo pads.

Are SOS Pads or Brillo Pads More Affordable?

One of the main questions people tend to ask themselves when debating between two products is which is more cost-effective. In this case, we’ve broken down the cost of each brand per pad so you can see which is the more affordable soap pad.

Brand Price Per Pad
SOS Pads $0.24
Brillo Pads $0.33

As you can see, SOS pads are slightly cheaper than Brillo pads. This isn’t a huge difference in cost, but it could certainly add up over time!

Which Soap Pad is More Powerful?

Brillo pads and SOS pads are basically comprised of the same ingredients and serve the same purpose. Both pads are saturated with a powerful grease-fighting soap that’s meant to tackle even the toughest messes in and outside of your home.

However, Brillo pads have 29% more soap and 8% more steel wool than the original SOS pads. These additional components make Brillo pads the more powerful cleaner.

Which Provides a Larger Variety of Products?

There are a few versions of SOS pads and Brillo pads, but Brillo has a unique steel wool product that SOS doesn’t have. Their Strip & Shine product is very different from anything SOS offers, which gives Brillo a better variety of products than SOS.

Which Product is More Environmentally Friendly?

Brillo pads come in packaging that is 100% recyclable and made of at least 30% post-consumer recycled material. SOS pads can’t boast either of these claims, and that makes Brillo pads the more environmentally friendly product.

Related Questions

Can You Use SOS Pads On Stainless Steel?

SOS pads are perfectly safe to use on all stainless steel or aluminum cookware and other products!

Do Brillo Pads Scratch Glass?

The potential of scratching glass is high when using a Brillo pad. There are other products, such as the Brillo Estracell No Scratch Scrub Sponge, that would be much more suitable for cleaning this type of surface.

Can You Use SOS Pad On Stained Bathtub?

SOS pads are safe to use on your shower doors, but you should be cautious when using it on your tub. Depending on the materials your tub is made of, the SOS pad could cause scratches or remove layers of paint or finish.

The Verdict – Which Is Better?

In the debate between SOS pads vs Brillo pads, we looked at the different products they offer, their effectiveness, and their affordability. Brillo pads are a more powerful cleaner and have a couple of unique products that make them an invaluable resource around the home. You may pay a little more for Brillo pads than SOS pads, but the results you get from cleaning with them will make it worth the cost!