Rag Company Ultra Black Sponge

Cost:  £22

Date of Review: 22/10/2022

The Sales Pitch from The Rag Company:

The Rag Company’s exclusive ULTRA BLACK SPONGE represents the latest in foam technology and an evolution in design based upon the famous Big Red Sponge!

The new ergonomic shape makes it much easier to hold for all hand sizes resulting in an increase of performance for everybody. Add a softer feel, easy care, increased durability and the ability to use with both Rinseless AND Soap Washes and you have simply the best wash sponge available ANYWHERE!

The ULTRA BLACK SPONGE is available EXCLUSIVELY From The Rag Company, a world-leader in automotive detailing microfiber and other quality detailing products. 


  • EFFICIENT ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Easier To Hold And Softer Feel Delivers Increased Performance
  • ADVANCED FOAM CELL STRUCTURE: Excellent With Both Rinseless AND Soap Washes. Upgrade From Older Red Sponge Technology Only Designed For Rinseless Washes.
  • EASY CARE & EXTREME DURABILITY: With Proper Care, The Ultra Black Sponge Can Deliver Hundreds Of Uses
Source:  TRC – ULTRA Black Sponge – The Rag Company Europe

What You Get:

The sponge is ergonomically shaped with an overall size of approx. 5″ x 7″ x 3″

Product Description:

A very dense foam sponge which has been cut cross hatch style both top and bottom sides to give a much bigger surface area. The cuts or slots are approx one third of the way through the sponge on each side.

This product has been designed with the ‘rinseless’ wash type applications in mind where water could be at a premium. There is nothing to stop this sponge being used for standard soap washes as well.


Using the sponge is a bit of a revelation as taking it out of the bucket the sponge was heavy. This sponge holds a lot of water/product without too much ‘drain’ running of the water onto the floor.

The sponge can be wrung out like any other sponges, but I suspect it will tear the material, with that in mind I would suggest squashing the sponge to drain it.


The ergonomic shape fits very nicely in my large hands. The design of the product has me in a dilemma though. The cross hatch can hold away the debris from the paint which is good, but it remains in there. Yes, I use the two bucket method and rub the sponge on the grit guard at the bottom. But, some of the debris is still deep within the groove(s).

I’m also thinking that the cubes could be easily torn if they are caught on some sharper bits of car trim, or caught in a door handle for arguments sake.


The application was good with the amount of water/product that could be applied. The sponge did glide across the paint smoothly, but I suspect that was down to the polymers in the product and having a decent amount of wax layer still left. After the application with the water/product been used up, rinsing of the sponge in water soon turned a shade of dirty as expected. The fact this had such a good contact with the paint was good. However was it going to push the larger dirt or debris around the paint?

Even trying to rub the sponge on the grit guard at the bottom of the bucket didn’t release the debris from within the sponge’s grooves. A wash mitt has far more surface area to pick up the dirt and hold it away from the paint.

Rating:  4 out 10

Mu low scoring is because of the fact that I had to pick debris out of the sponge. The car was dirty yes, and had been previously snow foamed, with a jet wash rinse off. So the car was washed as I would normally wash it, except this time I used this sponge. The sales pitch above says, “With Proper Care, The Ultra Black Sponge Can Deliver Hundreds Of Uses”. That may well be the case, but at what point do I start putting debris back onto the paint if the sponge holds the particles after one wash?


The very hefty price of £22 for a sponge is a lot in my opinion. (For that type of money I want it gold inlaid with my name on it). I had already stopped using sponges a few years ago now, and much prefer the different styles of wash mitts that are out there. For this price, you can buy a quality wash mitt and some other products for your money.

The hype around this sponge is certainly there on the forums and has a few people talking about it. But, I wasn’t washing a clean(ish) car for an article. I was washing my dirty daily driver car. I won’t be using these types of sponge again for a dirty car for sure.

For me, this sponge is aimed at the show car or a very well looked after car market that doesn’t get dirty and only needs a rinse off. If that’s the case then the dirt and debris retention obviously won’t be anywhere near an issue as I have tried to explain here.

If you’re looking for a new sponge and is your go to for a car cleaning application, and also feeling flush then this could be for you.

Would I recommend it? No

Would I buy it? No

Special thanks to Craig for lending me the sponge in the first place to try it out for my review.

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