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Brillo Vs SOS: Which One’s Best?

Clean-up of tough stains on your metal utensils and cookware isn’t a straightforward procedure. You will require the aid of steel wool pads for better results. Brillo and Sos scrubbing pads are some of the best brands. So, Brillo vs SOS, which one to buy? Read further for more guidance.

A steel wool pad is an abrasive tool for removing rust and stains due to grime build-up in the kitchen, bathroom, and other home appliances. The Brillo scrubbing pad has more coarseness and removes heavy-duty dirt. On the other hand, the SOS pad has fine steel wool that scrubs gently to avoid scratches but still provides incredible results.

Brillo or SOS? A Quick Overview

Brillo is a trusted brand as far as household cleaning is concerned. The Brillo scour pads can be used in the kitchen to clean food messes from your pans, stove burners, pots, etc. That’s not all; you can also use the pads in the bathroom to remove hard water stains, soap scum, and even cooked grease on the grills.

SOS in full means Save Our Saucepans. Though according to the name, you might think it’s only meant for use in the kitchen for cookware or oven racks. But it also works well in the bathrooms, grills, and patio furniture and brightens up wheels or garden tools. SOS pads are incorporated with soap and shaved steel for quick and easy cleaning.

Some users might worry that combining soap with the steel wool pad will lead to rust. No, the soap is made with rust inhibitors, detergents, preservatives, color, and fragrance to offer exceptional efficiency. Luckily, you can choose your preferred scents from lavender, regular, or lemon.

Distinctive Features 

Brillo and SOS are major names whenever cleaning is mentioned. Though great cleaning pads, don’t use them on non-stick pots to be on the safer side. However, though they may serve some similar functions, they are different, as explained below;


The Brillo pad features uniquely designed bonded edges to help maintain shape, while the square design makes it easy to clean messes in corners. You can clean steel, aluminum cookware, grills, bathrooms, and so on with the Brillo scrubbing pad.

Though less abrasive, the SOS pad is equally great for cleaning most cooking appliances and other areas like grills or bathrooms. However, the round shape is a limitation since it can be hard to clean dirt around corners.


The Brillo pad can clean most metallic cooking wares like pots, pans, and other home accessories. Nevertheless, use little effort since excising much force can scratch your stainless steel or aluminum pots. These pads have about 25 to 30%, which combines with steel wool to make them less coarse. Also, don’t use the cleaning pad on porcelain-coated items like toilet seats, bathtubs, or ceramic or plastic kitchen items to avoid scratches because of the abrasiveness. The 35 to 40% soap in the SOS pad ensures you get awesome results on any surface it’s used on. The less abrasive SOS pads are suitable for cleaning almost all kitchen utensils and bathroom accessories. 


The ingredients and accessories used to make the Brillo pad have small amounts of acidic chemicals and, therefore, less toxic. However, people with skin issues may feel irritation when the pad is used directly. They are therefore advised that they wear gloves.

Though SOS pads are said to be safe, they contain sodium nitrate, which is quite toxic. The compound can lead to cardiovascular disease and blood poisoning. But to solve this, rinse whatever you were washing with the pad thoroughly with soft water. 

Quick Cleaning

Since the SOS pad has more soap while their steel wool is thin, it is excellent for quick cleaning activities. To top it all, the pad includes some acidic ingredients that give an appealing look to your utensils. Unlike the SOS, the Brillo pad uses more soap to remove dirt from utensils or surfaces. This means you will need more time for cleaning and rinsing.


The lower soap percentage in Brillo means you will use it for only 2 to 3 rounds before the soap is done. Contrarily, the SOS pad has around 40% soap which can serve about 4 to 5 rounds when used on aluminum surfaces. 


Cleaning heavy stains needs a rough scrubbing pad. Brillo contains a pad with about 8 to 9% dense steel wool that delivers extra roughness, which is handy for removing such messes. Kindly scrub with less force so you won’t discolor or scratch up your loved utensils. The SOS pad is around 5 to 6% steel wool, thus less abrasive and not prone to cause scratches.

Using Steel Wool Scrubbing Pads

Steel wool pads can be used with bare hands or gloves for people with sensitive skin. Remove the pad from the pack and make it wet with water to make it soapy enough. Scrub your utensils or any other surfaces until you realize there’s no soap foam left, which will lead to scratches. Finally, rinse up the utensils with clean water.

Can Brillo Soap Pad Scrubber Put Scratches on the Sink?

Although Brillo pads are made mainly for cleaning aluminum pans or pots, they still give satisfying results on other items. But the pads cause scratches when cleaning sinks or cookware tops. The tip is always to use little force when cleaning such surfaces. In this regard, SOS seems to take the upper hand. 

Are SOS and Brillo Great for Cleaning Non-Stick Pans?

No. Non-stick cookware won’t endure the abrasiveness of steel wool scrubbing pads, whether with rough or smooth textures. Instead, you can use the standard poly scrubber pad for cleaning. 

How Long Will a Cleaning Pad Last?

A cleaning pad, whether SOS, Brillo or any other brand, will retain its effectiveness for longer if used on smooth surfaces. Coarse or hard items wear off the steel wool and the pad quickly.

It would be best to buy a cleaning scrubber by considering the surface to be cleaned. This prevents using scrubbing pads for the wrong purpose, leaving you with regrets and losses. By now, you should have decided which product to buy from the above-detailed review of Brilo Vs SOS. Brillo pads are suitable for tough stains, while SOS removes stains from objects and gives them a shiny look.