Sponges: Separating the new from the used

Reader Kathryn sent us the following tip to avoid sponge confusion:

In our household, we discovered a trick: the Good Clean sponge [for dishes] is used as-is, straight out of the package. When it gets downgraded to the Wiping Sponge [for kitchen counters and the table], we cut one of the corners off. When the sponge gets downgraded again to a Skunging Sponge [the dregs of cleaning], we cut another corner off. This way, each sponge is easily identifiable by its shape. People who have more than 3 life cycles for their sponges could adapt this by cutting off additional corners as the sponge continues to move down the ranks.

This is a simple tip that makes sponge identification obvious to all of the people in a house. A pair of kitchen shears would easily tackle the cutting job, too. Thanks, Kathryn, for the great tip!

What simple tricks do you use in the kitchen to make your time there easier and more streamlined? Share your insights in the comments.

68 Comments for “Sponges: Separating the new from the used”

  1. posted by Sarah on

    Brilliant! Wish I had known this years ago. Thanks!

  2. posted by Michael@ Awareness * Connection on

    Intriguing. Not sure I need to readily identify how used a sponge is, but looks handy for those who might want to.

  3. posted by Julia on

    Considering the very last step of “sponge life” in my house is pet-stain-removing…yes, this is a nice idea!

  4. posted by Some Dude on

    The question I have here is why one would need to differentiate by shape. I store my sponges in different places depending on their job. Using this system I never wonder which sponge is which.

    If you have to differentiate your sponges by shape it leads me to believe that the sponges are being co-mingled when they’re not in use, in which case all the chemicals and germs from the “skunging” sponge are readily passed to the dish sponge.

    Keeping your sponges separate seems like the safest option. I mean, you’re obviously not going to use the sponge you keep under the bathroom sink for dishes…

  5. posted by Julia on

    Understandable and I would be more concerned about that if I washed dishes with sponges. I don’t – sponges are used only for general housekeeping – still, there are some I’d like not to confuse with others based on where they’ve been. And having a very small kitchen, most of them do end up under the sink. But your point is sensible.

  6. posted by InfoDiva on

    All of those sponges are doing nothing but spreading germs around if they’re not being disinfected between uses!

    That “dishwashing” sponge that you think you are keeping clean for use is a haven for bacteria.

    The trick is either to store sponges, wet, after use in a 10 PPM bleach solution that is changed daily, or make sure that they dry out completely.

    If a restaurant treated its wiping cloths, etc. the way most people treat their kitchen sponges, they’d be closed down in a heartbeat.

  7. posted by Some Dude on

    So, out of curiosity, how do you recommend I clean my kitchen without a sponge?

  8. posted by Sue on

    Zap your damp dish washing sponges in the microwave for 45 – 60 seconds.

  9. posted by SpongeCutter on

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  10. posted by Fit Bottomed Girls on

    Good tip. And I would just add that if you’re going to microwave your sponges you have to do it when they’re wet. Otherwise they catch on fire. And nobody wants that.

  11. posted by martha in mobile on

    Our kitchen cleaning materials routine:

    Dishcloth: used one day, then goes to laundry
    Dishtowel: used one day for dishes, then becomes hand towel for one day, then goes to laundry
    Scrubbie for dishes/sponges for counter: clean set on counter, used sets go in dishwasher.
    Cleaning sponges: live in cleaning supply closet.

  12. posted by Mary on

    I don’t use sponges because of all the extra care it takes to keep them sanitary, and the expense of buying them. Call me Scotch!

    Here’s my routine:

    Each day starts with a clean dishcloth and hand towel in the kitchen. Dishes get washed and counters/tables wiped with the dishcloth, hands get dried with the hand towel.

    After the last load of dishes has been washed, and the counters/tables wiped, the wet dishcloth is used to clean up any spots on the floor and then goes into the washer. The towel is used to dry the faucet to keep it shiny, then is used to wipe under the cat’s food dish and the top of the washer/dryer (where the cat dish lives.) It then goes into the washer.

    I do all of my household cleaning with rags, which are generally used in one area or room: each bathroom is washed with one rag (often the washcloth that needs to be changed in that bathroom) and dried with the hand towel from that bathroom, and then straight into the washer. Common rooms are dusted with the same rag, which then goes into the washer.

    All rags live under the kitchen sink except the “outside” rags which are used for washing cars and such and never come back into the house once they’ve been downgraded – they get rinsed with the hose and stored in the garage until they are garbage.

    Sorry for the book ;-)

  13. posted by cv on

    Is it just me, or is it not that hard to squeeze most of the water out of the sponge when you’re done using it, and let it dry out completely? Mine dries overnight easily. I guess I’m not particularly germ-phobic.

    I like the cutting corners idea, but my problem would be making sure that others using my kitchen paid attention to the system. I usually end up using paper towels on the kitchen floor (which is tiny), and I don’t bother to keep a “counter” sponge separate from a “dishes” sponge.

  14. posted by LP on

    I have “good sponge” and “bad sponge.” I use bad sponge to scrub dirty dishes. If they aren’t going into the dishwasher, I rinse them off with hot water, then use good sponge and soap to do a final wipe down before a second rinse. Only dishes that have all the crud scrubbed off get wiped with good sponge.

  15. posted by LP on

    Oh, and you can tell good sponge from bad sponge because good sponge looks pristine and bad sponge does not.
    Once bad sponge is trashed, good sponge becomes bad sponge and we get a new good sponge.

  16. posted by Simple Sapien on

    Ha, that is such a great way to distinguish them! Right now I just buy two or three different kinds of sponges to identify them, but your way makes much more sense.

    – Jack Rugile
    Simple Sapien

  17. posted by empty on

    My parents used sponges, but once I switched to dishcloths and rags, changed at least daily, I could never go back. Sponges are disgusting bacterial sinks; now that I don’t use them, I can definitely smell how dirty they are when I’m in other people’s kitchens (sometimes from across the room). I can’t stand the thought of using them myself, even with daily microwaving to reduce the germ load.

    I also don’t like the fact that no matter how long you use sponges, you are going to throw them away far sooner than you would a dishcloth or a rag.

  18. posted by wordwych on

    This is a good tip. Thanks for posting it. We use sponges pretty regularly in our house. The kitchen go into the dishwasher each time it’s run. When they start to get ragged, they become bathroom-cleaning sponges. The bathroom sponges regularly go into the bleach load in the washer. When the sponges have become too raggedy to use for cleaning, I wash them one last time in the bleach wash, let them dry completely and toss them into my gardening supplies box. When I repot a plant, I always include a couple-three strips of cut up sponge in the bottom of the pot to help retain water and keep the plants from drying out.

  19. posted by Susan on

    One microbiology class cured me of sponges forever.
    I use a brush that goes through every washer cycle on the dishes and dry with a fresh dish towel. For sink wiping I use bar towels that I buy in bulk at BB&B and use a dish/bar towel each day.
    At the end of each day, I fill the sink with soapy water, wipe down the sink, counter, cabinet spots and then the floor with the bar towel and hang it to dry on the line in the bathroom. Our climate is dry, so it’s dry by morning, and I toss it into the laundry to be bleached thoroughly next laundry day.
    No eternally damp, stinky bacteria cultures on my sink, and a clean kitchen. Worth washing and storing the extra towels for!

  20. posted by Celeste on

    One color for kitchen, one color for bathroom and never the twain shall meet. Problem solved.

  21. posted by Alicia on

    we have two colors. one blue and one yellow. my husband doesnt like to use the counter sponge for dishes because i use clorox on the counter. so now we just remember blue=bleach, thus the yellow sponge is for dishes. i have a thing about making sure the kitchen is clean and disinfected (thus the need for bleach). i microwave my sponges and throw them out regularly. However, i am trying to be more environmentally concious in the kitchen (i am everywhere else). Can anyone tell me about green cleaning products that actually work and disinfect, as well as scrubbers to use? dishcloths have to be washed every day (laundry is my very least favorite chore) and they dont have scrubbies on them so its harder to clean if anything is caked on. Any thoughts?

  22. posted by Peggy on

    I use sponges in for dishes, I then put it into the dishwasher everynight since I do one load a day any way. And at the end of the week I toss the sponge. Is it safe doing it in the dishwasher? Or would it be better to microwave it. You’ve got me wondering now. I usually use paper towels to clean the table and the counters. But was thinking of buying more towels/bar towels to use. (trying to be more green if where ever I can) As I also do a load a laundry almost every day.

  23. posted by Jasi on

    Hmm… Salmonella or E.Coli? Choices, choices.

  24. posted by Lori on

    Sponges in the kitchen squick me out. Count me in with the fresh dishrag and dishtowel every day crowd. They’re a heck of a lot easier to keep clean, a heck of a lot cheaper, and last for years. The only sponge I have and use is a big thristy one for car washing, which I do only a couple of times a year.

  25. posted by C on

    Somehow I knew this would turn into sponge hating. I don’t like them much myself. None in the kitchen.

    I mostly use rags. I have a stack of washcloths in a plastic bag dispenser and try to switch them daily. Sometimes not. (OMG bacteria! not dead yet!)

    And I have a stack of dish towels that get used for various tasks. They get tossed in the wash about once a week. (still not dead)

  26. posted by Erika on

    I use sponges all the time and I rarely get sick. Have you guys heard of bacterial resistance (especially to the one commenter who recommends soaking sponges in bleach)? Did you know that allergies are caused by children not being exposed to pathogens early in life? Did you know that children who aren’t exposed to enough germs are at greater risk of getting cancer in adulthood? The American obsession with germs and cleanliness has got to stop.

  27. posted by Kim on

    I change my dishcloths and towels out every week, unless I’ve been doing something particularly grimy (which is highly unusual). I don’t have laundry facilities where I live, so laundry only happens about every two weeks or so. If I changed them out every day, then that would be a lot of dishcloths and towels hanging about waiting for laundry day.

    I do have sponges for cleaning, though. The scrubby part of the sponge just works better than a rag does. They stay in the bathroom with the cleaning stuffs.

  28. posted by Karolina on

    I think the problem is that the sponges here in the US are much denser than what we get back at home. I find US sponges (Scotch Brite etc.) impossible to squeeze dry.

    I have switched to thin, flimsy dollar store sponges – 13 for a dollar! You can change them frequently b/c they’re so cheap, and they dry really fast.

  29. posted by infmom on

    We buy multi-packs of sponges in different colors. My husband tends to wash dishes with every ounce of energy he has, and he’s very hard on the dish sponge. Once it starts to deteriorate I replace it with a new sponge of a different color, and downgrade the dish sponge to the clean-the-counters-and-stove sponge. When it gets too ratty to be used for that purpose, it gets tossed.

    The dish sponge, when not in use, sits on top of a common glazed flowerpot (with saucer) on the back of the counter. Inside the flowerpot are the plastic scrubbie and the Scotch-Brite. When we’re done using those we rinse them out thoroughly and get them as dry as possible before putting them back in the flowerpot. We have a tile counter, so if the flowerpot gets damp it does no harm.

    We put the dish sponge in the microwave now and again and nuke it for 30 seconds or so. I’m with Erika, we don’t need to be living in a germ free bubble.

  30. posted by Jude on

    It’s amazing to me that people still use sponges.

  31. posted by Splomo on

    wordwych, love your gardening suggestion. Happy plants, plus cCellulose sponges (or sea sponges, or luffas) will biodegrade nicely in a pot. Looks like one could even compost an old used-up sponge. Much better than a landfil.

    The O-Cel-O ™ website offers ways to keep your sponge fresh: either immerse in boiling water for 5 minutes, or run through the dishwasher’s wash and heated dry cycle.

  32. posted by The Chatty Housewife on

    I use these sponges, but I put mine in the dishwasher every time I run it. I also cut it in half before using it. That’s big enough!

  33. posted by Mac on

    @Mary

    I might call you Scottish or A Scot (if you happened to be), but I would never call you Scotch unless you were transmogrified into an alcoholic beverage. ;)

  34. posted by Lori on

    @Erika, I do totally agree with you about the germ thing. I just don’t need to concentrate my germs to the degree a sponge would do in my kitchen. I get enough from the bathroom sink. ;-)

  35. posted by Tatiana on

    I keep sponges for different cleaners separate (ie. bleach, ammonia, bathroom, kitchen) by placing rubber bands around each cleaner bottle. The sponge is kept under the rubberband with its bottle. I also microwave my kitchen sponges every day and replace them often.

  36. posted by Millie on

    I have a question for the dishcloth users-do you wash the dishcloths in a separate laundry load? The idea of washing a cloth meant for my dishes alongside dirty underwear and other rags that may have been used to scrub toilets or floors is really gross unless they are sanitized with a bleach cycle. I don’t think a regular wash cycle sanitizes the rags.

  37. posted by Lori on

    @Millie, we do a load specifically for towels (including dish cloths and dish rags) once a week and another separate load for nasty cleaning rags when we get enough for a load (we have lots of those, and they have their own separate hamper).

    I very rarely use bleach for anything; soap is enough to take care of the nasties.

  38. posted by Mer on

    I only use sponges for scrubbing things that I hand wash, and I only use those 3M antimicrobial sponges. I keep a large stack of white bar mop towels in the cupboard next to the sink for wiping and drying. As they get used I toss them into a basket in my laundry room and wash them on hot when the basket is full.

    I keep a spray bottle with a diluted solution of Mr Clean with Febreze on the counter at all times. If I have to clean up after raw meats or other potentially contaminating items, I spritz with the solution and wipe with a paper towel.

  39. posted by Skyler on

    I wash dishes with a paper towel. The big thick ones can last all day. I put the paper towel to dry when I’m not using it. At the end of the day, I use the paper towel to wipe the counters and stove and toss it, then dry the sink and counters with the day’s dishtowel and put it in the hamper. I find that the paper towel lasts well, drys fast, gets into all the crevices in the dishes and feel very fresh.

  40. posted by Angie on

    Recently, while folding laundry, I realized that many of my husbands white undershirts/tshirts had blobs of paint, holes, and yellowed pits, etc. He needed a fresh supply but it seemed a terrible waste to throw them into the “rag bag” which just sits, unused in the basement, so I cut them into squares, and put them into a small basket in the kitchen. Now I use them instead of paper towels. We have the rotating dishcloths and towels in place, but seemed to use a lot of paper towels on cruddy messes or even not so cruddy ones like spilled water on the floor. After I use them, I throw them into a small wastebasket (or the trash, if Fido is involved) under the sink and launder the whole batch once a week. It’s a very liberating feeling to not have to buy paper towels, store them, and then suffer the guilt of their brief, wasteful lives.

  41. posted by Dream Mom DBA www.dreamorganizers.com on

    I try to keep it simple:

    Morning-Put away dishes from the dishwasher.
    Evening-Wash dishes in the dishwasher. Shine sink. Put out new dish cloth and dish towel for morning.

    Sponges for kitchen and bath-All are color coded so none are mixed.

    Weekly-Kitchen tasks are grouped and written down so cleaning is streamlined and efficient. I assign a different room to each day of the week so I don’t have to clean on weekends.

    Monthly-Deep cleaning tasks are written down and all tasks are done within the scope of one week a month. (I assign a different room to each week of the month for deep cleaning.)

  42. posted by Harmony on

    Interesting tip! I don’t think I’m quite that organised sadly, I just use one sponge in the kitchen for washing dishes and wiping down benches until it needs replacing (usually every few weeks), and I keep my cleaning sponge in a bucket with all my other cleaning gear.

    What simple tricks do you use in the kitchen to make your time there easier and more streamlined? Share your insights in the comments.

    We have a very small kitchen and no dishwasher so I make sure I wash my dishes at least once a day because it’s impossible to cook quickly and easily with dishes all over the place.

    I also keep our cutlery on the benchtop in one of those partitioned cutlery holders (ie – four upright rectangles) so it’s much quicker to grab a knife or fork or teaspoon.

    I keep my knives on a magnetic strip stuck beneath a cupboard so I don’t have to waste valuable bench space on a knife block.

    I keep my plugs and washing-up sponge in a little bowl near the sink so they’re always out of the way.

    And last but not least I use bamboo-fibre tea towels as they’re SO much more absorbent than the standard cotton ones, I love them. They can be a bit tricky to find sometimes but try a department store, they usually have them.

    Harmony :)

    ———————————–
    http://thesmartlife.wordpress.com/
    ———————————–

  43. posted by Al on

    The best way to keep a sponge sanitized is with Sysani. Sysani hangs sponges in mid-air so it does not lie in its own moisture and can dry the sponge completely from all sides. Sysani kills sponge bacteria with microwave oven heat. Sysani eliminates the practice of placing a sponge directly in a microwave oven where it lies in its own moisture and then using bare hands or a utensil to remove the hot sponge.

  44. posted by Al on

    To learn more about Sysani’s sponge sanitation system, please visit http://www.sysani.com

  45. posted by PJK on

    I use the cloth type sponges – O’Cello has one that is kind of like a smooth terry-cloth type material on one side and the other side is a little more “scrubby”. There are also some that are a criss-cross nylon pattern on one side and a smooth cloth on the other side.

    Since the sponge is “protected” within the cloth, it seems more durable and holds up to washing in the washing machine with the other rags.

    I also agree that if the sponge is squeezed out completely and left to dry in a drip type rack, it doesn’t take that long to dry. At least not the types I use.

  46. posted by Charity on

    i nuke my sponge every couple of days not only to kill germs BUT the steam heat helps get baked on exploded oatmeal/pizza/sauce. I wash with Anto bacterial dish soap, rinse with sani-water, then air dry all dishes. I dont get sick often so i think i am doing well. That and i work at a restaurant so i am pretty careful of following OSHA guidelines anyway.

  47. posted by Karyn on

    I knew this would turn into SpongeGate.

    After reading 40+ comments with the word “sponge” in them, the word sponge is very, very funny.

    I use dishrags. Change them out every day–they do tend to smell horribly, and I’m allergic to mold and mildew.

  48. posted by Sue on

    Sorry…………I am still giggling over Sysani’s “sponge sanitation system”………

  49. posted by klza on

    I think sponges are gross, so we use dishrags in this household, too. I use a new one each day, along with a clean dishtowel. For baked-on grease in the stainless steel skillet, I keep a metal mesh scrubber. It’ll cut through anything!

    I use microfiber cloths for general cleaning and wash them at the end of cleaning day in hot water and detergent. They last for years. For really disgusting stuff, we keep a bag of *grunge* cloths (i.e., retired kitchen rags) and throw them away if unrecoverable. We gave up paper towels years ago.

  50. posted by Zora on

    I recently switched from sponges to dishcloths in the kitchen. So much cleaner.

    I knit my own dishcloths, from Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. They knit up fast and make great gifts.

  51. posted by Peter on

    I was bleaching my old sponges then I learned that bleach leaves poisonous dioxins that never degrade into our planet’s environment. The dioxins are directly linked to growing rates of cancer and birth defects.

    Bleach = VERY BAD!!! Use your sponges until they die and buy new ones…for the children ; )

  52. posted by Laura on

    My two cents: I use “Heavy Wipes”, the heavy-duty version of “Handi Wipes” available at most grocery stores. I use one every day in the kitchen, then wash it with my other cleaning rags ~

    For the bathrooms and rest of the house, once a year I go to Target and buy cloth baby diapers. They are soft and lint-free, and I can wash/sanitize the heck out of ‘em, and they last and last.

  53. posted by Peter on

    Wow, thanks SuziQ…I loved using bleach (unless I got some on my clothes and got white spots…ugh!!!).

  54. posted by julia1060 on

    I’m with Laura – I love baby diapers for cleaning! I’m also a big fan of washing and cutting up any “cease and desist” t-shirts and other cotton garments that have worn out. Cotton cloth beats a sponge anytime for cleaning – picks up lint, doesn’t streak, less likely to harbor germs. Bonus: They can be washed and used over and over and over.

    PS LifeTree makes a great concentrated bathroom/ household cleaner with Tea Tree Oil and Lavender. Smells fresh, is ecofriendly and chem free, cleans better than anything I’ve used (I used to clean houses for a living) and kills germs as well. I mix it with h2o and soak dirty rags – They brighten just fine without those pesky dioxins.

  55. posted by Andamom on

    We added certain chores to my 14-year-old daughter’s chore list. Now, she pays attention to what falls on the floor because she knows that she’ll be cleaning it later that week.

  56. posted by Me! on

    I have to laugh at the paranoia about germs in sponges. I’ve never been particularly worried about germs and I can’t say I’ve ever been ill because of the types of germs that apparently live in sponges (after 20 something years of running my own household).

    My kitchen sponge (the only sponge in the house) is used to wipe down counters, cupboard doors, the table and occasionally the floor if I drip water on it. I rinse it in cold water occasionally and it dries between uses. It never smells and is most likely to be replaced because my kleptomaniac cat has stolen it and I haven’t been able to find it lying in the back yard – yes I do keep using it if I find it out there.

    If there is something particularly stuck on that I can’t wipe up I use diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle to assist – I believe white vinegar is a disinfectant but I’m not sure of it.

    Bathrooms etc are cleaned by my cleaners who bring their own cloths or whatever they use.

  57. posted by Emma on

    Great tip, I love it and will start using it

  58. posted by Patricia on

    @ Alice :
    I stopped using bleach and other harsh chemicals a while back. For general disinfecting I use vinegar– which is supposed to get rid of 99% of germs (although I am not particularly germ-phobic), is cheap, and non-toxic. The smell goes away in a couple of hours. I use it also to clean the toilet bowl and sink. A half cup or so in a pail of water goes to mop the tile/stone floor.

    Baking soda is another extremely useful product. Use it as a gentle scrub for dishes, or the counter. I sprinkle it on vegetables and fruits then rinse with water. Check the Arm and Hammer website for more ideas.

    Vinegar or lemon juice and oil combine for a wood cleaner/polisher–in a pinch it’s your salad dressing too ;-)

    Counter tops are wiped with a solution of 1 cup distilled water with about 30 drops of essential oil with disinfecting properties–lemon and rosemary are nice for the kitchen, and for the bathroom, tea tree oil and lemon.

    The house smells fresh and clean and I don’t have to worry about toxic fumes :-)

  59. posted by Adriana on

    Very good tip! I am very picky on how and where SPONGES are used at home, but sometimes when my BF or relatives help cleaning, my sorting gets disrupted, arg! So now I know: cut the tips or assign color codes! easy to explain and memorize, I guess. And, even though we never got any problems I do agree with microwaving and changing sponges on a regular basis.

  60. posted by Jennifer on

    This is a big deal for me too. Sponges can get gross but you don’t want to just throw them out when you can use them for the dirtier jobs.

    At first I wrapped a used rubber band around the ‘wiping’ sponge to tell the difference between it and the dish washing sponge.

    Then I tried the corner cutting method (didn’t cut two corners tho… That’s a good idea.)

    The problem with using a sponge for 3 levels of cleaning (dishes, wiping and gross) is that they start to fall apart and you’re cleaning up pieces of sponge everywhere.

    Now what I do, is that I use blue sponges for wiping and gross cleaning (first wiping and then downgraded to gross) but I only use colored sponges for dish washing like pink or orange or designs… depending what type had been on sale at the store.

  61. posted by Jennifer on

    One more thing… I find to extend the life of my dish washing sponge, I run it in the dishwasher in the top rack. I’ve also soaked it with some vinegar to kill germs in it. I use the smell and appearance of the sponge to tell me when it’s time to trash it.

  62. posted by Laura on

    Oh, for heaven’s sakes! You will greatly unclutter your brain and life if you stop worrying about sponges vs. dish cloths!

  63. posted by Elizabeth on

    Very funny thread! Perhaps Al-of-Sysani doesn’t read the site enough to realise that s/he self-nominated an UniTasker. For the worst of messes, we use and discard paper towels or rags with disinfectant. Everything else gets a microfibre cloth. If I can be bothered I use vinegar but usually I don’t. The cloth gets laundered, with everything else, when we think it’s time to do so. I did think about implementing a regular downgrading type of system but I know I’m the only one in the household who would remember or care about it. So far the germs don’t seem to have got us (and yes, I know I might look at things differently if our household had to address compromised immunity, so I’m grateful for that).

  64. posted by Karen in the northland on

    I buy those disposable dish clothes with detergent in them. I use one each day and then set aside. When I have some built up, I boil them in a big pot with detergent. And then with some bleach for good measure.

    Then air dry. I don’t have a microwave, so this boiling meathod works for me.

  65. posted by karan on

    I think that sponges are very bad because they catch bacteria easily.

  66. posted by Cheryl on

    With regard to Laura’s post of 9/24/2008, you can’t find Heavy Duty HandiWipes is most grocery stores. I can’t find them in ANY grocery store, Walmart (used to have), or any website. I have gone to the ends of the Internet and all I can find is regular HandiWipes. HELP!

  67. posted by The Truth About Sponges | Mom Living on

    [...] all types of cleaning. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to find this tip from the Unclutterers blog: In our household, we discovered a trick: the Good Clean sponge [for dishes] is used as-is, [...]

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