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Frankie's avatar

Is anyone else weirded out by communal sponges?

Asked by Frankie (4032points) February 5th, 2010

I was thinking about sponges as I was washing dishes a few minutes ago, and I started thinking about how the sponge at my work, which people use mainly just to clean their coffee mugs, grosses me out…I never use it, even when there’s a new one. I always just use paper towels. And then I remembered how, when I was dating this guy about a year ago, I was absolutely grossed out by the sponge he and his roommates used to clean their dishes—again, even if it was a relatively new one and didn’t have stains on it. Something about shared sponges just weirds me out, and I’m not even sure why…does anyone else have this issue?

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12 Answers

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Nothing wrong with relatively new sponges for washing dishes. If they are well rinsed and allowed to dry between uses. I prefer dish brushes to sponges.

Frankie's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence That’s the thing—I know there’s nothing wrong with them…I know it’s perfectly okay to use them, especially if they’re new. But I’m still grossed out by them and can’t bring myself to use them. I know it is absolutely irrational. I’m just wondering if anyone else is like that…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I find sponges yucky, yeah. Most people leave them soaked and sitting at the bottom of the sink or on the countertop where they get ickier. When I was in charge of a house then I had everyone trained to cut dish sponges in half and use them for just a week at a time. We’d rinse and squeeze them before setting them to rest, sponge side up (scrubby side down if it had one) on the side of the sink or under the counter. At work? No way I’ll touch a sponge or much else if I can help it! I’ll use papertowels instead.

asmonet's avatar

Sponges are whatever.
I mind when people don’t understand rinsing a sponge and wringing after use.

You’re gonna have bacteria and ick on sponges no matter what, but people who leave it sopping wet in a corner piss me off.

But I’m desensitized and I was never too freaked by things that could be lurking on a microscopic level. My last job was a hotel, I occasionally helped out the housekeeping department when they were short. And at my job now, we take turns cleaning the communal bathroom once a week, toilet, sink, trash and all. We scrub that shit.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’m with hungryhungryhortence. I HATE sponges. I don’t even have one in the house They’re the nastiest things. You can’t keep them clean, They’re a breeding ground for germs. Nooo thank you.

laureth's avatar

I hate sponges. I think just knowing that even if it’s “clean” and “rinsed” right now, it was probably left wet yesterday and they can really stink. Then you’re wiping those germs, and the mouth germs of all your cubiclemates, all over your mug. Ewww.

Yeah, it probably beefs up the immune system, but the ICK! factor is overwhelming.

lilikoi's avatar

We don’t have the phrase “soak it up like a sponge” for nothing.

I don’t use sponges. I use a nylon or other synthetic mesh fabric (the kine with holes in um) to wash dishes. It suds’ better than a sponge so I use less soap. It doesn’t gum up like sponges so I use less water. It dries quickly so it doesn’t spawn bacterial growth.

dpworkin's avatar

I microwave my sponges after use. They never smell, and I feel they are sterile.

syz's avatar

What freaks me out is people who share loofahs. <Shudder>

susanc's avatar

My sponges never smell either. And they’re never slimy. I clorox them or throw them in the dishwasher if I use it (which is only if I have people over) and I’ll try nuking them too, sounds smart to me.

Judi's avatar

I throw them in the dishwasher and wash them with the dishes.

augustlan's avatar

I really hate sponges, and use them as little as possible. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even have them in my house, but my husband is old school and insists on using one. The thought of using a shared sponge at work? Ewwwww.

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