It’s just — sometimes I’m at other people’s houses doing dishes and I use a dishrag because they’re dishrag people, and I just can’t get anything clean. We switched years and years ago to stainless steel from nonstick pans for various semi-proven health reasons, and we cook A LOT with eggs and cheese, certifiably the stickiest foods on the planet, right? So I know that sponges carry a bunch of bacteria and also that they often stink (a penalty from which I’m exempt, ha ha!), but I just can’t quit them because hey, they do their job, at least, festering cesspools that they are.
So my solution the last few months? Microfiber kitchen scrubbers. They’re basically sponges you can toss in the wash each evening and use again, and since I have a pretty regular load of rags and cloth napkins going, it doesn’t add to my laundry burden. And when I start up on Scout’s horrible egg yolk high chair tray right after breakfast, I’ve got a sponge new every morning, like the good Lord’s grace.
Caveat: They definitely aren’t as scrubby as the scrubbiest disposable sponge (though scrubbier than a dishrag), but I’ve been using steel scouring pads for the worst messes since switching away from nonstick pans, anyway. Sometimes they get gnarly food bits stuck in them and need a pretty serious rinse, but at least they aren’t a moist, soft environment for breeding the next antibiotic-resistant plague, and they respond satisfyingly to elbow grease. (If you want to get really fancy or need something safe for cast iron, you can try what I always considered The Giant Fingernail but is apparently just a “pan scraper” to civilized folk.)
And this has been more than you ever wanted to think about sponges, dishrags, and washing up.