A Conversation for How to Do the Washing-up

Sponge pads

Post 1

Cheerful Dragon

We regularly used those sponge pads with a scourer on one side, and have never had problems with them getting smelly. I don't know how Richard (my husband) deals with them, but I always rinse them thoroughly with clean hot water when I've finished using them, and then squeeze them dry. I guess this helps.

Sponge pads

Post 2


My lodger insists on using the sponge pads with a scourer on one side to do the washing up. I don't understand how *anyone* can do this.

Every time you squeeze the sponge, lots of disgusting creamy detergent foam oozes out and sits on the surface of the water. This not only makes it harder to see what you've got left in the bowl, but I have a theory that it reduces the concentration of detergent in the rest of the water and so reduces its efficacy.

As the original entry notes, a brush on a stick is the tool to use. These are plastic with soft nylon bristles, dead cheap, reach all the way to the bottom of a tall glass easily, and don't scratch all the non-stick coating off your saucepans. And they don't need endless rinsing out afterwards.

Sponge pads

Post 3

Cheerful Dragon

We do have one of those brushes. You say they don't need rinsing. Well, you've obviously never used one to clean a pan that's been used for porridge or anything that's left greasy food behind. (We don't have non-stick saucepans, and I suspect that the problem would arise even if we did.) And I've never been happy using them on plates, because they often leave tiny bits of food behind that the bristles don't get to or can't cope with. The only way to feel these deposits is to run your fingers over the plate (without rubber gloves on). I've never had a glass that's been dirty enough to need brushing out (our brush wouldn't fit in most of them, anyway), and our cups only occasionally need the sponge pad.

As for squeezing the pad, I never do this until I've finished with it. The water that runs out naturally as I use the pad helps to wash the dirt away, if it's not too firmly stuck on. And if you've got a decent amount of detergent in your water, you'll have so much lather that you won't be able to see what's in there anyway!

Sponge pads

Post 4


I have in the past been an advocate of the sponge pad with a scourer on one side, and before that, the brush. But now, I am totally and enthusiastically converted to those metal swirly spontex things that the author mentioned. A revelation. Truly the human mind, if such it was that invented this thing, is a neverending inspiration.

Sponge pads

Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

We have one of those wire things and use it on baking trays, roasting tins, etc. I would never put one near a plate, cup or glass, no matter how 'gentle' someone told me it was. It's a psychological thing - no adequate reason, I just don't like using something metal on glass or china. Other than that, yes, they are great. My mum swears by them for some things.

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