Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sponge Worthy?

I have the nose of a bloodhound. Yes, mine is a little longer and pointier than your average dog, but it is equally effective. This is why Tom and I are engaged in our most recent domestic disagreement. He doesn’t realize we are having a disagreement, but we are.

It concerns The Sponge.

Not the Elaine Benis/ Seinfeld type of sponge, but your average nasty kitchen sponge. I’d prefer to use a scrub brush, paper towel, or even my bare hand to clean dishes rather than use an old kitchen sponge. Tom, however, uses a sponge and remains oblivious to the fact that it is rank, foul, moldy and generally offensive.

Much in the same way a man can’t seem to wake to the sound of a crying baby in the night, my husband’s nose does not notice the smells that abound in a house. The moment I walk through our door, my senses are affronted by odors. It is a blessing. It is a curse.

It usually takes about .3 seconds for me to root out the offender. Sometimes it’s an errant cantaloupe, icky kitchen trash, dog crap or an occasional dead mouse, but the culprit is usually a stinky sponge.

I try to buy new sponges often. I wash them in the dishwasher. I squeeze them out and leave them in the special tilt-out sponge drawer to dry. But in the summer, in the south, is it really possible to keep a sponge from stinking?

And, when your partner in life cavalierly tosses said sponge into the wet grossness of the sink to await its next use, is there really any hope a sponge will dry out?

Multiple times I have come downstairs to see a sponge floating amid dirty dishes and greasy food. It would NEVER cross my mind to pick up this sponge, with ground meat stuck to it, and use it to clean the dishes, but Tom thinks this is fine.

Tom, I suppose, believes that because a sponge is an implement of cleanliness, it must therefore be clean…as if its mere identity ensures its purpose in life will be fulfilled.

I know, I know. I should be happy that someone else is helping with the dishes. I’ve been told as much by an unnamed source. But Tom’s list of marriage needs read, “CLEAN COUNTERS” and said nothing about a dish-free sink. With the kids home with me all day this summer, I have let the dishes pile up more than usual and have been VERY happy that Tom will step in and do them.

While he may say he is “doing the dishes,” I will posit that he is “doing some dishes,” because a lot of eating and cleaning up and starting all over again transpires while he’s at work.

But the sponge, the sponge?? Must we use a stinky sponge? Before you get all, “Anna is such a mean wife,” or “Poor Tom,” on me, let me tell you that Tom recently instructed me on the proper way to scrape the peanut butter off the knife before placing it in the dishwasher.

There’s enough anal-retentiveness for everyone here at Casa See.

Anyway, I don’t know how to wrap this up, other than to say…I think I smell something coming from the washing machine. Off to investigate.

Bonus Treat, although still painful to watch:

Elaine Benis doing the “Elaine Dance” on Seinfeld.


Anonymous said...

I feel you! My nose picks up that old sponge set every time.

Just microwave it! Seriously. Works like a charm to rid the scent AND kill bacteria. Dampen it first. I usually use a little drop of dish soap on it too to help the scent. Then just microwave it for two minutes on high.

PaperCourt said...

My husband gets an entire dish towel wet then leaves it in the sink. It totally grosses me out.

Madge said...

i do the microwave thing too, well, when i don't just throw the thing out. have to tell you, i tried the shamwow -- it's pretty dang awesome in the kitchen

Anonymous said...

My house is sponge-free. I blamed it on the doctor... who told me, when my girls were young and constantly sick, that I should NOT be using a sponge to clean table, counters, cups, etc!
Wish I could say that this has solved the kitchen squabbles, but it hasnt...

Now we have a giant stack of small kitchen rags (to match the handtowels) under the sink. Jeff uses them, I carry them to the decorative little laundry basket. We get along well as long as I keep the laundry going and the clean pile replenished.

Our problem is handtowels...
I maintain that handtowels are for the purpose of drying CLEAN hands and CLEAN dishes. Which, as you say, suggests that they must be CLEAN in order to be effective!!
Despite the fact that they are right next to the sink, which is right next to the papertowel holder, which is right next the napkins.... they are frequently used to wipe off dirty messes. Gross!!

I do lots of kitchen laundry!

Katie said...

My awesome husband will do the dishes, but leave them drying in the sink until the end of time. It does not occur to him that doing the dishes includes putting them back into the cupboards.

Beth said...

We must have been separated at birth! I too have a nose that can smell any odor...good or bad within seconds. My family makes fun of me and my youngest daughter (because she is the exact same way) for being this way. Sponges gross me out. I use dish towels that can be washed daily and occasionally grab a paper towel to wipe up messes. You will not find nasty, stinky sponges at my house!

Shana said...

Kitchen sponges are totally disgusting. While my husband will help with kitchen chores, he would never think to actually go to a *store* and *buy* stuff. So when I threw away all sponges and didn't buy any more that was the end of that. I buy those Dobie scrubby things and throw them away frequently. Ick. I am getting skeeved out just thinking about stinky sponges.

purejoy said...

sponge worthy?? omg, that is hilarious!
i have the same problem with the hubster's inability/unwillingness to WRING out the dishcloth!! if you leave it all WET, it sours!! (duh, we live in the south, too)
how to ever train them, ha!
and with three mini dachshunds? yikes, the Pee Nose. . . smells all (as in all. the. time.)

if they weren't so cute, they'd be someone else's dogs!

Christy said...

How about you just throw out ALL the sponges in the house and replace them with a scrub brush? If he wants to use a sponge he can buy one himself? Too drastic?!

TwoWishes Tara said...

Funny that we are *exactly* the same! Must be one of those oddly universal "men do this, women do that" things.... (Estrogen makes you buy scrubby brushes?)

Our kitchen sink has a scrubby brush for when I do the dishes AND sponges for when the husband does them -- we basically just agreed to disagree. We keep 2 different sponges for dishes and "other", but I prefer not to know too much about how well this segregation system is followed. I'm pretty sure I've seen him clean the floor with the dish sponge. Sigh.

Heidi said...

Perhaps we were separated at birth? I am so completely with you on the ickiness of the sponge or in my case, the dishcloth. I have just recently switched over to this Norwex cloth which is amazing, dries quickly, and doesn't immediately smell within 5 minutes of using it. You can actually keep it around for almost 2 weeks before it stinks. Oh, sorry, I got all carried away. You got me going.

I love that Seinfeld episode by the way.

Lynn Kellan said...

Oh, Anna, I wish I could smell as well as you can. Thanks to allergies, my sniffer "stinks." I can't smell hardly anything. I'm envious of your nose!! (Did you ever think you'd hear that from the blogosphere?)

Pseudo said...

We use those green scrubby things to do dishes.

And I totally remember the Seinfield episode with the sponge.

Gretchen said...

OMG get outta my head. I was JUST thinking about doing a post on bad smells. I am in the middle... I can always smell them but never find them. Our fridge constantly has some mystery odor, changing weekly, but I can never seem to completely eradicate it. And I fear having houseguests who will sniff me out.

But we don't do sponges here either. We have scrubby brushes with long handles and those flat brillo-like scrubbers. And SOS pads. But no sponges. Those things are gross. Seriously, has he never picked one up and squeezed SLIME out of it? Doing that once will ruin a person on sponges for a lifetime.

Dreamybee said...

Augh! The sponge! The sponge! Why can't men figure out how to use a sponge?? LOL! I just threw ours away and brought out a new one too. I feel so wasteful, but dishrags NEVER dry, and I can only rinse the stink out of a sponge so many times. I imagine Hawaii is much the same as the South when it comes to never being able to get things to dry.

Penny said...

The Norwex washcloths really work! They actually have silver in them to stop the bacteria from growing and they are microfiber, which dries much faster than cotton. I am biased, I started selling Norwex in October, but had never heard of it before that. The products are amazing! I was trying to find "Green" ways to clean and get chemicals out of our home. My husband was diagnosed with cancer at 36 and I want all of the chemicals I can get out of our home.