This morning I woke up thinking about one of those old fashion yellow sponges that sit on the top of a porcelain sink. Imagine that?
The type of white sink that has one compartment for washing the dirty dishes and the other for rinsing them. The old fashion kind, that was perfectly white and shiny. It was necessary to meticulously wash it, cover it carefully with a sink mat and make sure when it was being used you didn’t let he kettles scratch and dent its perfect surface while washing the grime and filth from the day.
If you have one of these sinks you know it is nearly impossible to keep it shiny and bright. The mat never protects the bottom. The kettles clang, bump together splashing water turbulently on the floor and the counters. Sometimes they crash together so hard that scratch each other or even leave dents. There actually can be a war at the bottom of the sink. Knives against the spoons, fork against glasses creates an environment where some matter is bound to get broken, scratch, shattered or permanently broken.
The result is that the bright shiny porcelain sink becomes smeared with black scratches and grime that feels impossible to restore.
Then perched behind the water faucet lives the bright sunshine colored plump yellow sponge. For some reason, it always there ready like a soldier each day to fight the days muck. It is a reliable sponge one that can endure the crusade over and over again. Its design allows it to be filled with the gunk of the water yet have the strength to overcome the encounter with the pots, dishes, and silverware in the sink. It seems no matter how challenging the engagement becomes, the sponge always finds successfully completes the job and still float to the top ready for another adventure. Over and over each day the plump yellow sponge has the strength to endure the challenge of the problems in the sink.
But at some surprising point, you begin to notice that the sponge is not floating to the top like it used to. The challenge of the skirmish under the water each day begins to tear and break down the strong fibers of that yellow sponge. After each day the sponge begins to lose its power to squeeze out the old dirty water, necessary for the next day’s work. The sponge starts to lose it some of its bright yellow color. It begins absorbing the grime and dirt of the water as if transforming the sponge’s soul. Suddenly the sponge becomes heavy, soggy with the weight of the water making it nearly impossible to clean the pots, silverware and keep the now besmirched porcelain sink clean. The sponge has lost its purpose while the sink has soaked up his soul. The sponge once yellow and eager now sits soggy at the bottom of the grubby scratched sink. The sponge is spent with nothing left to give. The relentless battle has conquered the bright plump yellow sponge.
I was thinking about how important it would be to take care of that perfect bright plump yellow sponge. Taking care of it on a daily basis seemed to be the right strategy.
What are the best strategies to take care of the sponge?
1. Start snipping!
Chances are, you don’t need an entire sponge. You could probably get away with half of a sponge when it comes to scrubbing your sink, counters, etc. Give it a try and start snipping. Take a hefty pair of kitchen scissors and just snip the sponge down the center. This way your don’t use up the entire sponge in the battle and save some for another day or simply to rest quietly and enjoy life perched on top of the sink enjoying the sunshine from the kitchen window.
2. Fill er’ up.
When you are done using your sponge, rinse it out and dry it for a few minutes. Then, fill it up with a teaspoon or so of anti-bacterial dish soap. Give the sponge a good squeeze and allow the soap to soak through. Then, just hang the sponge on a sponge holder so it will be ready for use later. Germs will sure have a hard time breeding when the sponge is soaked with anti-bacterial dish soap. Caring for the fibers of the sponge keeps it healthy and ready to take on any new task.
3. Give them a spin.
Give your sponges a spin, in the washing machine, that is. Put your sponges in a netted bag such as an old onion bag or even a lingerie bag. Then just toss the bag in during your next washing machine cycle and wash as you would your delicates. When you remove them, they will be clean and fresh. Just avoid the dryer as it is not advised. This requires giving the sponge permission to take time off from the daily battle. It essentially is a sponge sick day from the battle of the day-to-day challenge. A time away to heal, replenish its soul and rest its plumpness.
4. Banish the germs with bleach.
Then, when all else has failed, the cutting, the spinning and the zapping it may require a big gun strategy. This strategy involves consumption of liquid substances that can be soaked up by the sponge almost erasing the memories of the battle. I thinking bleach might be pretty harsh and possibly an alcohol-based liquid would be way more effective. This strategy works best if it combined with other sponges, laughter and something salty.