Is Your Kitchen Sponge Worthy?

My friend Jen Singer has a new book out and she decided to stop by my blog to chat – which is something I always enjoy – not posting something new and yet -fresh material from another funny mom and author. So enjoy a few words from Jen and then why not buy her book?

I don’t know how my neighbors keep such a clean house with such an impossibly small sponge. It’s about a third the size of the usual sponge, the normal-sized sponge which in my house is usually coated in something that looks like smooshed pasta or coffee grounds. Why nobody around here ever thinks to wipe that stuff off the sponge is a mystery. But at my neighbors’ house, it’s not even an issue.

Over spring break, I was in my neighbors’ house daily to feed their cat, the guinea pig and the fish and to generally make sure nothing died. Lucky for me, one of their fish decided to check out just two days before I was to pet-sit, so I didn’t have to spend the entire week looking for an identical fish.

Anyhow, I went to the kitchen sink to clean out the cat bowl when I found this silly little sponge. I looked around at the spotless counter, the fingerprint-free fridge and the shiny stove, and I wondered how they do it. How do they keep their kitchen so mess-free? How do they keep everything so neat and clean – from the dust-free living room to the clutter-less everything? How do they do it all with that dumb little sponge?

To keep my house clean, I require three sponges, all of them quite a bit larger than my neighbors’ Hobbit-friendly sponge. Well, I need two of them to make up for the third, which is always covered in smooshed pasta and coffee grounds. But I keep those two plenty busy by using them to wipe up everything from strewn sesame seeds to cup-bottom-shaped rings of milk. A little sponge just wouldn’t handle the mess that is sometimes my kitchen. A little sponge would be overwhelmed by the sesame seeds, among other things.

I’ve seen my neighbors eat, and they’re not necessarily any neater than we are. And yet somehow, that teeny little sponge works for them. Or maybe, they’re hiding a jumbo sponge under the sink, and the next time they go away, I’m going to find it and leave it by the sink before I leave.

Guest blogger Jen Singer is the creator of MommaSaid.net and the author of “Stop Second-Guessing Yourself – The Toddler Years” (HCI, April 2009)

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 28, 2009 12:22 amUncategorized17 comments  


  1. Anonymous said,

    Maybe they use paper towels. We’re paper towel whores. At least one roll per day. We’re also select-a-size snobs.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 12:29 am

  2. cluckandtweet.com said,

    You’re a really, really good pet/house sitter. I would have been all over that house looking in cupboards, under beds, checking out where all the secrets were stashed. And I bet I would have found a big sponge. Or a cleaning lady locked in a closet.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 12:59 am

  3. Stefanie said,

    I have to agree. Did you find any vicodin?

    | April 28, 2009 @ 1:14 am

  4. nannysarah said,

    Hello! I am a fellow blogger(newbie) who is just passing on through.I love your blog and have linked to it from my blog.

    Can’t wait to read more!

    | April 28, 2009 @ 1:39 am

  5. Diana said,

    I’d be looking for the vibrator. Just saying.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 1:47 am

  6. jill said,

    we use dishrags to wipe everythign up, they are washable and you just grab another one, you only throw them away when they are completely torn apart, well I do, anyway, my whole stash is full of holes and I need some new..but they are super absorbent and like a washcloth or whatnot seem to really do the trick! I think they’re called handiwipes, and you can get them by the sponges or scratchers in the dish soap aisle (shrug!)

    | April 28, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  7. Tracy said,

    How serendipitous. Just last night I was asking my friends for recommendations on books for toddlers. So, I zipped over to Amazon and ordered Jen’s book. Thanks for the tip!

    | April 28, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

  8. Kendra said,

    I swear, the kitchen is my own personal battleground. Every morning, my husband leaves a trail of crumbs and coffee grounds and heads out the door. Then my father-in-law (who’s 81, so he gets a pass on kitchen cleaning) adds some egg and milk. Then I have to get my oldest fed and on his way to school before feeding the little ones. By the end of that, I feel like just hosing it down with a fire hose!

    Instead I use the little green scrubby to go over just about every surface in the kitchen. I love that scratchy little guy. He gets the marker stains, the dried up egg yolk, the peanut butter. I haven’t used a sponge in years, but only because I’m afraid of what lives on them. (The backup is a good idea. Maybe it was just the decoy you found!)

    | April 28, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  9. Wicked Step Mom said,

    The small sponge is for use by the Koren midget house keeper that lives under the stairs. The sponge was the distress signal. Don’t you pay attention?

    | April 28, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

  10. Living It, Loving It said,

    Leave it to Jen Singer to blog about sponges! I never stop enjoying her work. And it might be a good idea to get her latest book. My eight month old is slowing getting to those darling (daring) toddler years.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  11. Aunt Becky said,


    I have like 4 disgusting ass sponges in my house. But my house is a disaster so obviously they’re not being used.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  12. The Mom said,

    I have two sponges in my house. One for the kitchen and one for the bathrooms. I toss them when they get too icky. I also use a lot of paper towels, but my house is still a by cluttered mess and that will never change. I suspect that your neighbors employ a maid or cleaning service.

    | April 28, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  13. CaraBee said,

    One word: Shamwow

    | April 29, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  14. Cat said,

    Clorox wipes.

    | April 29, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

  15. Jen Singer said,

    You all crack me up. Personally, I like paper towels because you know where they’ve been, and it has nothing to do with cat dishes.

    My neighbors now swear that the tiny sponge is for cleaning pots and dishes, and that there are two other sponges under the sink: one for the counters and one for the floor.

    Just the fact that they’d actually get down on their hands and knees and use a sponge on the floor further proves my point about their kitchen’s sponge-worthiness, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for letting me visit, Stef! And thanks to everyone for chiming in.

    | April 29, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  16. Smiling Mama said,

    Too funny! I often look around my friends’ houses and wonder how they do it!!

    | April 29, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  17. Essie the Accidental Mommy said,

    Either their children are not allowed in the house, or they have several hundred little sponges that they throw away daily.
    Sponges are fetid little bacteria marinating machines. Better to just leave the dirt. Or whatever that is.

    | April 30, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

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