Where's the sponge?

beaglesdoitbetter1February 26, 2011

As I plan my sink-storage and around-the-sink built ins, I am thinking I want to put a little spot inside one of those built-ins for a sponge or scrubby brush to go (sort of like a soap dish but for a sponge?) so that it is out of sight. But then I got to thinking... can I put a sponge in a built in? Is it going to get mildewy and never dry w/o air circulation? And, if I can't stick the whole unsightly thing inside a built in to get it out of the way, where does it go? Surely not on the corner of my marble sink? But I have to have a sponge right or some kind of scrubby brush (I understand that to be a kitchen staple although perhaps I am wrong?)

Where do you all keep your sponges so they are where they need to be but not detracting from your pretty sinks??

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What about a tilt-out in front on the sink? I keep a scrubbie thing there, and it dries without getting slimy.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I saw a pic here about a year ago of a metal sponge holder that hung off the lip of the sink down into it. Sponge was held inside the sink. Hope that makes sense. Looks fairly clean from the counter view. I was planning on finding something like that for my new kitchen. Maybe BB&B?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:13AM
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Sponges are pretty unsanitary. They spread bacteria around your kitchen rather than clean your kitchen. Microfiber cloths that you use a single time and then go in a laundry bin are both eco friendly and sanitary. And they are much prettier to display behind a cupboard door, even if it's a glass cupboard. As far as a "dish" scrubby, modern DW's don't need to have dishes scraped before use. In fact, they need gunk and food on the dishes in order to work properly. So, dishes go straight in the DW, and use the microfiber cloths or paper towels to clean up any spills or for general cleaning.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:36AM
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The tilt-out in front on the sink is standard with our kitchen mfg, unless you told them know, OR have a farm sink.


PS no signed contract yet, just got the maple sample yesterday. BUT by next week the $$ and contract will be in the mail!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Thanks for the update Tom. I can't wait to see your pictures and progress!

We do have farm sinks (two of them- one concrete, one marble) and both are single bowl, so no tilt front possible for us and the metal sponge holder on the lip of the sink probably won't work either. However, I guess if sponges are kept in the tilt front, then it stands to reason that I could also keep them inside something else and they'd dry, right?

Microfiber cloths sound like they could be a good solution- then I could store them in the sink pull out and toss one in the laundry when we use it. Do they really come clean though if you wipe up big messes w/ them?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:46AM
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I don't think I described well what I meant. The metal holder hung off of the granite on an undercount sink at the back of the sink next to the faucet. It would work for your sink, but it's a matter of preference whether you would like it or not. HTH.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Ah- I see breezy. I was picturing it hanging off the front edge of a sink, or off of an inside-sink divider.

But, either way, I don't think I'd want the sponge hanging in the back of the sink either, I think it would be more visible there than I want it to be.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 12:46PM
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I don't LOVE my current solution, but it sounds like it might work for you. I have a little suction cup basket that sticks inside the sink, and holds a sponge (with holes at the bottom to drain.) I can throw it in the DW (top rack), along with the sponges, to keep "somewhat" clean. It does keep the sponge off the counter/out of sight, but it does require some effort to keep it from looking slimy. I have a link below to the item we use, but there are other, nicer, options along the same lines.

Here is a link that might be useful: Suction sponge basket for sink

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:06PM
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jgs7691 I like that idea b/c it could be hidden on the side of the sink and let the sponge drain. BUT, I don't know if the suction cups would adhere to my marble or concrete sink. Is your sink stainless steel or some other material that allows adherence of items?

Maybe the suction cups would stick to marble??

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:08PM
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I use a pretty olive dish (long and narrow) that fits between the wall and the back of my faucet to hold a sponge and a couple of those Pampered Chef plastic scrapers, which really come in handy.

re: bacteria in sponges: I put the sponges in the DW every night, and after one gets worn out it is demoted to a (single use) bathroom scrubber, then tossed. Mostly use them for washing pots and use the microfiber on the counters.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:28PM
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Chicagoans, can you see the sponge from the top of the dish or do you just see the dish? Does the dish collect water/ have to be cleaned regularly. I was thinking of trying to get a higher soap dish w/ edges and so you'd see the dish, but not the sponge itself peeking out over the top. Either that, or get one of those pretty "loofa" type sponges that they sell.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:54PM
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I use a metal holder that suction cup to the front of my sink and you can't even see it until you're a foot or less from the sink.
I think suctions cups work on any solid smooth surface, so you should be fine. the marble should definitely be fine, the concrete, I'm not sure. maybe you can ask the sink manufacturer.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:03PM
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I'm trying to sell DH on the idea of putting an inset ceramic soap dish into the backsplash to use for this---has anyone actually done this? (Seems to be common in old vintage kitchens, but not often used since then...)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Beagles: you can see the sponge. The olive dish (or 'olive boat') is fairly low and narrow.

Here's another idea: if you were to keep a sponge in a dish with holes, it would air out, right? (You'd still want to be aware of the bacteria thing mentioned earlier.)

Here's a pretty blue and white garlic dish that you could keep on your counter:

Here is a link that might be useful: Norpro 250 Ceramic Garlic Keeper

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Artemis, that was what I originally wanted to do but that got pushed by the wayside as my plan evolved. Here was my original inspiration picture! I thought it was lovely (the soap dish inset part is sort of pushed off to the side, but I love the other built-ins too!):

I'm also entertaining the idea of a little niche next to my paper towel holder. My cabinet maker isn't sure if this will look right b/c it is off centered but I kind of like it. However, I'm not sure if I want to keep this niche right next to the sink and put a pretty dish in there w/ sponge or if I want to move it around to the other side next to the oven and store nicely folded dish towels in there. What do you think? Could I store a sponge like this? Would it be a pain? Is it bad it is off centered? Am I better off using it for dish towels/ would it be more functional and prettier?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:25PM
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I like that idea chicagoans - but I'm not sure I'd want to be reaching my hand into that thing to get the sponge out...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 2:27PM
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I keep mine in a little vintage bucket under the sink. I wash the bucket out every week. However - I microwave my sponge every night after the final clean up for 1 minute on high. It is sanitized and dry. I also use a 2nd bucket to keep dirty dish / hand towels and transfer to the laundry room every other day. I have also used a small deep decorative bowl with a floral frog in the bottom to keep the sponge up high/dry on the counter.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:25PM
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My sink is stainless; I suppose that adherence to marble would depend on whether it has a polished surface (it's worth a try, though.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Marble will be honed. I'll have to see if it accepts suction and ask the concrete person making the sink if it allows for suction too. I am having the concrete sink custom made w/ a drain board, I wonder if he could build in some kind of hidden niche right in the sink for the sponge or if that would be too complicated...

I like the idea of keeping it under the sink too cjc123 except then we'd have to get it out when we want to use it. Which might be OK, since I don't think we'll really be using it all that much...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:55PM
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I keep things like that handy. I'd rather see it than hunt for it, or get the cabinets all messy because of wet and yucky hands, etc...But I like your little cubby next to the paper towel spot. The sponge could be in a chrome basket or something that lets air get all the way around it, but still not really be on display...Just raise it for air flow under and protect underneath so the cabinet isn't constantly damp.

I think being off-center makes it a little interesting.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:03PM
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We use a handmade pottery napkin holder and keep it in the sink.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:19PM
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I have a Kohler Executive Chef sink. It has a split basin. On the small side I have a dish rack where I put my hand washables to dry. I put my sponge in there to dry with the dishes. When I put the dishes away, my sponge goes into a plastic tray insert on my under-sink door storage. I think it is a rev-a-shelf unit. The link is below. I don't see the plastic tray insert online, but it was in the catalog that I looked at. On the occasion that I dry my dishes right away, I just put the wet sponge straight into the plastic tray and it dries just fine.

If you are planning a sink grid for your apron sink, then maybe the sponge could just dry in the bottom of the sink on the grid and then tuck under the sink when it's dry.

Here is a link that might be useful: rev-a-shelf door storage

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:38PM
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I am a bit sponge obsessed, my DH makes fun of me because I buy them everytime we go shopping.

I keep the current one in use in a small crock next to the sink that also holds the drain plug.

Every day I rinse out the sponge really well leaving it really wet and pop it into the microwave for 1 minute. Wait a few minutes until it cools enough to touch and put it away. Bonus is that the steam from the sponge makes the microwave super easy to wipe out with a towel, clean sponge and clean micro.

I also replace them frequently, I use them to clean a bathroom then they are on to the trash! No smelly nasty sponges in my house!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:50PM
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I've used sponges for 20 yrs. I hated dish cloths when I was a kid (and had to wash dishes), so I didn't want to use them when I grew up. No one in my house has ever been sick from bacteria-infested sponges, either (of course, I'm mainly talking about wiping countertops, not cleaning dishes....dishes have a separate sponge which I'm more careful with and "wash" in DW or sanitize in MW, and that's for only a handful of things that don't go in the DW).

I used to have the perfect sponge holder. I had it for so long that I don't remember where I got it--likely Walmart. A suction cup held it to the sink, and the other part was simply a small plastic inverted "V" with a little place in back that attached to the suction cup. Perfect. It got lost in our move. I can't find a suitable replacement.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:22PM
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So many ideas :)

To be honest, I never knew a sponge could be microwaved. Granted, I don't use it very much! But we just pop it in the dish washer once in a while if it looks grimy. I don't know if I like the idea of keeping it under the sink for us b/c I don't know if I want to have to open the cabinet to get it out. We probably won't have a dish drainer b/c I don't handwash anything! I don't know if we'll have a sink grid or not. I'm thinking no b/c I think the concrete will be durable and the marble sink is mainly going to be there to look pretty, not for hard use of anything (it is only a 24 inch sink) I could do a suction cup thing if it sticks and you don't see it though. Or the chrome dish in the cubby....

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 9:15PM
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i like the look of the real sponges from wms sonoma, so i dont hide it

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 9:34PM
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I use one of these, sitting on the counter behind the sink, or on the windowsill above the sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: on Amazon

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:35AM
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Am I the only one who immediately thought of the Seinfeld episode and the immortal question, "Is he sponge-worthy?"

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:57AM
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I like the metal big-mesh suction cup thingies. I got it at Target. They're a little more expensive than the plastic ones but they don't get groddy; they're easy to clean. The air-dry function is pretty good. But just squeezing out the sponge will go a long way toward warding off bacteria. If you use a sponge with a scrubby on one side and leave it on the scrubby side so air can get through and squeeze it well I find there is no problem. If you want things to look nicer you could find a pretty ceramic soap dish with nubbles on the bottom to aide in air-drying and just set the dish on the counter with sponge on top. I do that in a bathroom.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 4:30AM
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mtnrdredux i just looked up with william sonoma sponges and they look nice. I probably wouldn't mind having that in a nice soap dish that was out. I also kind of found some neat looking ones from Buy Green.com

weedmeister, that episode of seinfeld was a great one!

Here is a link that might be useful: Buy Green.com: Naked Sponge

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:19AM
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I'm not a sponge person myself. But, I have occasionally dabbled with them. I was grossed out by the bacteria issue, BUT did you know you can run them through the dishwasher? Yep. I used to do that. But we are sponge free now.

At first from the title of this I was wondering if it was a "Where's Waldo" but you were looking for Sponge Bob.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:47AM
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We keep ours standing on end leaned up against the inside front of the sink. It drains, and it is not visible. The sink is deep so we tend to keep the bottle of soap down inside the sink too.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:56AM
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Sponge-free home. :) The bacteria aspect doesn't suit me, and I wouldn't be diligent enough to clean one often. I also can't imagine anything would air out properly in a small, enclosed space.

We use mostly hand towels for kitchen clean up. (Thank you to GW for eliminating paper towels in my home. Really, what's the point?! The hand towels can do it all...)

I have a dish scraper (for when I burn something on to a pan... oops.) It goes in the DW when I do a load. I plan on getting a suction thingy to hang it from the inside of the front of the sink (so I wouldn't be able to see it unless leaning over.) This works because the sink is large and we almost never have anything in it :)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:05PM
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Purely by coincidence I came across this MacGyver-esque sponge storage pic today:

Here is a link that might be useful: Sponge storage

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:06PM
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Breezygirl, is this where you were headed? I was at a friend's house last night and they are using this. Not over the top obvious, but they do have an undermounted SS sink so it blended in.

Here is a link that might be useful: In-sink caddy

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:15PM
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kevinw1, that is hysterical, and I'm sure will end this thread - no need to look any further!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:18PM
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Haha kevinw1- someone could probably make millions if they made and marketed a special "sponge" version of that device to the unenlightened TKO obsessed who don't have GW to turn to for advice on sponges!

(Hmm... there's an idea for how I can pay for budget overruns... )

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:27PM
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Clueless--that's about what I remember, except the sides were full of holes, I think, for drainage and air circulation.

Right now, I either leave it on the top of the over mount sink near the faucet or keep it inside the sink like Plllog.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:34PM
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BTW, this isn't exactly the topic of the sink but a few people mentioned about cleaning sponges, someone mentioned nuking the thing and I'm not sure if it was mentioned already, but you can also toss those things in a dishwasher. It's surprising how clean them come out and how this somehow can assist in getting out smells. Maybe the soap is strong.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:54PM
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