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Sponges are commonly made from cellulose wood fibers or foamed plastic polymers. Some natural sponges are still sold, but most are now used either as body or facial sponges (bath sponges) or as tools for sponge painting.
The three other categories of widely available synthetic sponges are low-density polyether (known as the rainbow packs of non-absorbent sponges), PVA (a highly absorbent material), and polyester.
Polyester sponges are subdivided into a variety of types, some of which are reticulated (artificially broken-in) for ease of use. One type, double-blown polyester, has high water-retention ability approaching or equaling that of PVA sponges, but with visible pores and more diverse uses.
Several methods have been used to clean sponges. Studies have investigated the use of the microwave to clean non-metallic domestic sponges which have been thoroughly wetted. A 2006 study found that microwaving wet sponges for two minutes (at 1000 watt power) removed 99% of coliforms, E. coli and MS2 phages, but Bacillus cereus spores were killed at 4 minutes of microwaving. After some fires were caused by people trying to replicate the results at home, the study's author urged people to make sure their sponges were wet. A 2009 study showed that the microwave and the dishwasher were both effective ways to clean domestic sponges.
- Luffa aegyptiaca
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Ethylene-vinyl acetate - material that craft foam is made from
Media related to Cleaning sponges at Wikimedia Commons
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