Man-made sponges are recognized by everybody, but some people may not know they are modeled after one of nature’s most interesting creations. Natural sponges are actually aquatic animals; the simplest ones on the planet. Their bodies, a term used loosely in this case, filter water to get them the nutrients they need to survive. This design, when they are taken out of water, makes them naturally absorbent, a design synthetic sponges successfully replicate.
Made of polyurethane foam, absorbing foam sponges retain water and soap for cleaning dishes, surfaces, and for bathing. With enough abrasiveness to remove grit and dirt, they’re still soft enough to not scratch or hurt dishware and skin. Many varieties of dish cleaning sponges have a scouring pad attached to one side of the shaped foam to give it extra cleaning ability for difficult stains and baked-on food.
Sponges don’t exist exclusively for work however, and many are made into foam pieces that children can use for water toys and arts and crafts. Their absorbent nature makes them interesting learning tools, while being soft and safe. When dipped in ink or paint, sponges become fun stamping tools as well.
These products are major parts of many DIY projects around the house too. Bars of soap placed on a sponge in the bathroom helps the soap last longer. When wrapped around a shovel or rake, a sponge becomes a padded grip that can prevent blisters. When cut into tiny pieces, they can pad picture frames and clocks from scratching walls. No matter the way they are used, sponges possess a unique set of characteristics that lend themselves to innumerable uses.