You know that ad for bleach wipes where the woman wipes down her kitchen countertops with a raw chicken? It's a dig at using sponges, and it's not too far off. Using dingy old sponges for spring cleaning is gross at best and actually spreads bacteria at worst. Still, it's tough to beat a sponge for getting surfaces sparkling clean.
Since they're cheap, it's not a bad idea to stock up on a few good sponges before getting to work on spring cleaning your house. If you do, check out some of the newer versions on the market. Products like eco-sponges use friction instead of cleansers, using just water rather than harsh sprays [source: Daily Green].
It's pretty environmentally unfriendly (and kind of expensive) to just toss a sponge after one use. Fortunately, to combat spreading bacteria, you don't have to resort to this measure. Old sponges can be refreshed; microwaving them between cleanings on High for a minute kills germs, as does tossing them in the washing machine with chlorine bleach.