New sponge will be 'cleaner,' says 3M

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The lowly sponge is cleaning up its act. The Wall Street Journal reports 3M is about to introduce a revolutionary new version that won't get "gunked up" by eggs or cheese.

The Stay Clean scrubbing pad will have raised dots made of polyester resin instead of bristles.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal says 3M will give away millions of Stay Clean sponges early next year in an effort increase its 74 percent share of the U.S. market. It is also competing for market share in countries where most people don't use sponges.

The company says bacteria comes from food trapped in the sponge and not from sponges themselves, which are treated with an "antimicrobial agent." So the new sponge will be more hygienic.

The Centers for Disease Control and other medical authorities say sponges can be sources of contamination and should be dish-washed, microwaved or discarded frequently.

A headline last year in Britain's Daily Mail said sponges were filthier than toilet seats and could even lead to paralysis.

A 3M commercial says the new sponge is a response to consumer complaints.

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